I Quit

A familiar statement, which we all have, either said or heard someone else saying it at-least once in our professional career. People who say they ‘quit’ are those who have made-up their decision of leaving the job and once they actually leave, organizations reactively starts analyzing exit interviews and attrition data to understand the trends and causes of employee turnover.

Leaver’s trend analysis is a reactive act, though an important activity however, it will be more beneficial for the organizations to understand why employees develop ‘intention to leave’, what induces them to reach this decision? Or what are the casus, which triggered this though process?

During my research for this blog I have found several research studies which are, inarguably concluded by researchers that organizational culture have a positive impact on in-role performance and negative impact on employees’ intention to leave the organization (TAŞTAN 2012), i.e. overall organizational culture potentially triggers the employee’s intention to leave.

Another important factor which influences the intention to leave is ‘job satisfaction’ the study concluded that employee with lack of job satisfaction may not perform at the high levels, resulting in detrimental organizational factors. The study further highlighted that employees who are not satisfied with their jobs may consider leaving the organization. (Sales 2015). This research paper indicated eight workplace factors, which influence employee retention such as paysupervisionrewardsoperating proceduresnature of work and communication.

Another study concluded that job satisfaction is inversely associated with the turnover intention and relationship between job satisfaction and employee turnover intention is moderated by satisfaction with the workplace culture (Medina 2012).

Above studies and many other similar research papers are focused on the broader organizational level relationship between turnover intention and job satisfaction however, from the perspective of Organizational Behavior studies one of the key reasons of turnover intention is supervision.

My argument is based the basic Organizational Behavioral model suggested by Robbins, which consists of three levels i.e. Individual LevelGroup Level and finally Organizational System level.

He suggested that as ‘we move from the individual level to the organization system level, we add systematically to our understanding of behavior in organizations. The three basic levels are analogous to building blocks; each level is constructed on the previous level. Group concepts grow out of the foundations laid in the individual’s sections; we overlay structural constraints on the individual and group in order to arrive at the organizational behavior’ (Robbins 1996).

Therefore if we are rally trying to understand the turnover intention, we have to focus our analysis towards the individual level factors influencing turnover intention and the key individual factor here will be the way an employee is being supervised. The relationship between subordinate and supervisor is one of the dominant forces, which can induce the individual to put-a-side, his pay and benefits and lead him/her to a decision to leave the organization in search of a better supervision.

Better supervisor is not just a person with great leadership skills, but what matters in today’s world is how good these supervisors are in demonstrating Emotional Intelligence, as mentioned by Daniel Goleman in his book “what distinguishes great leaders from merely good ones? It isn’t IQ or technical skills, its emotional intelligence: a group of five skills that enables the best leaders to maximize their own and their followers’ performance (Goleman 2015).

These five skills are:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social skills

There is too much to write on this topic and too much to refer, in conclusion I must say that increased focus on developing emotional intelligence with concentration on the above five skills should be the primary aim in our training programs, I am sure you will all agree with me that this is a fundamental ingredient for the recipe of retaining our talent and reduce the ‘turnover intention’ among our key employees.


Goleman, Daniel. “Emotional Intelligence .” In Emotional Intelligence , by Daniel Goleman. New York: Harward Business Review Press, 2015.

Medina, Elizabeth. Job Satisfaction and Employee Turnover Intention: What does Organizational Culture Have To Do With It? . Research Paper, Columbia University , Columbia : Columbia University , 2012.

Robbins, Stephen P. “What is Organizational Behavior.” In Organizational Behavior, by Stephen P. Robbins, 26. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1996.

Sales, Martha Jane. An Examination of Workplace Factors Associated with Job Satisfaction of Generation Y University Professional Sta”. Dissertations, Educational Leadership Program, The Faculty of the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program , Kentucky : Western Kentucky University , 2015.


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