Most employees quit their bosses

  1. Overloading top talent irresponsibly — partly on account of financial pressure and subsequent lay-offs and partly on account of endless shareholder pressure, companies are reluctant to refill posts, expecting remaining staff to pick up the extra workload. Overloading your best people with extra responsibilities causes frustration and a lack of their best focus on more important things.
  2. Micro-managing top performers — some people like to be told what to do, but performers like to be able to decide for themselves how to get a project done and the speed they need to go to meet deadlines. Micro-managing drives performers to resent interference.
  3. Leadership absence — the captain should not be “off the ship” all the time, no matter how busy he/she is. Going from meeting to meeting without really engaging with your people will result in a team that feels like a group of orphans.
  4. Promoting emotionally — all promotions should be fair and based on transparent merit criteria, not on who you like. Employees will leave if they feel that the environment has been poisoned by nepotism, bias or preferential treatment. “The best way to demotivate and lose top performers is to reward mediocrity in an attempt to maintain status quo” (Jameson St Claire).
  5. Career opportunities are not clear — very few employees want to study, get qualified and then stay in the same position for the rest of their respective lives. Transparent individual discussions need to take place with all employees to illustrate career possibilities.
  6. Ineffective administration skills — conducting poor meetings with no action as a result, not keeping promises when you said that you would get something done, not replying to requests for information, not adhering to deadlines or jumping from activity to activity with no sense of priority structure. These behaviours frustrate and confuse employees.
  7. Self-interest rather than caring for all team members — a desire to ‘win’ should not supersede your care of your people. Develop a passion for them to win and succeed more than you want the same for yourself. This breeds loyalty and commitment.
  8. A lack of “big picture” information — strategic direction and other important action plans should not be withheld, but communicated freely to all who report in to you. Secrecy or partial information can easily poison the environment.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jonathan Mills

Jonathan Mills


Jonathan has spent over 30 years focusing his efforts on developing people throughout the world. He believes that people have the most impact when stretched.