The Business Coach with Laura Murphy: He wants to leave...

Question: “A third person is leaving in as many months from our sales team. I’ve spoken to the manager and he says it’s because they’ve got better offers but I’m not so sure.” Dan

Answer: “There’s a saying that people don’t leave jobs they leave managers. In a lot of cases that’s true but it isn’t necessarily the case.

As companies have cut back on employee costs such as reduced bonus, hours, pay, travel or perks, employees are getting disgruntled as their real income declines whilst cost of living rises. So, although you might think that people would be more cautious about moving in times of uncertainty, if they’re being offered what they think they’re worth in terms of money or prospects then they could well jump ship. So honestly ask yourself whether you’ve got full employee understanding and engagement with any of the cut-backs or “just not-move-forward” steps you’ve taken so you can eliminate that possibility.

So what is it that’s making you suspicious? Is it an issue within the team that you’ve picked up that’s not being managed, or the manager himself? Whatever it is you need evidence upon which to act, not suspicions, and to plan how you are going to approach the issue so that you can be seen as supporting performance improvement rather than laying blame. Arrange exit interviews with those who are leaving. They’re more likely to be honest with you about the work environment than those who stay behind. They should tell you whether something’s going wrong and its cause or it could just be that they really have had better offers. If it’s the latter, then you need to question yourself more closely as to why you’re the doubting Thomas.


Laura Murphy is the founder of mtc2 ltd, a management consultancy, training and coaching company. Laura is an organisation development specialist and business coach. If you have a problem then contact her at [email protected]

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Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality