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The real deal on why people quit

Globe and Mail Update

Despite the common perception, pay is not the top reason for Canadian workers, survey says ...Read the full article

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  1. Sonny Brakes from Kapuskasing, Canada writes: 5. Lack of opportunity for training and development.

    If this one is common to both then why isn't it dealt with? In a perfect world, 20-25% of this problem would be resolved.
  2. Globefollower From Canada from Canada writes: This is not a new result. Studies to this effect have been around for decades. It is too bad so many employers and managers fail to appreciate that many great people will turn down opportunities to leave with higher pay if they are simply treated well in their current job by an ethical employer.
  3. Happily Retired from LupinLand, Canada writes: The current generation of managers, at least in the Public Service, are interested only in their next promotion. They are rarely in a management position long enough to really 'take ownership' and therefore their decisions and directives tend to be very shortsighted and often counter productive. There was actually a time when employees were encouraged to bring potential problems to their supervisors in fact there was a time when this was not only seen as the employees right but also their responsibility. That time has long since passed and managers don't want to hear about potential problems, they just want employees to 'shut up and do what they are told'. The job I had forced me on more than one occasion to refuse illegal orders and face disciplinary action for doing so. This was not uncommon and is unfortunately still going on. How sad!
  4. Ss Cc from Canada writes: I am always looking out for new opportunities. In a recent conversation with my supervisor, I was told indirectly that there is no scope for me in the organization I work for. I will always be in the little box doing what I am doing and will never be allowed to move because I am good at what I am doing. So what is the solution? Should I do my current job badly? I suppose not because then they would fire me due to poor performance.
  5. Darwin Fish from Kitchener, Canada writes: Lame article, completely ignores/misses the obvious.

    Most people don't go Johnny Paycheck on the way out the door. They have little vested beyond maintaining a reference and will give polite and respectable justifications for leaving while keeping their negative perspectives to themselves.

    The manager perspective is simply what they hear.
  6. Kevin Desmoulin from TO, Canada writes: I know I will quit sooner or later if I have no faith in my superior in any manner. Despite pay, working conditions etc.
  7. Thomas Price from Canada writes: The last paragraph of the article tells the story in its entirety.
  8. Sidney M from Toronto, Canada writes: The managers' responses are hardly surprising. One of the hardest things for people to do is face the fact that it's they themselves who may be at fault.
  9. Tribe of Ben from Canada writes: Happily Retired.... I completely agree with you. Most public service managers couldn't manage a hot dog stand, yet they are made 'responsible' for huge organizations. Senior PS managers all go through the same indoctrination of saying all the right things, doing the opposite, then blaming the employees when things go bang. Gutless wonders...
  10. Winston Churchill from London, Canada writes: I love Dilbert -- the comic strip. Its hilarious, but also true to life.

    The article indicates plainly that the pointy haired boss is alive, well, and common.
  11. WayOutWest . from Calgary, Canada writes: True, Sydney.

    The survey also ignores something else. What percentage of Canadian workers would say they are in the field of their dreams or doing their life's work? Some consideration must be taken for those who quit because they are just not happy and just haven't figured out what they are looking for. Great management can really only inspire people. Workers have to bring the motivation themselves.
  12. Tough Camper from Squamish, Canada writes: Yep. I got totally stressed out and left my last (excellent paying) job because of 1 and 4, in spades. The leaders were totally clueless, and kept trying to 'talk me into staying.' Meanwhile, they continued in their clueless, morally bankrupt ways.

    Corporations are full of courtesans.

    1. Lack of trust in senior leaders

    2. Insufficient pay

    3. Unhealthy/undesirable culture

    4. Lack of honesty/integrity/ethics
  13. Jim Petse from owings, United States writes: I believe Management did basically balance their reasons with what the employee's stated reasons, just a bit of twisting of words by the analysis.
    First its always been a fact that many employee's believe Management is incompetent. People who say they resigned because of leadership are really saying the lack of opportunity for 'ME' to run the company( training/upward mobility) is why I quit.
    Subordinates most always think management screws things up all the time. So I see the match.
    Pay & benefits a match.
    The others reasons seems too me to be very subjective.
    Hostile work environment! This is quite true in some cases but in many I think its 'Inabaility to get along with others and an unwillingness to express clearly to management and peers to clear the air and provide a working ageement'. Most of the time you'll hear 'This job doesn't pay me enough to put up with this sxxx!'
    Yes its a long held belief by many employee's that they could run the company better, but if you follow their career their perceive problem follows them into their next jobs!
  14. Joe Citizen from Everytown, Canada writes: Incompetent managers are epidemic in our culture. Everyone suffers.

    Employees should have more say in the hiring and firing of their superiors. Why should managers be allowed to play politics while the general community suffers ?

    We must evolve out of this dead-end that we find ourselves in.
  15. Being Canadian from Canada writes: I've never once had a manager or boss who earned or deserved any respect. Without fail they have all been sociopath personality disordered dullards and always far less educated than I. I'm told that this threatened them. So rather than utilize my skills they were threatened by them. Bizarre. What's the point of skill development if they can't be used? Further, virtually without exception, measurable and tangible results such as higher sales figures for instance would go down upon my departure. I always got along well with my fellow employee's though.
  16. b l from Canada writes: At the end of the day you should also look at the big picture and see if the company is a right fit for you. Most of the times hiring managers will tell you that it's a great place to work because you are the best candidate for the job at the same time they're tired of sifting through resumes and interviewing people. It isn't till you start working there that you realize some if not all the things your hiring manage said were exaggerated.

    You should also take into consideration that sometimes it's out your managers control as well. Your manager may not have the power to change things so that your day to day life at the company is better.

