Executives Opting Out

Anecdotal evidence from employers we talk to suggests more senior managers are more aggressively looking for personal recognition rather than monetary compensation. Canadian-based leadership consultants, the Herman Group, report quickening of similar trend in North America.
“People are carefully analysing how they feel about their work and sometimes making dramatic career decisions,” says Roger Herman.
His prediction of new trend is based on an increase in the number of managers they survey who complain their work is “no longer meaningful to them”.
And instead of remaining in their jobs “unhappily fulfilling their daily responsibilities” these people are “heading for the door”. Interestingly, “the folks we’re hearing about are at executive and management levels” but Herman thinks the trend could “reach further into the organisation”.
Senior and mid-level executives say they don’t feel they get enough support from top management for the work they do. And they don’t feel they can continue in their jobs when “their heart isn’t in it”. Some go so far as to suggest that to stay would, in their minds, “be like committing fraud”, which sounds tad extreme.
“What caught our attention,” says Herman, “is that these dedicated professionals have no other jobs to go to. They are just quitting, with the assumption that the right opportunity will come along.
“This behaviour is something we might expect in strong economy, not weak one with fewer opportunities on the horizon,” he adds. What’s driving these decisions? “Values. The people we’ve talked with have been very clear that they will not stay in work environment where they are not comfortable. If their work is not appreciated, they will leave rather than continue in an environment that is inconsistent with what they believe in.”
Herman also says several of the people he talked to are senior human resource executives who “don’t feel their company is supporting the employees appropriately”.
The shift may be groundswell movement of workers and managers based on what is important to them, rather than what is important for the employer, he adds.

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