Sharon and I first got interested in the whole concept of “jerk” bosses when we did our original research. When we asked people what keeps them and why they leave, most said that the words they put on their exit interviews weren’t exactly the whole truth. The real truth was that their boss was, indeed, a “jerk” (or any other name you might want to insert!) and they decided they just would not put up with it any more. As good researchers Sharon and I then said, well, what EXACTLY do you mean by “jerk”? We then got a whole litany of responses and we started to take note. We now use a list of 50 or so jerk-like behaviors and even use an instrument we call the Retention Deficit Disorder in our work with managers.
We collected (I think we have about 2,000 now) responses from people to the question, “What would make you walk out the door?” and we got a kick out of the responses. We divided them demographically all sorts of ways, and now can tell you the differences in who would walk and why – by education, age group, department, industry, etc. We’re not yet what we’ll do with the data, but it’s been very interesting to watch it come in. We’ll keep you posted. Meantime, try the survey yourself.