    '1. Lack of trust in senior leaders'

    Again the companies agenda might not be your agenda, you might be a young new grad and you'd like to do great things starting your career, problem you are working at a big fortune 500 company that moves at a snails pace when it comes to enacting change.
  17. Jim Brennan from Canada writes: How can management expect to retain employees while rewarding them for cajoling customers with obvious contempt? I have been lied to – mostly as a matter of expediency - in every conceivable manner by email and in person. It is my experience businesses that treat others with respect (of which there are many) keep good employees and prosper. They can depend on being recommended at every opportunity. Trying to outsmart others is a sure sign of an idiot.
  18. Timber Wolf from Richmond BC, Canada writes: Whenever I've walked away from jobs, insufficient pay was never the issue. What the study should have noted is that the reasons---except for pay---are interrelated. Indeed, toxic work environments are the result of managerial deficiencies, and lack of opportunity is a sign of that and a poor working environment. One thing I've obeserved about many managers is that they get too far removed from the trenches, and forget about the little things that made them managers in the first place. On the other hand, I've also dealt with a couple great managers, and I lamented the fact that they were promoted to the corporate level in the companies where I worked.
  19. The Central Screwtinizer from Ottawawa, Canada writes: I can put up with alot of BS but its when you have to endure a cheap grade of BS that gets under your skin as per the 5 elements pointed out above...just show me the cash and I'm outta here...AMF!
  20. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Being Canadian from Canada writes: '... I've never once had a manager or boss who earned or deserved any respect. Without fail they have all been sociopath personality disordered dullards and always far less educated than I...'

    To be fair though, we suffer the same problem with managers that we do with politicians: Only sadists apply for those jobs in the first place.

    The downsides far out weigh the benefits.
  21. Theo Zivo from Canada writes: It's long been an established truism that people don't leave firms, they leave bosses, so I'm not sure what this survey told us. The 'seagull manager' who arrives unnoticed, squaks loudly and poops on everything, only to leave as fast as they came, is one example. Another is the 'hoverer,' who (metaphorically or literally) stands at your shoulder watching you do your work, offering up 'suggestions' as to how to work better. But the sad fact is that the current economic climate will have a lot of employees grinding in jobs that are killing them simply because there are more people than jobs. And if an employee makes his/her concerns known, they run the very real risk of being shuffled out the door and fresh meat brought in. One has to remember that many, many organizations tend to take a very short-sighted view of things. While it may be very expensive to replace an employee, a lot of organizations will get rid of staff at the slightest breeze of discontentment without any thought whatsoever as to how much it's going to cost to replace them. One last thing: I have to wonder about all the whining about public sector employees and managers, and if the complainers have actually worked in the public service. I have - though I'm in the private sector now - and I can honestly say that almost everyone I had contact with in the public sector was dedicated, driven and passionate about their work. Are there 'bad apples' who are there only for the next union raise? Absolutely. But the vast majority of them that I came in contact with were hard-working and committed individuals; I was proud to work with them.
  22. Theo Zivo from Canada writes: ach... double-spacing between paragraphs didn't work again. G&M, please fix!
  23. Carolyn Debnam from Toronto, Canada writes:
    It's called the "Open Door" policy..
    and don't let the door hit you on your way OUT!!
  24. Michael S from Canada writes: My employees are not the highest paid, nor are they the lowest paid; they're about mid-table. My first goal is to build strong working trust between myself and my people. During my entire professional career, this goal has always been my first and foremost objective. Over the years, people who have left my employ have done so for other reasons, such as relocations, change in life activities, change in career objectives and opportunities and other such reasons; but certainly not because of money or trust.
  25. Elizabeth Montgomery from Calgary from Canada writes: Every employer should have an "exit interview" with an employee who has quit. Only then are you likely to get close to the truth about why they're leaving, and you as an employer have to be brave enough to face the facts, and deal with it.

    Most employees would probably be afraid of repercussions through poor references though.

    Canadian working places are rife with a basic human problem -- and that is there are too many bullies in the workplace.Emotional bullies - and too many managers that don't get it. Bad management is endemic. Finding a good manager to work for is rare.
  26. B A from Ottawa, Canada writes: Ah, it's all been said. For me, I found for the first time in a long time I had a great manager. Mutual trust, respect, her belief that the staff were professionals and needed to be treated as such. The group thrived and routinely pulled off miracles as a matter of professional pride...right up until our manager was swapped out for a corporate oriented, easily freaked out, micromanager with serious outside stress issues. As a result, every employee in the branch is now looking to transfer out and morale has plummeted. And when we go so does the corporate memory for the team. I don't think executive culture truly grasps the damage a poorly chosen manager can cause.
  27. John Connor from Canada writes: I'm in complete agreement with the article, all the self-serving narcissistic comments posted above aside.

    It was spot on.
  28. Theo Zivo from Canada writes: Elizabeth Montgomery from Calgary from Canada writes: ...Canadian working places are rife with a basic human problem -- and that is there are too many bullies in the workplace.
    ---------------------------
    Bullies?

    Agreed, but that's not the half of it.

    In his seminal work Snakes in Suits, Dr Robert Hare examined the traits of those who tend to rise to the top in organizations. His conclusion was that psychopathic behaviour is rewarded and those with psychopathic tendencies do very well in many corporate environments.

    Yes, the cream rises to the top. So does the scum.
  29. Mitch hourigan from Canada writes: B A from Ottowa writes:I don't think executive culture truly grasps the damage a poorly chosen manager can cause.
    The executive culture is only concerned with short term results as it affects their compensation. the system of bonuses applied by corporate culture is not interested in the employees. The bottom line is profit/productivity as measured by the next layer of upper management.
    Too many layers of management providing no real productivity to prop up a house of cards.
  30. Pete S from Canada writes: One trend I've noticed is that managers don't seem to manage their people any more. Sure they might pass on instructions, and write up reviews, but there is very little mentoring and teaching. I've even had managers who couldn't handle the basics of my job while I'm on vacation.
    Companies have started giving managment roles to people who are good in their own job, instead looking for people who know how to develop and bring out the best in others.
  31. Mitch hourigan from Canada writes: Theo....thank you for your post re: psychopathic tendencies.

