A poor relationship with the boss was the primary reason for firms to lose key hires, according to a September survey of industry firm executives by construction sector management and research consulting firm Morrissey-Goodale LLC, Newton, Mass.


The survey found that relationship issues were cited by 24% of the 50 responding executives, including CEOs, presidents and vice presidents of architecture, engineering and construction firms.


About 21% of respondents cited the lack of advance opportunities for the departing employees, with work/life balance concerns noted by 16% and compensation/benefits cited by 11%. About 5% of respondents pointed to departing hires not being challenged enough and 2% noted the firm's financial health, says Morrissey-Goodale.


"It wasn't necessarily surprising that money and benefits wasn't the top-ranked driver of why AEC professionals are jumping ship but just how low it ranked on this survey, with barely 1 in 10 saying that compensation was the primary reason why their latest key hires left their previous firms," says the firm's  Executive Search Director Alissa Buckley.  "We were also surprised that a poor boss relationship rated so high."


Buckley adds that "firms that are losing key staff can’t simply throw money at the problem." She advises top execs to "take a close look at your key managers and the career paths you provide for employees. They may be the roots of your troubles.”