Reasons Employees Leave Jobs And What You Can Do About It


What does it take to keep a good employee around?

Employee tenure within the private sector is the highest it’s been in 25 years 1, however businesses across the board still experience uncomfortable and unsustainable rates of turnover. While a few good employees might stick around for an average of 5.1 years, many others choose to leave their places of work for perfectly preventable reasons. 

Investment in healthy employee retention should be a priority for any business, as a long-lasting and dedicated workforce will save employers time, money, and innumerable hours of labor. In this article, you’ll find a list of top reasons why employees leave jobs, and what you can do about it. 

Top 7 Reasons Employees Leave Jobs

  • Lack of Opportunity. No one wants to be stuck in a dead-end job. Even employees who are working at their dream company may choose to exit early if they are not presented with ample opportunities to develop and grow.

    What to do: Don’t let your dedicated employees stagnate. You can only ask your best workers to wait for so long without promotion or other modes of expansion before they leave. It is imperative that employees are regularly assessed for potential advancement, and are offered those opportunities in a timely manner. (For a quick and easy way to 360 your employees, check out our Talent Insights tool here.)
  • Lack of Acknowledgement. It can be all too easy to take your best employees for granted. A company’s greatest human assets may work harder than anyone else and never ask for praise, however this does not mean that they don’t need or deserve to be thanked for their dedication. Whether this lack of recognition comes in the form of underpayment, underwhelming positive feedback, or a refusal to hear an employee’s concerns or requests, it is a surefire way to lose a good worker.

    What to do: Proper acknowledgement of your employee’s contribution to your company can come in the form of monetary incentives such as end-of-year bonuses, or might be as simple as a private message thanking your team members for their work on a specific project. Showing your workforce your appreciation doesn’t need to be difficult, and might be the difference between losing and retaining your best employees.
  • Poor Communication Channels. Many employees leave otherwise stable positions because they feel unheard. Too often, a worker will express discomfort, concern or feedback to management without any result or follow-through. Or, the channels for registering complaints or unhappiness are unclear, convoluted, or difficult to navigate. And a workforce would rather leave than resign themselves to working in an environment wherein their voice is not acknowledged.

    What to do: Have clear and established methods of multi-level communication. Employee complaints or concerns must be followed through to the best of your ability, and the employee should be kept up to date on the status of their inquiry. Above all, these communications must be taken seriously by management.
  • Bad Managers. Disengaged, unprofessional, overbearing, or micromanaging supervisors are bad for employee retention. Lack of respect or concern for subordinates should be unacceptable in a professional setting, as poor leadership will inevitably lead to high rates of employee turnover if it is not addressed.

    What to do: Utilize and implement employee feedback to identify problem areas for your managers. Provide your managers with ample opportunities to grow their leadership skills, and evaluate them frequently. And make sure you’re promoting or hiring the right people into management positions in the first place by making use of Checkster’s Talent Insights solution.
  • Lack of Engagement. It is possible to lose employees to boredom. The less engaged they are -- with their work, their workplace, the company’s broader mission -- the more likely an employee is to perform the bare minimum of their responsibilities, and eventually leave your company.

    What to do: Keep tabs on employee engagement. This can be done using surveys, or by simply looking for subtle signs of disinterest. Are your employees consistently going above and beyond? Are they contributing during meetings? Are they showing up to office parties? Or are they simply coming in at 9, and leaving right at 5? Through a combination of survey and observation, you should derive actionable information which will help you improve employee engagement.
  • Lack of Trust and Autonomy. The easiest way to stress out an employee is by never giving them your trust. Employers who don’t trust their employees may inadvertently create hostile working environments through micromanagement, restrictive policies, and aggressive or overly-critical feedback. This will make employees feel anxious at best, unsafe at worst, and ultimately drive them out of your company.

    What to do: Be light-handed in your leadership, and help your employees to do their best work by fostering a sense of trust and independence. Let them know that you believe in their expertise and work ethic by offering firm but supportive oversight. And help yourself to trust your employees by hiring trustworthy employees who fit well within your company.
  • Disconnect with Company Culture. The unique cultures and values of various companies are fast becoming primary draws for prospective employees. Particularly, the millennial workforce seeks to identify with the mission stated by their employers. A lack of cultural cohesiveness can be a contributing factor for the departure of certain employees.

    What to do: It is imperative for contemporary businesses to define a company culture. Brand identity functions for employee retention as much as it does for customer loyalty. Emphasize looking for cultural fit during the hiring process to make sure you’re getting the employees most likely to stick around. 

What Checkster Can Do

Checkster is a hiring and retention solution that offers comprehensive insight into the wellbeing and behavior of your employees.

Start with our Exit Insights tool. Do you know why your employees are leaving? Are you losing poor performers or key players?  Gather honest feedback from exiting employees on management, their work environment, and your company at large. Use this information to determine what may have gone wrong: from hiring decision to expectations, onboarding to team dynamics, or company culture to employee fit. Use these insights to respond right away and improve any processes or other gaps that are hurting your retention rate.

For your best hires, how do you get them off to a good start and retain them for years to come? Checkster’s New Hire Insights will help you do just that. You can administer ad-hoc check-ins with your newest employees on day 1, 30, 60, and 90 days, or in fact, at any other frequency needed. Candid feedback from the employee will give you information critical to their success. Find out about onboarding, training, culture fit, and more. Hear from peers and the manager to gauge how your new hire is performing and uncover any issues so they can be addressed early, before they become reasons your new employee leaves. 

The tools are easy to use. Simply invite your employee to fill out a specified feedback survey and garner actionable information about potential problem areas at your company. This will enable you to discover whether your company or managers are guilty of creating any of the above situations that are causing turnover. You can then use these insights to address key pain points, and proactively improve employee retention. 

Find out how these customizable tools can support your particular company and situation. Sign up for a quick demo here. .