Why Competent and Really Good People Leave Their Employers?


Efren Alvarez Galapon
Manager, Corporate Qualtiy, Health & Safety, Environment
Mobile Business Company Ltd.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Mobile: +966 54 805 46 15
Email: efren.a.galapon@gmail.com

Today, June 1, 2013, our Government/Public Relations Officer, Abdullah, came to the office at 5:00 p.m. to hand-write his resignation letter then submit it to this author—his supervisor.

Why do competent and really good people, like Abdullah, leave their employers?

why competent people leave

Abdullah is one of the newest employees of the company who is under probation. He gives the impression of a matured, organized, and responsible man. I never intervened in his work except when I asked for an update about his action items (tasks). On the day he was introduced to me, he addressed me “boss” right away not to flatter me or to give me an insincere address. He regarded me highly as a respectable manager. He is a Saudi national and it is very unusual to find such a local individual who willfully subordinates himself to a foreign superior.

A month ago, there was a major reorganization in which the Support Services Group composed of Administration, Human Resource (HR), GRO/PRO (Government Relations Office/Public Relations Office), Tender & Proposals, Finance/Accounting were consolidated into one group and assigned under my tutelage.

On our first group meeting Abdullah readily accepted my style of management without any sign of resentment or hesitation.

On our second group meeting, I discussed the Integrated Business flow in which all the functional groups of the company are linked or connected to one another directly or indirectly. That each of the functional groups, like, HR, GRO/PRO, and the rest of the organization need one another. That the specific collective job of our group is to provide needed services to the rest of the organization especially the business units. And that each one of us in the group is a role model.

During the course of the meeting, Abdullah, interrupted me and said in Arabic that he wanted to develop the GRO/PRO section under his leadership into a model organization. Then he expressed his commitment and loyalty to the company—that he was staying with the company. Abdullah said that he is not interested with money but rather in simply doing his job and making his section shine out of his own initiative. Abdullah was already demonstrating the classic example of “Theory Y” out of himself unknowingly.

This was the first time Abdullah heard the contents of my discussion through an interpreter.

I guess, I was able to stimulate a deep level of enthusiasm in Abdullah; and was likewise able to elicit his greatest motivation to perform his job to the fullest on that day.

I gave a subtle incentive to Abdullah by not requiring him to come to the office to register for his daily time log with one condition—that he has to send his accomplishment report everyday to the office.

It is not difficult to gauge the dedicatedness and sense of commitment of Abdullah with his work. One day, he came to the office and showed me an invoice worth SAR19,000 plus he paid out of his own pocket for various fees of the documents he was processing with the Ministry of Labor. Then last week, he was hospitalized because of multiple internal organ complications which the doctors said resulted from too much stress from work and perhaps from his continued long driving along the congested highways in the city.

Two weeks ago, Abdullah abruptly showed a change of attitude in his work. I suspected something was wrong—I was seeing a different Abdullah then.

And tonight, I saw Abdullah hand-writes his resignation on a desk.

I asked Abdullah what went wrong. He confided several things to me. The reason why he got hospitalized is that he tried to accommodate all the personal requests of our executives. He never received appreciation of what he has done for these personal jobs; instead, he received complaints and disgust for delayed delivery. But the dagger that pierced his self esteem and dignity into profuse bleeding was the malicious suspicion he sensed that he was doing nothing or doing something personal when he was allowed to go all day outside the office without registering his time log. These killed his enthusiasm and commitment to the company instantaneously.

I doubt if I ever find another Abdullah again.


One Response to Why Competent and Really Good People Leave Their Employers?

  1. Pingback: Why Competent and Really Good People Leave Their Employers? | Industrial / Organizational Dynamics

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