    The color of the noses of these people is aparently not allowed on these boards.
  32. David Gehring from Kingston, Ontario, Canada writes: I would gladly stop looking for better job opportunities and make a long-term commitment to a lower paying job if it meant working for a respectful, professional manager.
  33. George BrownIII from Christmas Island writes: Winners never quit, quitters never win.
  34. P Logan from Calgary, Canada writes: Elizabeth Montgomery from Calgary wrote: "Every employer should have an 'exit interview' with an employee who has quit. Only then are you likely to get close to the truth about why they're leaving, and you as an employer have to be brave enough to face the facts, and deal with it. Most employees would probably be afraid of repercussions through poor references though."
    ________
    Good idea in theory, Elizabeth, but I don't think it would work and I don't think fear of repercussions would be the main reason. The fact is, by the time employees have made up their mind to leave, most simply don't care anymore about the company they are leaving (It is much like a failing personal relationship--love mostly doesn't turn to hate, just to indifference). The employees have already moved on in their minds to something better. Sifting the ashes of the old career would be, for them, an unpleasant experience with no upside. Management is going to hear what the employees think they want to hear.
  35. A person from Toronto, Canada writes: Darwin Fish from Kitchener, Canada writes: "Most people don't go Johnny Paycheck on the way out the door. They have little vested beyond maintaining a reference and will give polite and respectable justifications for leaving while keeping their negative perspectives to themselves."

    This comment is spot on! At my last job, I told my manager that I was leaving to pursue an opportunity that this company just couldn't offer me, and that I learned so much from the team and I loved working with her. The truth of the matter was I quit because I couldn't stand her - she was an emotionless Cyborg who never gave feedback, and I could never tell where I stood with her. But I wasn't going to say that to her because I work in a very specialized field and the chances of her knowing someone I may work for in the future is quite possible, so I could not afford to leave on bad terms. She has had only nice things to say about me since. That would not have been the case if I was honest about my reasons for leaving.
  36. Celine Brown from Canada writes: The Dilbert Principle plain and simple.
    Incompetent fools with little or no social skills always rise to the top.
  37. Did you Know Canada?!? from Canada writes: We had a guy who was making double what he would be making, doing the same job outside.

    He quit because his girl friend(never worked in her life)wasn't happy with his pay, so told him to quit!!

    I think he is on EI for the last couple of months.
  38. Did you Know Canada?!? from Canada writes: George BrownIII from Christmas Island writes: Winners never quit, quitters never win.

    Agreed George! We might be faced with a huge recession, this is the time for Winners to step up and Quitters to shut up!
  39. Theo Zivo from Canada writes: Did you Know Canada?!? from Canada writes: George BrownIII from Christmas Island writes: Winners never quit, quitters never win.

    Agreed George! We might be faced with a huge recession, this is the time for Winners to step up and Quitters to shut up!
    ------------------------
    Exactly. It's time for 'quitter' bosses who insist that intimidation and bullying tactics are effective to shut up and 'winner' bosses who actually know what they're doing and know how to motivate people to work at their best abilities to step up.
  40. Celine Brown from Canada writes: Did you know, what a silly comment. It sounds like something out of a Tony Robbins self-help book.
  41. A Peon in the golden boy's court from where an employer doesn't get it, Canada writes: You know, with the amount of study that goes into management in the academic world, it’s amazing how out of touch many managers are – not all managers, but a lot of them. I recall a meeting between our most senior regional manager (e.g. the regional VP) and staff representatives where the reps communicated issues staff had and the senior manager’s response was “I don’t understand what problem people have, I love coming to work every day.” This clown was driving a company car (and not claiming the taxable benefit on it), doesn’t show up to work until 9 or 9:30 and is gone by 3:30, has a beautiful office and because of the nature of our “business” he is treated like royalty every where he goes; it’s a government department and he arrives at meetings with commitments to spend taxpayer funds. And he’s not the only manager in our organization who is greatly out of touch. They basically all are. In my experience, many managers become vindictive when they hear the truth. I spoke to a few psychologists I know about this & the consensus was that when people in authority hear a problem, the mind’s natural response is to feel stress because the individual knows the problem needs solving. A lot of people don’t respond well to this stress; many become vindictive for instance. I see also, that someone referred to “Snakes in Suits” – a book which is frighteningly spot on. I’m amazed how many people have made thoughtful, insightful comments on this issue. The answers are all out there, but too many managers don’t want to listen to the answers and find solutions.
  42. Gizella Oehm from Canada writes: I work at the perfect job - from home and for an excellent manager, even if the company itself is not particularly attractive. The pay is okay, but not stellar, and not even quite within what the work would be worth at my current level of seniority. The pleasure of the working conditions (working from home, relative autonomy) and the great manager are what keep me in this job. It's not really the pay, opportunity for advancement (none!), etc.
  43. Fred Garvin MP from Canada writes: I am totally surprised that workplace bullying was not on this list. It seems to be rampant in our workplaces, in Ontario anyway.
  44. Peter vliegende hollander from Calgary Foothills, Canada writes: Also 'happily retired' I have met public service and private industry bosses. Both good and bad. On average, bad ones seem to get promoted faster than the good ones.
    One key problem: the culture does not seem to allow demotions. That is translated as 'beyond capabilities' in stead of: not truly interested in the job responsibilities.
    Consequently, many 'managers' are caught up in this mess, and then create all the issues the article mentions. The 'culture' of this 'promotion' being the ultimate reward is wrong. At one time Ontario Hydro ( yes, I am retired) did have a dual stream: administrative and technical. Top technical had the same salary range as the top administrative. Which meant that the top technical did not have to have umpteen persons on staff to be promoted.
    As previously mentioned, those aspiring admin managers can't stand the equivalent techy. That is probably why that system never caught on.
  45. Investment Industry Insider from Toronto, Canada writes: One major point was missed: Incompetent Bosses.

