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Last Updated : Apr 20, 2019 09:09 AM IST | Source:

People really do quit because of their bosses, or sometimes follow them

It is a common phenomenon for employees to join rival organisations if they are influenced by their reporting manager

M Saraswathy @maamitalks
Representative image
Representative image

When Harish Banker quit his bank to join another financial services firm, six of his reporting team members also resigned from the company to join him.

This was a big blow to the firm which was already facing high rates of attrition. While the human resources team tried to retain the staff members by offering higher pay, none of them relented.

Their argument was that Banker was their mentor when they joined the team and they were only repaying the loyalty to the individual.


In HR parlance, a phrase that is often repeated is that people leave managers and not companies. While not everyone may agree, it is a fact that a company’s brand ambassador for a new joinee is often the manager s/he reports to.

How long an individual works for a company, is also a by-product of how their equation is with the manager.

You don’t need a boss like Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada to leave a job. They could, in fact, be an immense influencer in employee career decisions. So much so that employees quit en masse to follow their reporting manager. Especially if the employee has been hired by this person.

To prevent senior managers from poaching employees when they quit jobs, companies have contracts that prevent poaching staff for a fixed period.

However, HR lawyers say that it is very difficult for companies to prove it in court that a said employee was poached by a former team member.

HR managers see these practices as a violation of non-compete clauses. But unless an employee has signed a contract that prevents them from joining a rival organisation, no legal action can be taken.

There is also a grey area if a team manager decides to quit and set up a new venture altogether. Startups are known to begin with one business idea and quickly pivot if the venture is not successful.

Here, the non-compete clause, that is usually is valid for 12-18 months, is no longer valid.

More than finding a good cultural fit in a new organisation, finding a manager who motivates and strengthens the team is a difficult task.

Hence, it comes as no surprise that each employee's longevity in a company is also directly proportional to who their boss is.

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First Published on Apr 20, 2019 09:09 am
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