Employee turnover is one of the biggest nightmares of employers. It can be a costly and frustrating reality for any business. But while many companies focus on improving overall company culture or offering more benefits to retain their talents, the real reason employees leave may surprise you: it’s not the company; it’s the manager

In this article, we’ll discuss managers’ crucial role in employee retention and satisfaction. We’ll also provide actionable tips managers can adopt to improve employee engagement and reduce turnover.

The Real Reason Employees Leave: It's Not The Company, It's The Manager

Why Employees Leave The Manager, Not The Company

Managers are employees’ most vital connection to the management. Therefore, it would be best not to underestimate a manager’s influence on the employees. According to Gallup, managers influence 70% of a team’s engagement.

Due to this level of influence, managers can either help a company succeed or make the company fall behind. Managers either inspire the teams to better engagement and performance or turn the teams into enemies of the company. Poor management yields poor outcomes, while excellent management yields outstanding outcomes. Below are highlights of some issues that cause employees to leave the managers and not the company:

Poor Communication

The inability of managers to effectively communicate with their teams creates many issues that could be avoided. According to GrowthForce, 91% of quiet quitters say they could be motivated to work harder. Thus, if these quiet quitters are led by managers that prioritize communicating with their teams, they would have quickly noticed when the employees started to lose motivation and work towards rectifying the problem.

Lack of Feedback And Praise

Employees want to know how they are doing. Managers are uniquely positioned to give them this feedback as they work much more closely together with their teams.. Managers who adopt the constructive criticism method are more likely to retain employees than one who outrightly condemns. Embracing the condemnation method makes the employees defensive. They may also feel overly attacked by the one person they thought should initially be their support system. It should, however, be noted that fear doesn’t work anymore; intrinsic motivation does.


Micromanagement fosters a sense of distrust, disdain, and underappreciation and can force employees to leave a manager. When a manager exhibits excessive control, employees may believe that their abilities and experience aren’t valued. They may feel that their manager does not trust them to do their job, leading to a lack of autonomy and creativity.

A micromanaging boss may also make employees feel as though they have little room for growth, which can lower their motivation and engagement. Employees may become demotivated under such a leader and believe they can’t make judgments for the organization if their manager is always peering over their shoulders and second-guessing their choices.

Absence of Growth And Development Opportunities

As the world continues to change and evolve, managers must continue to change and grow. They can’t rely on yesterday’s skill sets to solve today’s workplace challenges. Managers who do not focus on developing themselves will see no need why their team should.

Alternatively, employees do not want to be stagnant. When employees feel that there are no opportunities for growth or development in an organization, they may become disengaged and demotivated. They may feel that they are not making progress in their careers or that their skills are not being utilized to their fullest potential. This may eventually lead to high turnover rates as employees seek out opportunities for growth and development elsewhere.

How To Prevent Employees From Quiet Quitting The Managers

When hiring or promoting individuals to the management level, it is expedient that you evaluate the candidates based on the managerial skills they possess. Can these candidates organize, communicate and motivate teams toward achieving goals? Are they capable of coaching and growing a team? Do they exemplify your organization’s core values?

You can test if they possess these attributes before hiring or promoting them to the managerial level because these individuals will have a direct impact on how your employees feel about your organization.  When managers deeply understand how they’ll utilize their strengths, they can initiate better conversations, produce more outstanding results, and establish higher engagements within their teams.

When managers are intentional about having growth discussions with their team members and helping them to set plans to make it achievable, this shows the employees that their manager genuinely cares about them as an individual outside the four walls of an organization. Managers who do this have not only helped the company grow but also earned the loyalty of their subordinates.

Managers should concentrate on maintaining a favorable work atmosphere and developing strong bonds with their team members. This can include offering opportunities for staff development and advancement, holding regular one-on-one meetings, and maintaining open lines of communication. Additionally, managers should pay attention to any issues or worries that staff members may have, address them, and make an effort to praise and reward hard work.

Final Thoughts

In the ever-changing world of work, a thriving workplace will be powered by modern managers. Responsible managers are more critical now than ever before. By shifting our focus from retaining employees to retaining good managers with great managerial skill sets, we would have made significant progress toward reducing the costly phenomenon of employee turnover.