    Nothing makes me want to leave more than hearing my boss prefers to "dumb down" proposals, slander smart people regardless of their academics and experience, and abuse company benefits while openly stating, he/she is not really an expert in anything concrete except greasing the wheels and screwing over honest workers.

    Movie: The Corporation,
    The croporation as a whole and majority of people who work in it are by WHO standards psychotic
  46. Peter North from van, Canada writes: Elizabeth Montgomery from Calgary from Canada writes: Every employer should have an "exit interview" with an employee who has quit. Only then are you likely to get close to the truth about why they're leaving, and you as an employer have to be brave enough to face the facts, and deal with it.

    ditto. exit interviews are a good value because they provide more reliable information than second-guessing reasons for staff leaving.
  47. Mike L. from Canada writes: True management story, when I was a middle manager. I was raked over the coals for having put a wrong absence code on an employee's time sheet. I replied that I wasn't aware I had to use a different code. Answer: "it's in the policy manual". Then I replied that I didn't know there was a policy manual and I surely didn't have a copy and could I please have one for future reference. Answer: "oh, we don't distribute those at your level of management".

    I kid you not. I was disciplined for not following something in a policy manual I was not allowed to read.

    I too am a big fan of Dilbert...
  48. Steve I'm Not an Alberta Redneck from Calgary, Canada writes: Pete S from Canada writes: "Companies have started giving managment roles to people who are good in their own job, instead looking for people who know how to develop and bring out the best in others."

    Not even "good" but good at faking results and brown nosing.
  49. David Beentheredonethat from Canada writes: I left a well paying job ($85,000 plus benefits) after 26 years with the company because my then current boss was so out of touch with reality I just couldn't take it anymore. My wife said the stress was killing both me and our relationship. Completely often unreasonable, useless and unnecessary requests and demands (some unfathomable or just plain odd) inundated me and ate up my time whilst the real work was never the priority... but nevertheless had to be done and well too, always. I quit and left on very good terms and started my own company and it was the best decision I ever made. Meanwhile, my ex-boss, who is otherwise a really nice guy, still keeps in touch. He thinks, as the article relates, that I left for a better position. When I left, I was flat out unemployed. Life is truly amazing and often incomprehensible…. at the time anyway.
  50. Smoking Man from Dyslexic side of the moon, Canada writes: The solution:

    Ownership :)
  51. David Beentheredonethat from Canada writes: George BrownIII from Christmas Island writes: Winners never quit, quitters never win.

    George... on the whole and taken with a very large angle lense, the phrase you have quoted is correct. However, a small spectrum analysis can be likewise misleading. For example, I quit (see above) and so could be labelled a quitter, which I am not and never have been. On a larger scale, however, becasue I quit I was enabled to exceed beyond any even remote possibilities that my old job offered, so I won. My point being that sometimes you can quit and win too... ie,... He that quits and runs away, lives to win another day!! Cheers.
  52. Comments closed, censored, hidden, deleted, disappeared from Peso-onie land, Canada writes: Lack of trust in "leaders" has become an overall social problem... by no means a problem to be found exclusively in the workplace. --- In fact, it is not a problem of trust, it is a problem of leadership, or of the lack of any in those who try to play the part. --- How ironic! There has probably never been anything taught and studied more than "LEADERSHIP", in the last decades. --- Just to make sure that at least is clear: I never believed in that B$. It would seem that, Heavens be blessed, the younger generation believes in it even less... Above all, they have obviously no sense of belonging, no loyalty to any institution, and it is easy to figure out why: they simply treat them the way they themselves have been treated. --- As a society, we are and will be paying a very heavy price for that. No society can dispense with leadership, a sense of belonging and basic loyalty. It is all part of mutual respect, and ultimately of self-respect.
  53. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: LOL...the comments posted are pretty funny.

    First I suspect most people who quit do so for a combination of reasons.

    Second this notion that managers are somehow completely responsible for the workplace environment is complete bullsh!t.

    You're all grown adults and managers shouldn't have to babysit.

    Many here have mentioned incompetent bosses. In my experience incompetent workers is far more common.

    In fact I suspect many decrying how terrible and incompetent their bosses were are likely sh!tducks themselves or at best simply have an over inflated sense of how good they are.

    Yes you are the best and it's just one big conspiracy holding you down.

    P.S. There is a sale on tinfoil this week. You had better stock up.
  54. Mike L. from Canada writes: Gizella Oehm from Canada writes: "I work at the perfect job - from home and for an excellent manager, even if the company itself is not particularly attractive. The pay is okay, but not stellar, and not even quite within what the work would be worth at my current level of seniority. The pleasure of the working conditions (working from home, relative autonomy) and the great manager are what keep me in this job. It's not really the pay, opportunity for advancement (none!), etc."

    Same here, I quit a job of equal pay for this one. But I can telecommute 4 days a week with a great manager, killing a brutal commute that was costing me $5000 in fuel alone every year, never mind the wear-and-tear on the car (hint: it's 2005 with 175,000 km on the odometer). Just the fuel savings alone was like getting an extra $5000 in after-tax income; factor in wear-and-tear and it's the equivalent of roughly a $30,000 year raise before taxes. Bottom line is the salary itself is fairly meaningless if I have an extra $15k a year in my pocket!
  55. Philip Elliott from Toronto, Canada writes: I couldn't agree with most of you more.

