Why Employees Quit

quit a job

Ask employers why people quit a company and 9 out of 10 will tell you it’s about the money. Ask employees the same question and you’ll get a whole different story.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) discovered this when they asked 19,000+ people their reasons for leaving as a part of exit interviews they conducted for clients. The top 10 reasons why employees quit?   As reported in “The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave” by Leigh Branham (2005), page 21, Figure 3.1, the top reasons are:

  1. 16% because of “Limited career/promotion opportunities”
  2. 13% because “Supervisor lacked respect/support”
  3. 12% because of “Compensation”
  4. 11% because of “Boring/not challenging job duties”
  5. 9% because “Supervisor lacked leadership skills”
  6. 6% because of “Work hours”
  7. 5% because of “Unavoidable reasons”
  8. 4% because of “Supervisor poor employee relations”
  9. 4% because “Supervisor displayed favoritism”
  10. 4% because of “Not recognized for my contribution”

Yes, compensation was a factor in 12% of the cases, but look at some of the other issues that drove people away—growth, meaningful work, supervisor skills, workload balance, fairness, and recognition—to name a few.

What type of environment are you providing for your people?

Author, speaker, and consultant Leigh Branham, who partnered with PwC to analyze the results of the study identifies that trust, hope, worth, and competence are at the core of most voluntary separations. When employees are not getting their needs met in these key areas, they begin to look elsewhere.

Wondering how your company would stack up in these areas? Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself. How would your people respond if they were asked to rate their work environment in each of the following areas?

  • I am able to grow and develop my skills on the job and through training.
  • I have opportunities for advancement or career progress leading to higher earnings.
  • My job makes good use of my talents and is challenging.
  • I receive the necessary training to perform my job capably.
  • I can see the end results of my work.
  • I receive regular feedback on my performance.
  • I’m confident that if I work hard, do my best, demonstrate commitment, and make meaningful contributions, I will be recognized and rewarded accordingly.

Don’t wait until it’s too late…

Better compensation is only a part of the reason why people leave an organization. In most cases it is a symptom of a more complex need that people have to work for an organization that is fair, trustworthy, and deserving of an individual’s best efforts. Don’t take your people for granted. While you may not be able to provide the pay increases you were able to in the past, there is nothing stopping you from showing that you care for your people, are interested in their long term development, and are committed to their careers.

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