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The Paradox of Job Satisfaction: When You Can't Blame the Manager for Turnover

Imagine working in a job where you genuinely enjoy the company of your team and hold deep respect for your manager. Everything seems perfect, yet there's a nagging feeling that something is missing. Surprisingly, many people find themselves in such a situation, contemplating a job change despite loving their colleagues and direct management team. In this blog, we'll explore the paradox of job satisfaction and delve into the reasons that lead people to look for new opportunities even when they are content with their team and manager.

All too often we prefer to hang on to the concept that a person leaves their manager, not their organization. While that is the case occasionally, there are equally as many resignations received on the basis of other reasons. One of the most common reasons employees look for new jobs is their desire for personal growth and career advancement. When a team member is meant for 'more', even when a fantastic relationship exists with their team and manager, if no opportunity for an organization to meet their growth needs, they will seek growth elsewhere. An ethically responsible leader and organization will support a person's development, even if it means losing them as an employee. Consequently, labeling and treating someone who seeks growth outside of their team as a "flight risk" will ultimately carry unintended consequences to the organization's long-term reputation.


Other reasons that cause someone to seek employment elsewhere when they genuinely love their team include:

1, Compensation and Benefits: There is and always will be a juxtaposition of salary change that will spark a curiouslity to anyone. For someone who may not track the industry standard, inadvertently discovering it through an inquisition by another company, will plant a seed. Salary differences that impact one's lifestyle, comfort, and/or family experiences will always carry significant weight in the decision to stay or leave an organization even when they genuinely care for their team or their leader.


2. Aligning Values and Culture: If an employee believes that their current organization's values or culture don't align with their own, or if they feel undervalued, unappreciated, or simply not aligned to the organizations direction, it can create a sense of dissonance and is anonther top reason for turnover.


. 3. Burnout and Overwork: When the work burden of the job outweighs the satisfaction derived from the team and manager, employees may consider changing roles to gain a greater work-life balance. As a nurse, and in this current healthcare environment, compassion fatigue may be a leading factor for causing burnout.


4. Desire for New Challenges: The allure of new experiences can be irresistible.


5. Geographical Considerations: Life outside of work often plays a significant role in career decisions, as changes to the family dynamic shift, changes to the work dynamic may be required to shift as well.


6. Unmet Career Goals: Employees may have specific career goals and aspirations that they feel can't be realized within their current organization, even if they enjoy their team and manager.


In a perfect world, employees who love their jobs would never leave. However, various factors can contribute to their decision to explore other opportunities. The paradox of job satisfaction is a complex phenomenon that challenges the imposed assumption that team members leave the leader and not the organization. Challenging the counterintuitive aspects of turnover can reveal deeper complexities that may be commonly rejected by an organization.


Ultimately, people, in fact, can genuinely love their team and manager yet feel compelled to seek new opportunities for a host of personal and professional reasons. It's a reminder that job satisfaction is a combination of various factors, and sometimes even the most positive work relationships are not enough to keep someone in a role that no longer aligns with their evolving needs and aspirations. Rather than negatively blaming turnover being a result of leadership, an organization would be well served to consider the positive implications of heallthy turnover such as having great leaders who has create more leaders, opportunity to adapt to chaning market conditions, gaining new skills/perspective and ideas, cost saving opportunities, and securing an industry reputation as a mentor and advocate for growth. How an organization handles turnover has lasting impact both on their external 'story', and the expereince they create for their internal employees.

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