    Problem, what do we do??

    Bullies we DON'T need in the workplace and I HAVE experienced that.

    There needs to be some form of labour watchdog on companies that you can talk to without feeling threatened
  56. Comments closed, censored, hidden, deleted, disappeared from Peso-onie land, Canada writes: George BrownIII from Christmas Island writes: Winners never quit, quitters never win. --- :D) --- I wish to report, based on my experience of some of the world's largest multinationals and best learning environments, that 1. the best always quit, 2. most of them win big, 3. the less than average stay, and 4. the worst always overstay. --- It is common to see an organization where only the worst remain. It is uncommon to see one where the best are still there. --- This should give credence to a renewed interpretation of the Peter's principle.
  57. Theo Zivo from Canada writes: Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: LOL...the comments posted are pretty funny.... this notion that managers are somehow completely responsible for the workplace environment is complete bullsh!t.
    ---------------
    Completely? No, of course not. Only a fool would see it in such binary terms.

    But the fact is that the leader/manager sets the tone. That's their job. So they have a choice: they can encourage an atmosphere of dedication, trust and cooperation, or they can rely on fear, browbeating and intimidation.

    And yes, there are incompetent workers - I see them everyday. It's the leader's job to manage that, either through better training, better selection or more effective job placement.

    That's the leader's job. If they're not doing it, then they're not managing properly.

    You undoubtedly know the saying, "It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools." Well, a manager's tools are the people that work for him. He - the manager - can blame somebody else for their poor performance, or he can look to his own style to determine if he's the problem.

    Live in denial, or dwell in reality. Choice is yours.
  58. GRAEME BLAIR from Canada writes: Ah managers. It's the Peter principle folks, always has been. Oh and BTW, the truly incompetent never realize they are.
  59. Jake Smith from Unionville, Canada writes: I read in Human Resource magazine ~ 2000, that people quit because of their managers as the #1 reason. (people quit their managers not their companies)

    I think magazine was HR workforce.

    I and others have come across many incompetent and/or bully type managers. One demanded I come to work instead of attend my father's funeral. Another tricked me to work for consulting requiring extensive travel.
  60. Paul Harker from Canada writes: I hope a lot of bosses read the list of reasons why workers quit. Probably plenty more might quit but either lack the courage or have too much invested in other ways in their jobs.
  61. Philip Elliott from Toronto, Canada writes: I must comment about 'Winners never quit' and 'Quitters never win'

    I have mixed views on that. What is the point in staying in a job where you are stressed out, but locked in because of comitments and age AND current economic times.

    My gut IS telling me to tough this out as long as I can. Several times I have threatened to myself to quit, however, I am not going to end up like my mother who had a stroke at 59 AT WORK as she was a workaholic. I'm 51 so am caught between a rock and hard place, but refuse to be in that position that my job kills me, or makes me disabled.

    If you quit and got to a job where you are happy and make even more money, or God forbid less, you ARE a winner. I am trying to consider options so I'm in that categorie
  62. Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes: I trace some of it to the idea that "you don't have to know what the group does, just how to manage." My best managers were also good at what we did. When new managers were being groomed to rise but had little idea of how/what we did, they were a disaster because we lost the chance for innovation and grow.

    I was a lousy manager because I either didn't have the time or didn't make the time to tutor and listen to my staff and could not explain to upper management why their decisions and policies were negatively affecting my staff. I had always encouraged my staff to look at better jobs/positions and usually lost my worse performers (except lost one who worked harder, had passion and was way smarter than I). Being a poor manager, I retired.
  63. S Kimmel from Toronto, Canada writes: Poor management hires more poor managers.
  64. Court Fooks from Pender Island, Canada writes: Well there does seem to be a lot anti-management sentiment out there. I have been self employed for the last 20 plus years and have often found myself working for larger corporations as a contractor. essentially when the work ends or is completed , I leave. In working this way I have observed the following: -many managers are just as confused as line staff on corporate vision, focus, purpose, direction - most line staff never approach managers with their concerns - as an outsider I was often approached by the line staff I supervised with their issues and interceded for them with their managers - this is not all about manager incompetence, its' largely about human beings working together with different agenda's - I witnessed the Peter Principle many times where the system pushes people to one level above their level of competence I don't have any solutions for this, the workplace has become a very complicated situation over time. Maybe if people would remember the "other" side is people just like them a lot of hard feelings and anxiety would go away. I honestly don't think I have ever encountered a manager who was a "psycopath" but I have meet many who were stressed out their skulls for very human reasons, just like their staff. Maybe practicing good old fashion listening skills would fix some of this...
  65. Philip Elliott from Toronto, Canada writes: I love Graem Blair's comment;

    Ah managers. It's the Peter principle folks, always has been. Oh and BTW, the truly incompetent never realize they are.

    Could NEVER be one and DON'T WANT to be one!!
  66. garth mckenzie from Canada writes: Labour law is part of the problem. People are good at their jobs. They get promoted. And they keep getting promoted until they reach their level of incompetence, where they ruin it for everyone.

    Eliminate the "constructive dismissal" part of labour law so that an employer can bust a person back to the job they were good at. And then promote someone who might be better.

    Part of what frustrates employees is that they feel they are stuck in an organization where good people leave for better opportunities and the opportunists stay and end up in management.

