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WARNING! Managers Are Getting Ready to Quit

By Sammy Courtright, Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer, Ten Spot

by uma


Many professionals, over the course of their careers, may strive to become a manager, seeing it as an important stepping stone to bigger and better things.

The teams of managers at a company are often one of the most important assets a company can have. They roll up their sleeves and dig in to get the job done, they look after employees’ productivity, growth, and professional development, and they are often responsible for keeping the “trains on the track” so to speak in order for a company to move forward and achieve success. 

However, throw in a pandemic, remote work, and a great resignation/reshuffle, etc. and companies may have a recipe for disaster – or at least mass exodus – on their hands. 


Here are some of the reasons why.

Managers are Struggling, and Severely Untrained

Even before the pandemic, a report from 2018 indicated that 59% of managers hadn’t ever had any training on how to manage people. A survey that Ten Spot recently conducted found that this number has jumped by nearly 20%, with 78% of managers saying they need training on how to be better managers, particularly in hybrid and remote work environments. Additionally, nearly half (47%) of managers find it more difficult (26%) or exceptionally more difficult (21%) to manage people remotely. The lack of training has left managers struggling on a daily basis, and when managers struggle, their teams and direct reports struggle as well. 

Managers May Be at the Root of Recent Resignations

Unfortunately, when it comes to manager retention, companies are likely way behind the curve. While our recent survey revealed that 46% of those surveyed said they had a manager that made them want to quit their job, this number increased significantly among the managers that were polled, with 81% saying they had a manager that made them want to quit. When managers were asked to describe the top three management styles of their managers since remote work started, micromanager (27%) and attached (17%) came in third and fourth, preceded by organized (57%) and relaxed (43%).

Too Much, Too Soon

On top of basically joining the workforce for the first time during a pandemic, members of the Gen Z workforce – which is currently made up of 18 to 24 year-olds, say they are already managing people and teams. And it’s not just 20% or 25%, but an astonishing 59% of Gen Z workers already managing people or teams. Unfortunately, Gen Z is currently learning to manage people from managers who openly admit they are in need of manager training. Additionally, Gen Z is the generation most likely to have the most doubts about their current relationship and communication with their managers, as 31% say it’s okay, but could be better, and 19% say they don’t have a good relationship or good communication with their managers.

So, what can you do to make sure that your managers don’t walk out the door? Here are some tips that every company should be considered in the wake of The Great Resignation.

Train Your Managers

First, get a handle on manager training. Figure out when the last time your company provided training for managers was. Conduct an audit to see what percentage of current managers are in need of training. And, finally, make it a priority to get your company managers trained. Whether you bring in a trainer or have someone from the company lead it, make sure it includes a segment on managing remotely vs. managing in person so that managers can feel confident managing their teams and reports no matter what their work situation is.

Engage with Managers you Can’t Afford to Lose

Second, identify which managers might be flight risks, and take action. Companies can get the ball rolling through either a survey or by collecting feedback in a more direct way. Address feedback immediately. It never hurts to ask ‘is there anything we can do to keep you here?’ followed by the reasons why you would like that manager to stay. Come prepared with options so the manager feels like you’ve thought it through and care about their future. 

Don’t Throw People Who Aren’t Ready to be Managers into the Deep End

And finally, don’t throw someone into a management position until they are really ready for it. This has less to do with just making sure someone has had manager training or that they are a certain age and more to do with them possessing a variety of qualities and skills. Assess employees along the lines of gauging their professional and emotional maturity, understanding their ability to handle stress and meet deadlines, and if they have the written and verbal communication skills to be a successful manager.

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