Why are you quitting?

“People don’t quit a job, they quit a boss” — that’s what they say, isn’t it? Adam Grant and his team put Facebook under the microscope to see what was going on among the company’s employees. And they discovered that the above often-heard claim turns out to be false, at least in its widely accepted sense.

So at Facebook — where Adam Grant, Lori Goler, Janelle Gale, and Brynn Harrington conducted their research — you don’t leave your boss, you leave your job. And for all sorts of reasons: because you don’t enjoy it enough, it doesn’t play to your strengths fully, or it doesn’t leave you with much of a private life. But who is actually responsible if your job bores you to death in a million different ways? It’s your boss. In reality, debunking this claim is difficult because it’s not a straightforward yes/no question.

The hypothesis put forward by the authors is simple. Most managers draw up a job description then hire profiles who fit the bill: the structure comes first, then the resources. But top bosses, the ones who retain their stars over the long term, create positions especially for them. Grant et al. estimated that 31% of the employees who stayed at Facebook found their work enjoyable; 33% used their potential to the max; and 37% were confident they were acquiring the skills they needed to develop their careers.

The researchers suggest that jobs should be designed to suit individuals with three goals in mind: allow your employees to do work they enjoy; help them build on their strengths; and carve a path of professional development that is in line with their personal priorities.

 

Learn more :

Why People Really Quit Their Jobs by Lori GolerJanelle GaleBrynn Harrington, and Adam Grant (HBR January 2018).