    If I had to give a reason for leaving any job: Lack of light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
  67. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: I find that most people are loathe to admit that pay is a deciding factor. But it usually is. Nobody wants to come out and say, "I'm in it for the money." But at the end of the day, that's the clincher. Money. You can poll people all you want, and they'll always say job satisifaction, opportunity for advancement, co-workers, respectful workplace, are all more important than money. But if there's more money somewhere else, all those things take a back seat. This is where surveying, questionaires, and focus groups are downright misleading. People like to mislead themselves - and others - into thinking they don't value money. But their behavior says otherwise.
  68. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Theo Zivo from Canada:

    I agree a manager's job to set the tone. They can encourage an atmosphere of trust and cooperation.

    Dedication is something that comes from within. It's not something that comes from a manager.

    A manager can only utilize better training if there is money in the budget to do so. Most managers don't set the budget.

    Our society has devolved to a point where it is extremely difficult to fire incompetent workers.

    In my experience when a worker is performing poorly it is rarely due to their manager. Usually it's the worker themselves that is the problem.

    Whether they are lazy, technically deficient, bad people skills, being chronically late with their work...whatever the issue ultimately each worker is responsible for their own work.

    I agree with Jack Welsh in that a good manager will let the bottom 10% of their employees know they are the bottom 10%. Too often incompetent workers believe they are doing a good job.

    If a craftsman's tools are broken and don't work he is correct to blame them; and then he should get new tools.

    Unfortunatley firing people and hiring replacements is often viewed as a bad thing by many.
  69. Theo Zivo from Canada writes: Rick, much of what you say is bang-on. Dedication and drive is something that comes from within. Thing is, every employee starts with the best of intentions. Often it's through mis-management and poor decisions that the employee realizes that dedication and drive isn't rewarded. It's never enough; the bar continually gets raised to the employee always falls short, no matter how hard or how effective they may work. So the internal motivation is snuffed out of them. (This usually starts to happen about the 3-month mark, and within 30 days of the most recent performance review.) And, yes, there are people who are lazy. If a manager is saddled with such employees, then clearly HR isn't doing their job. Other things, though, are directly a manager's responsibility. A chronically late employee? First, find out why. Do they just have trouble getting out of bed in the morning? Or are they caring for elderly parents, or managing toddlers and day-care issues? If their skills are deficient, train them. Is the manager's budget too meagre to get the desired results? Then the manager hasn't been able to make a case to have the budget set at a reasonable level. Does the incompetent worker know that they are incompetent? If not, that too is the manager's responsibility. They - manager and employee - need to work on a rational plan to bring competence up to an acceptable level. Firing people for non-performance should always be a last resort, because it simply takes so much time and energy and expense to bring people up to a level of competence. (However, firing people for cause, like theft or harassment or similar, is another issue entirely.) Point is, there are a lot of ways a good manager can make a tremendous positive difference in both his organization and in the lives of his employees. But he has to make that choice - he has to take responsibility for himself and his work environment. Anything else is an abrogation of his responsibility.
  70. Theo Zivo from Canada writes: Frig... double-spacing vanished again... jeez, I hate that.
  71. Paul Lalonde from Canada writes: Knew this already. Been working 12 years now - public sector, private sector, start-ups, big firms. One thing is generally true (and unfortunate): potential for upward mobility is directly proportional to narcissism.

    And look at management's five points: they assume people are only motivated to find more money and less work. They just don't get it.

    Didn't need a survey to tell me this.
  72. Cindy Gordon from Thornhill, Canada writes: Management can hear the reasons a person is leaving and interpret it differently so it's not a reflection of them. True leaders leave their ego at the door and create a caring, supportive environment that welcomes honest communication from the leaders down AND the staff up. Considering research shows only about 11% of the workforce is highly engaged, one would think that management would be looking at the financial reprecussions of this. If a person is making $70,000 and not fully engaged, at least 20 - 30% of their salary can be going toward inefficiencies and low motivation. In other words, money going down the drain.

    What is the wake-up call for leaders? How do we as a society get mid and upper management to open their eyes to the reality of what their employees are feeling? I believe it's creating a society that encourages people to acknowledge and act upon their personal core values (e.g. respect, compassion, adventure) and encourage others to do the same. Imagine if more leaders and managers were dealing with their staff from their heart (core values strategies) instead of their head (bottom line focused strategies). What a difference the work place would be?
  73. Grampa Canuck from Belleville, ON, Canada writes: Because of organizations running "lean and mean", managers no longer manage staff, but only have time and energy for "manging up". Their time and energy is devoted to satisfying the requirements of those above them, with no time or energy to effectively interact with their staff and to provide effective, personal leadership, mentoring, etc.
  74. Maria Stewart from Victoria, Canada writes: I think the number 1 reason is very hard to deal with because I think everyone in a leadership position believes they are doing the right and ethical thing.

    How many people can really objectively evaluate how their actions are perceived? And, more challenging, how easy is it for people to change, if change is necessary? I think it may go under the category of the truly saintly to be able to do both.
  75. Ryan Colburn from Canada writes: Ever worked in a union where you and your coworker on the same pay level (union wage standard), and no matter if you are 100 times the employee they are, you can't get a raise and they can't get a decrease? Very frustrating
  76. Cowtown Chick from Canada writes: Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: I find that most people are loathe to admit that pay is a deciding factor. But it usually is. Nobody wants to come out and say, "I'm in it for the money." But at the end of the day, that's the clincher. Money.

    ----

    I've left 1 job and stated that was the reason why. I was about to quit another but my company matched the offer instead. :)
  77. A M from Canada writes: I recently left
    and the reason was simple

    senior management didn't have the guts to tell him himself that the promotion discussion with him was cancelled

    he had to be asked by my manager after she came back from vacation what was going on. and then she had to tell me

    and then several "promises" after that were broken as well
    do people really have to say "I promise" to do something? (btw I waited 6 months before accepting a new position so it wasn't a knee jerk reaction)
  78. Mississauga Tattler from Mississauga obviously, Canada writes: Having spent 30 years working for some of the largest and most successful corporations, and working my way up to the top executive level, I can confirm, without a doubt, that the workers' perspective in the article is much more realistic than the managers' list, except I would swap items 2 and 4.

