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Traditionally the start of the New Year heralds an increase in the numbers of new candidate registrations at BCL Legal. It is common place for employees to return to work with a more critical eye and aspire to do something new and different in the New Year.
Perhaps understandably, at this time of year the recruitment press and job sections of news papers and online magazines are filled with articles about finding a new job and discussing people’s reasons for seeking a new job. One such article can be found in the Huffington Post of 2nd January 2016: Huffington Post Link
The headline for the article is the ‘9 things that make good employees quit’ and the premise is that ‘people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers’. According to the article the nine worst things that managers do are:
1) They overwork people
2) They don’t recognise contributions and reward good work
3) They don’t care about their employees
4) They don’t honour their commitments
5) They hire and promote the wrong people
6) They don’t let people pursue their passions
7) They fail to develop people’s skills
8) They fail to engage creativity
9) They fail to challenge people intellectually
The article wraps up with the following summary:
If you want your best people to stay, you need to think carefully about how you treat them. While good employees are as tough as nails, their talent gives them an abundance of options. You need to make them want to work for you.
BCL Legal – opinion
The premise of the article, that ‘people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers’ is a little simplistic and is perhaps aimed at grabbing attention amongst the cluttered online press. That being said, the reasons given are all valid and it is important that employers recognise the importance of good employee management, staff development and job satisfaction.
The legal recruitment market at present is extremely tough and good quality lawyers are hard to come by. Holding on to your best talent by avoiding the ‘negative reasons’ listed in the article is a pre-requisite for business success and so finding ways to engage, develop, and reward your talent should be a priority.
Developing your managers and promoting good management practice will hopefully avoid some of the points above however it will also empower your managers as you are developing them, engaging them and promoting their career – thus heading off some potential problems they may have with their own line manager.
Of course, employees don’t always leave their job for ‘negative reasons’. Many employees, particularly when working in in-house legal departments, move because they have simply outgrown their role. It is well known that in-house legal teams are often relatively small and that there is usually a ‘dead mans shoes’ situation due to the Legal Director/Head of Legal going nowhere soon.
Ambitious in-house lawyers accept they can outgrow their role and so have no qualms about moving employer to progress their career. This is a ‘positive reason’ for moving and often those lawyers who move are very well regarded, well treated and are happy working for their line manager and employer. They have simply progressed to a point where their next role has to be elsewhere.
BCL Legal sees people moving jobs for many reasons however I am happy to say that the vast majority look to move for generally positive reasons. Problems with managers are common however the majority of people simply need a new challenge, need to relocate, require more flexible working, and/or seek to progress their career. They often have no problem with their current employer, its simply that their own criteria for what makes a job relevant and interesting to them has changed.