Earlier this month, we attended a wonderful dinner event hosted by the Association of Women in Computing and the Society of Female Engineers.  While both of these groups are worthy networking outlets, especially for female professionals working in the technology field, our primary reason for attending was to hear the keynote presentation being delivered by Susan Burns, a nationally-recognized consultant in the area of worker retention and satisfaction.

Among the many compelling insights Ms. Burns shared, one statistic that jumped out was that nearly 80% of all employee turnover was due directly to relationship issues between an employee and his/her boss.  The literature in the retention field was so clear about this issue, in fact, that the presenter said a more accurate description of most turnover is that people don’t really “leave their company” — more accurately, they “leave their boss.”  From the standpoint of evaluating a potential job offer, therefore, Career Horizons believes that the supervisory relationship is the most critical factor to consider in accepting an opportunity.  We believe this factor trumps even the salary variable, in many cases, and will ultimately have the greatest impact on a person’s satisfaction with a potential job assignment.

If you’re lucky enough to be considering a job offer at the moment, therefore, make sure to reflect on the chemistry you’ve experienced with your potential supervisor.  Do you appear to share the same values with this individual?  Did they treat you respectfully throughout the interview process?  Have you discussed their management and communications style?  Have they been with the company a while and do they seem intent on staying around for a while?

In the end, as Ms. Burns validated, your next boss will likely be the single greatest factor that contributes to your career satisfaction or dissatisfaction — so make sure to give this factor its proper due among all of the other compelling job offer elements such as money, benefits, and job title.  If needed, Career Horizons has a “Job Offer Evaluation Worksheet” that can help you put this variable in proper perspective!