    Leadership is ALL about trust, honesty, integrity, ethics and respect. Unfortunately, these often get sacrificed for expediency, politics, or self-interest and self-advancement too many times. The Peter Principle is sadly too often true, which leads to further misjudgements in leadership.

    As for who is responsible, I also have no doubt that the "buck stops here" principle applies - the people higher up are responsible - that is why they are paid. The problem is that we fail to hold accountable those who are responsible. This can be seen in our current economic troubles.
  79. Le Penguin Guru from Canada writes: Yeah right, a recruiting firm will certainly try to shift the blame :)
  80. Peter Fulton from Canada writes: I have a saying which is 'blame the layer above'.

    That's not to say we cannot ourselves be to blame, but rather when you clearly have a bad/incompetent manager, remember there's someone above them who has allowed that to happen and every day validates their actions by accepting its continued existence.

    Yes, THEY are the ones doing the really bad job...which of course brings us to the question of THEIR superior...
  81. Did you Know Canada?!? from Canada writes: Celine Brown from Canada writes: Did you know, what a silly comment. It sounds like something out of a Tony Robbins self-help book.

    Celine, could you explain why it is a silly comment?

    I have travelled to over 25 countries and Canada is one of the most beautiful countries to live in. There are lots of unappreciative whiners out there. I was kind of targeting them. :)
  82. Winston Churchill from London, Canada writes: Mike: Disciplined for not being conducting business in accordance with a manual you aren't allowed to read.

    Priceless.

    Dilbert principle yes, but also Parkinsons many principles of bureaucratic malfunction. Peter principle. Catch 22. These things all exist!

    I think Mike, for example, was Catch 22'd.
  83. M K from Halifax, Canada writes: In my opinion the article presents some very valid data. From my own experience I recently quit a very good high paying job as VP because the dictatorial CEO was running the company into the dirt based on his misguided ego. The share price confirmed this opinion! The plebes that catered to him stayed on because they could not get a job elsewhere and because so little was expected of them except for the occasional sycophantic song and dance. There are many reasons for these data to be valid: Firstly, the managers see the issues as something largely beyond their personal control. This is cowardly and a very sad comment on the quality of managerial respondents. Secondly, many recent surveys have shown that salary considerations have been shifting down the scale in importance with regards to job satisfaction. They are generally only critical to those people on the "financial edge", and this would be, statistically, a small portion of the sample (or entire) population. Or the morally bankrupt who tend to focus on money as well but more so on how to avoid doing work while still collecting it (e.g., federal govt. employees). With regards to some of the bizarre comments here. One can only hope that these "managers" (wannabes or otherwise) will inevitable fall victim to their own incompetence and narcissism. So far the "recession" is doing a pretty good job exorcising the fat. Too bad some of the good meat gets cut as well. I think it is a pain worth suffering to get things on track.
  84. Le Penguin Guru from Canada writes: The survey was made by a recruiting firm, sometimes called head hunters :). Basically they say, we didnt lure em away with great offers, they left because their manager was an idiot :)

    Very impartial.
  85. Anton Berger from Dawson City, Canada writes: it has been said before by other posters that bad/incompetent management is endemic to our culture. I agree wholeheartedly!

    while I have worked for some good managers in the past, I find they are getting fewer and fewer as they retire. I've even worked for some great managers, they tend to get forced out by upper management. the culture today is that workers are lowly serfs who must by constantly browbeaten by managerial overlords.

    far too often, I've seen good, competent workers become disillusioned slackers because of the work environment. how can someone take responsibility for their job when they are arbitrarily punished for overstepping their bounds? workers are expected to work, not think. they are discouraged from taking pride in their work by managers who only expect them to labour. but let's face it, if managers were in the slightest bit competent, they'd be doing the work, instead of lording themselves over the poor schmuck who is!

    managers like to blame the workers for being incompetent or lazy. but the basic rule that should be followed here is the old saw: "if everyone else is the problem in your eyes, then YOU are the problem". (Rick C from Calgary - are you paying attention?)
  86. Joe M from Canada writes: In the public sector not enough people quit.
  87. Wide Awake from Canada writes: I joined the federal government in Ottawa mid-career and spent six years as a senior policy analyst. The pay and benefits were fine (they try hard to stay competitive as they know private sector usually pays better) but my biggest issue was around holidays.

    In my previous employment, I was up to 5 weeks per year in holidays but with the feds, even if you are joining with significant work experience, you are only allowed 3 weeks. I would have had to stay for 19.5 years to get back to five weeks a year.

    I decided life is too short and moved on. I think if this had been addressed, I would have stayed. Instead, all the investment of training and experience on various national boards, etc. left with me.
  88. Timber Wolf from Richmond BC, Canada writes: Just got back from my morning shift, and I must say that most posts illuminate a central problem inflicting society today: we would rather fix blame than a problem.
  89. Craig Schiller from Toronto, writes: Out of all the jobs I've ever had, the ones where I was the happiest were, without exception, the ones where I felt like I was trusted, valued and respected as an employee and as a person.

    This was true regardless of whether I was making as much money as I'd have liked, and regardless of whether I was working in my field or in a temporary job to tide me over when the opportunities in my field were proving elusive. No amount of money could possibly make it worth being treated unfairly, and even a "career job" can be unbearably awful if the workplace culture is a mess.
  90. Maria Stewart from Victoria, Canada writes: Hey Timber Wolf you just did the very thing you're railing against! Whoo hoo!
  91. Red Storm Shadow from Vancouver, Canada writes: The reason I gave for quitting my last job was about money - I had a better offer. However, I went looking for a better offer because I work in a demanding field and my boss was unsupportive, did not listen to me, did not address my concerns and showed no appreciation for my work. It's true when they say that you don't quit a job, you quit a boss.

