From The Desk of Brad Smart
Top 10 Reasons People Quit Jobs

According to the Wall Street Journal, in March of 2022 a record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs and 11.5 million jobs were not filled. That means that there are roughly two jobs available for everyone who quits. Why in the world are these numbers so high? An SHRM article, written by employment attorneys, shares 10 reasons employers are sued by employees, which can also be assumed may be the top 10 reasons people quit their jobs.

Most of the “10 reasons” make sense to me. The Great Resignation has shown that the pandemic has made more visible just how terrible companies are at hiring and promoting managers. And made more visible just how terrible a LOT of managers are. Which suggests that a lot of companies are terrible at hiring and promoting managers. Here are the (abbreviated) reasons, with my two bits thrown in:

  1. Boss doesn’t listen
    My take: manager was a bad hire
  2. I had no idea I was failing
    My take: manager was a bad hire – opportunities for development should be discussed pro-actively and efficiently 
  3. Co-workers gossiped about me
    My take: The company culture was toxic
  4. Employer said bad things in reference checks
    My take: unlikely; most companies don’t allow managers to take reference calls
  5. Others got away with same thing 
    My take: if true, manager was a bad hire, very unfair
  6. Rude co-workers
    My take: manager was a bad hire – should not permit rudeness
  7. Boss was a jerk 
    My take: Jerks are mis-hires
  8. Retaliation for my complaining
    My take: CEO should monitor and not permit
  9. I couldn’t explain why I got fired – my manager didn’t communicate any grievances
    My take: authors’ recommendation that companies lie by making up a ‘reasonable’ excuse is dishonest
  10. Discrimination
    My take: every CEO must be sure every manager learns and adheres to EEOC guidelines, but no excuses – managers are bad hires if they discriminate

Topgrading companies rarely experience bad managerial hires. Here’s how: 

  1. Truth Motivator.  All candidates know a final step in hiring is for them to arrange reference calls with bosses. This “Truth Motivator” causes low performers, with hype in their resumes, to drop out. Candidates okay with this step tend to be honest and high performers. As such, they admit mistakes and failures and show a pattern of maximizing strengths and overcoming weaker points. Their honesty reveals flaws in their leadership style.
  2. The in-depth, chronological Topgrading Interview covers 10 major questions about every job. The candidate, because of the Truth Motivator, explains their leadership style, strengths, and weaker points, and predicts how their managers will rate their performance. Those predictions are extremely accurate since they do not want to “guess” if a boss would rate them Excellent if they know that isn’t true.
  3. After all the interviews, candidates arrange calls with their managers and a couple of peers and direct reports – the very best verification imaginable of what they said in interviews.

These hiring methods make it crystal clear how effective managers are at listening, explaining goals and accountabilities, and creating a climate of personal support and civility, where rudeness, discrimination, gossip, and being a “jerk” are inconceivable.

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