63% of People With Bad Managers Plan To Quit Within Next Year: Report


Burnout may be the top reason managers are driving away their team members, says study.

Multiple studies have showed that a significant number of employees are planning to quit their jobs this year.

The Predictive Index recently surveyed over 1,900 employees from more than 15 industries to understand the reason behind their consideration and whether managers contributed to their decision to stay or leave. The People Management ReportOpens a new window also tried to identify which return-to-work strategies were faring better for employee engagement and retention. The following are a few key insights.

Also read: 59% Hourly Employees Cite Lack of Schedule Empowerment the Top Reason for Quitting

1. Nearly Half of Respondents Have Thought of Changing Careers

The study found that almost half the respondents (48%) had considered changing careers within the last year. For employees, the Great ResignationOpens a new window is not just about quitting; it is an opportunity to strike off on something new. Of those who thought of changing careers in the past, 57% plan to do so in the next 12 months. Physical safety may not be the concern. When asked whether employees from certain industries like restaurants and retail feel comfortable working in an office or on-site from a health and safety perspective, 79% said yes. And this percentage has been consistent across industries.

Do people feel comfortable working in an office or on-site from a health and safety perspective?
Source: People Management ReportOpens a new window

So, what is the reason for contemplating quitting?

2. Nearly Two-Thirds of Employees With Bad Managers Plan To Quit

According to the survey, about 65% of respondents rated their managers good or “world-class”. Only 13% felt their managers were not-so-great or terrible. But the interesting fact is that of those who said their managers were not-so-great or terrible, 63% considered quitting in the next year. Further, of the respondents with “bad managers”, about 70% said their team members were planning to move out of the team or company.

So, what is causing managers to drive their people away? According to the study, it could be due to burnout. About 36% of respondents agreed that their managers seemed burned out. Of those who felt their managers experienced burnout, 58% considered quitting. Moreover, when managers feel burned out, their teams are far more likely to feel burned out.

The study further found that employees with good managers are more likely to say their companies are helping them adjust to change. Managers play an important role in change management. Among the people who said they have good managers, 78% also believed their organizations are helping them cope with the change. For respondents with bad managers, that number dropped to 43%.

3. Disconnect Between How People Work and How They Want to Work Exists

The study asked the respondents two questions:

  • What best describes your ideal work situation?
  • What best describes your actual work situation?

While about 60% work almost entirely in the office or on-site, only 49% want to do so. While 26% want to split time between the office and remote work, only 16% can do it.

4. Tech Industry Is Most Likely To Adapt a Permanent Remote/Hybrid Model

While all industries plan to leverage remote or hybrid models, the technology/telecom industry is most likely to adopt a full or part-time remote working model (68%). This is closely followed by real estate (67%) and sports and entertainment (56%). Education is the least likely industry to adopt this model (28%).

Industries most likely and least likely to adopt a permanent hybrid or remote model
Source: People Management ReportOpens a new window

Also read: Fair Pay Perception and Transparency Have Strong Correlation With Employee Churn: Payscale Study

5. Individual Contributors Are Least Engaged

The study found that individual contributors are the least engaged, followed by managers. In fact, only 67% of respondents said they felt engaged. Good managers address disengagement by taking charge. When asked what their managers do to boost team morale, among those with good managers, 40% said they “lead by example”. These include even simple gestures like taking time off or logging out on time, which have a ripple effect on team members.

People who agree they feel engaged in their current role
Source: People Management ReportOpens a new window

6. Employees Value Confidence in Their Managers

What is the top skill employees value in their managers? According to the study, 33% of respondents ranked confidence as the most important managerial skill. This was followed by communication (30%) and honesty (28%). People want certainty and clarity about how they are allowed to work, what is expected of them, and what lies for them in the future. All these take confidences at a managerial level. Further, a manager should be able to communicate it to them and do so honestly.

While communication was the second most-desired managerial skill, it was also the top skill most respondents felt managers lacked. When asked to select the top three skills managers lacked, 18% cited communication, 17% cited “drives team morale,” and 17% said “asks for feedback”. In fact, lack of communication was even more pronounced among those with burned-out managers. Of those respondents whose managers hadn’t burned out, only 12% said effective communication was a skill their managers lacked. However, this number jumped to 25% among respondents with burned-out managers.

Top 5 skills managers lack
Source: People Management ReportOpens a new window

7. Good Managers Utilize Behavioral or Personality Assessments More Frequently

The study wanted to explore how to reinvent managerial style in these times of change. Respondents were presented with a list of talent optimization practices and asked to select those for which the organization leverages behavioral or personality assessment. A significant number of companies use behavioral assessments. However, that number became more pronounced among respondents with good managers than those with bad managers.

Do organizations use a behavioral or personality assessment for the following scenarios?
Source: People Management ReportOpens a new window

Also read: Organizations Struggle To Hire as Job Openings Soar: Quarterly Recruitment Outlook Survey

Why It Matters

As organizations strive to engage and retain employees, managers become a key factor. Two primary insights come out of the study. The first one is manager burnout, which is affecting them and their teams. Employee burnout is a serious issue and has only become worse. According to Indeed’s recent studyOpens a new window , 52% of respondents are experiencing burnout this year compared to 43% in a pre-COVID-19 survey. As a manager, it may be tempting to push through burnout. However, it can have detrimental effects. If unaddressed, it could affect both manager effectiveness and lead to employees quitting.

The second one is a manager’s qualities and skills. In these testing times, people look toward their managers for clarity. They trust managers who are confident, communicate well, and are being honest. Even according to a Zety studyOpens a new window , honesty, confidence, and interpersonal skills ranked in the top ten traits of a good manager. Further, they need to show empathy at the workplace as employees are placing a premium on it. Being supportive of team members ranked in the top five traits in the Zety study. As such, both organizations and managers will have to actively work on improving these skills to gain employee confidence.

Building trust and communication and showing empathy can reduce attrition and help teams achieve their goals with greater confidence.

How can organizations help managers avoid burnout and improve their skills? Share with us on LinkedInOpens a new window , FacebookOpens a new window , and TwitterOpens a new window .