    This is not a rant against management, as I am a manager. It's just that not all managers possess great people management skills.
  92. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Anton Berger from Dawson City:

    Blow it out your pie hole.

    I'm not in management; at least not yet. My observations come from being a worker.

    You say you've seen good, competent workers become disillusioned slackers because of the work environment.

    I call bullsh!t. I work with some who are exceptional at their jobs and some are flat out sh!tty.

    The slackers aren't slackers because they are disillusioned. They are slackers because that is who they have been their entire life.

    They are the people who say there work is 'good enough' because they don't want to take the time to dot the i's and cross the t's. For them 'close enough' is good enough.

    You say "if managers were in the slightest bit competent, they'd be doing the work, instead of lording themselves over the poor schmuck who is!"

    Again I call bullsh!t. I have yet to meet a manager who didn't start out doing what the 'poor schmucks' under them do and most don't get promoted because they are techincally incompetent.

    In fact most managers I've worked with are the opposite; very technically competent.

    Then again I'm an engineer so I do get work with a lot of intelligent people.
  93. Comments closed, censored, hidden, deleted, disappeared from Peso-onie land, Canada writes: Maria Stewart from Victoria, Canada writes: "I think the number 1 reason is very hard to deal with because I think everyone in a leadership position believes they are doing the right and ethical thing." --- Maria, in my experience, the very last thing "people in a leadership position" care about, in our society, is "doing the right and ethical thing". ----- They care about moving ahead, they very much care about being on a fast track, they care about making more money, they care about having visibility, they care about being perceived as someone so very exceptional... etc. etc. etc... which leaves them with not even one half second in a century to even consider whether they are doing the right and ethical thing or not. -- Just look around and see the results, more and more obvious as the days go by!
  94. Does The Work from Canada writes: Years ago when I was asked to consider a mangement position my first question was,"what kind of automomy do I have within the scope of the position?". The manager who was conducting the interview was perturbed that I was questioning established corporate methods which were draconian (1979) then and truly haven't changed much during the interum. I did accept another offer in 1983 to a 18 month "temp" position. I progressed from that temp position to a full time position. The manager conducting the 2nd interview was much more open and answered my questions honestly and with conviction. That alone was the decidinng factor to accept the position. Integrity , trust, mutual respect are key. Money while a consideration is usually not a " make or break" factor.
  95. Arch Stanton from Canada writes: 1. Lack of trust in senior leaders
    2. Insufficient pay
    3. Unhealthy/undesirable culture
    4. Lack of honesty/integrity/ethics
    5. Lack of opportunity for training and

    Wow....All five reasons fit Toyota, so I quit.
  96. j berniquer from ontario, Canada writes: The 'push-pull' effect cannot work when corporations try to 'suck and blow' at the same time. Corporations operate strictly by the balance sheet in today's economic world. I fully agree with Happily Retired on this board. Corporate culture regarding social and workforce responsibility is a mere front to maximizing output with the least resources. Globalization has opened the door to outsourcing of labour and relocation of capital. The reality is that power is polarized around the select few in the corporate structure and once this happens, middle people and labour become heavy liabilities instead of assets. So why invest?
  97. alan smithee from Canada writes: George BrownIII from Christmas Island writes: Winners never quit, quitters never win.

    Ummmmmm, yeah.......like Bill Gates who quit Harvard......whatever happened to that poor quitter?
  98. Ken Woodwords from Ottawa, Canada writes: Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: "In fact most managers I've worked with are the opposite; very technically competent. Then again I'm an engineer so I do get work with a lot of intelligent people. "

    I have observed over the years that being technically competent is not necessarily a sufficient condition for being a good manager. In my technology company people were promoted within with all the technical knowledge but only very few had the personality to deal with people issues and managing large projects.
  99. Howard Hawks from Toronto, Canada writes: So, where is the action? Publish results are great, but what's next? I have not seen any suggestion in the article. And, by the way, managers, again, showed they are full of sh***t.
  100. Sharon Docherty from Canada writes: Another 'REAL DEAL' on why some people quit is for deceitful reasons. They leave innocent employers without any idea of what is going on, then proceed to make false claims to EI about being fired so they can sit at home and collect benefits. So before fellow posters get annoyed with my comment please consider all your hard working dollars that are spent on supporting many of these people who never get caught.

    The story doesn't necessarily end there, they then proceed to worm their way through the next system called the Ontario Ministry of Labour which appears to be rife with biased staff that feel no matter what any employee does or says it must be the truth and they then gain more money from the employers for their deceipt.

    Most of us would never dream of doing such things but each and every one of us is paying for these people every day out of our honest hard earned pay. I have met some of these people. Believe me they do exist, the government simply doesn't want us to know about them.
  101. Jeremy Walker from Vancouver, Canada writes: This is an excellent and timely topic. I work in Vancouver's software industry where I have seen morale become a very serious issue that has caused a big portion of the turn over rate.

    It's critical that senior leaders recognize the value in soliciting honest feedback from their employees, especially those who are passionate about seeing positive change.

    Senior leaders cannot solve all these problems alone. Breakthroughs will only take place when individual employees muster the courage and integrity to speak up when something isn't right and offer to become part of the solution.

    There are techniques that anyone can use to make their own workplace better. Even if you aren't a boss. One of the better techniques I've come across is called The Core Protocols (http://coreprotocols.org). It's actually a collection of simple recipes that you can use to create shared vision and achieve great results through collaborative teamwork.

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