A team of CCL researchers looked at the importance of support from the organization and from the boss in why employees want to stay with their company or go somewhere else. They also looked at how different combinations of that support factor enter into employee’s decision.
The findings are described in the report Absence of Support Makes the Heart Wander: Why People Want to Leave (or Stay With) Their Organization. Here, a few key points.
Support from Both the Organization and the Boss Is Important
Managers who were the least likely to leave their organization, the most committed to their organization and the most satisfied with their job, were the ones who felt the highest levels of support from both their organization and boss.
Managers most likely to leave their organization, have the least amount of commitment to their organization, and the lowest amount of satisfaction with their job were the ones who felt the lowest levels of support from their organization and boss.
This was true for first-level managers and middle-level managers.
No real surprise with these findings — people who feel supported are committed, satisfied, and want to stay. People who don’t feel supported are not committed, dissatisfied, and likely to go.
Which Matters More? Varies by Level
For first-level managers, one source of support is no more important than the other.
First-level managers reported about the same levels of turnover, commitment, and satisfaction if they had high levels of support from the boss and low levels of support from their organization, or vice versa. No one source of support is more important than the other for first-level managers; they need to feel they are supported by both their boss and organization.
For middle-level managers, it’s a different story: Level of support from their boss matters much less than the level of support from the organization.
If there is little-felt organizational support, it doesn’t matter how supportive the boss is. Middle-level managers are going to be less committed to their organization, less satisfied with their jobs, and more likely to say they intend to leave for another opportunity.
The other side of this finding is that middle-level managers with an unsupportive boss can still feel committed to their organization, satisfied with their jobs, and unlikely to leave — as long as they feel support from their organization.
For more, read the full report, Absence of Support Makes the Heart Wander: Why People Want to Leave (or Stay With) Their Organization.