It's like clockwork. You, like people all over the world, go through a drawn-out interview process, vetting and getting vetted for weeks to determine the right fit, and then you finally agree to terms. After you're hired, things look promising, and there's a buzz of excitement in the air as you meet new co-workers and dive into a sexy project. 

Then, the honeymoon phase wears off, and something you almost expect to happen at every job (a self-fulfilling prophecy) happens: Your boss does something (or doesn't do something) that makes you question his or her integrity and whether they really give a damn about you.

For the first time, you have doubts and wonder if this is truly the same company or manager you signed on with at the start. From there, things spiral downward as you finally realize that you work for a person (or a group of people) who has no idea how to lead you or others.

I'll leave the rest of that story for you to finish, because it's a very personal one for many. The outcome could go on several different paths. One is to flat out quit.

The latest research on employee turnover

Nothing to this day has changed since Gallup CEO Jim Clifton named the real reason why people quit. He said this in the State of the American Workplace report:

The single biggest decision you make in your job--bigger than all the rest--is who you name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision. Not compensation, not benefits--nothing.

Employees--whatever job, level, or industry--are willing to call it quits if their boss isn't holding up his or her end of the bargain. And, quite honestly, that's a noble thing to do in order to avoid the health risks involved with working for a toxic manager.

At Randstad US, researchers conducted a survey to nail down the top reasons people quit. Here are some of the findings that caught my attention: 

  • More than half (59 percent) of the respondents felt their companies view profits or revenue as more important than how people are treated.
  • Sixty percent of respondents had left jobs, or considered leaving, when they didn't like the direct supervisors.
  • Fifty-three percent had left jobs, or considered leaving, because they believed their employers didn't recruit or retain high-performing individuals.
  • Fifty-eight percent of workers said their companies didn't currently have enough growth opportunities for them to stay longer term.
  • Sixty-nine percent said they would be more satisfied if their employers better utilized their skills and abilities.
  • More than half (57 percent) said they needed to leave their current companies to take their careers to the next level.

And, as you can see, managers have direct influence over every one of these causes for quitting. So, what gives?

Why people quit really boils down to one word


As you review the reasons above, it's clear what causes employees to walk out the door--disrespect on the part of management. Want further proof? Carefully examine Randstad's study on all the practical reasons employees quit. 

When employees are not respected or valued as workers and human beings, when they are not served well and developed as people and professionals, when obstacles aren't cleared from their paths so they can perform well, when their voices aren't heard or are ignored, they experience disengagement, as early as weeks into a new job.

And when that begins to happen and doesn't change over time, you've lost them from the neck up. Once employees are no longer emotionally committed to their work and have checked out, you can bet your bottom line that they'll be updating their résumé?s.