Why people quit (and how you can fix it!)

Brace yourself: 76% of full-time employed workers are either actively looking for or are open to new job opportunities. The job market wasn’t what it was five, or ten years ago. People have options. If they’re unhappy, disengaged, or bored at work, they can look elsewhere for a new, more challenging, and more fulfilling gig.

Sometimes they might even quit and pursue a passion they deem more fulfilling. For example, a popular passion amongst many people these days is moving to a tropical place and finding a spiritual job. There are many schools that offer yoga teacher training in hawaii or other similar places, and clearly, they are quite popular. So, when such places exist, it is easy to see why more and more people are quitting their full-time jobs.

Granted, the study didn’t go into the details of why workers are open to new job opportunities, so I can’t assume it is because they are unhappy. But more and more research sheds light on the reality that employees are actively looking for new job opportunities. LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Trends study found that 2 out of 5 people see themselves at their current company for less than two years.

The fact of the matter is: there are people who aren’t necessarily happy in their current jobs and are open to jumping ship. Before you lose your best people, here are five major reasons employees leave, and how you can ensure they won’t quit on you today.

  1. Overworked and underappreciated. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association revealed that 36% of workers admit they feel stressed at work, 46% of which cite a heavy workload as a main source of their stress. To add to this, a Monster.com poll indicates almost half of American workers claim they “never feel appreciated” for their hard work. That is one of the main reasons people quit corporate jobs and pursue independent alternatives. The other big reason is that they can make more money working for themselves. Because it is so easy for people in the trading business, for example, to get instant forex funding and make money on their own, they don’t have the incentive to stick around working for someone who won’t appreciate them. That is why creating a work-life balance in today’s always-on, 24/7 work culture is a difficult feat. For most knowledge workers, the line between work and home is often crossed, as people are expected to respond to emails and work on projects after traditional work hours. Creating a corporate culture of respect is vital to ensuring your employees are happy and engaged. Demonstrate that you respect and honor their personal time out of the office, and acknowledge people for a job well done. This doesn’t require a massive shift in the way you approach work, it just requires you to be human and respectful of people’s dedication and hard work.
  2. Bad relationship with management. According to Gallup, “one in two [survey respondents] left their job to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.” It’s no secret that managers directly affect job satisfaction. Toxic relationships between supervisors and employees can kill team morale and make people downright miserable. In addition, it can lead to discrimination among employees, which aggravates the situation. Employees who experience this for a long time might decide to hire lawyers (learn more about discrimination lawyers here) and file lawsuits against the manager. It seems imperative for employers to ensure that proper communication is established between managers and employees in order to avoid such situations. One way to ensure you’re setting your managers up for success is by establishing learning and mentorship programs aimed at helping new managers become great managers of people. All too often organizations promote new leaders without giving them the tools they need to be successful.
  3. Unaware of their contributions to their organization’s business goals. Never underestimate the power of transparency and communication in the workplace. People want to know how their hard work influences the success of the organization. Never hesitate to recognize a job well done! Communicate successes and celebrate small victories. Make it clear to your team how hard they have worked to reach a goal and finish a project. Don’t just save these acknowledgements for the end of the year – sprinkle them throughout the year by mentioning them during weekly meetings or monthly email blasts.
  4. The job wasn’t what the employee expected. A huge reason why people quit within the first six months is that the job role and responsibilities aren’t what they expected. The person might have put a lot of effort into scoring the job in that particular company, maybe even employed these templates or similar other resources to give a final finish to their resume and career profile. However, somehow the job wasn’t what they were expecting in the first place and could be very disappointing to the newly hired. It’s a classic bait-and-switch. Hiring managers know they need more headcount to help handle the workload, so they create a job description and interview candidates. Miscommunication occurs somewhere along the line and now a new hire is stuck in a job that they didn’t sign up for. Make sure that doesn’t happen by clearly communicating the position’s roles and responsibilities.
  5. Lack of opportunities for career development and advancement. More and more employees have indicated that they would be far more likely to stay with their organization if they were offered learning and development opportunities or career advancement paths. This sounds like a no-brainer, right? Why wouldn’t you want to invest in your employees’ skills and move them up your organizational ladder? New research from LinkedIn indicates that 43% of people leave their jobs because of a lack of career opportunities and advancement – which is a crying shame. However, often leaders fear that once they spend time and money developing an individual’s skills, they will leave. It’s possible that they might leave, but that isn’t always the case. More often than not they are more loyal and dedicated to the organization after you’ve invested in their career path. If you’re looking for resources or advice on how to jazz up your learning and development programs, check out our whitepaper, “The Nuts and Bolts of an Engaging Training Strategy,” or if you’re looking for a new learning management system (LMS) “7 Step Guide to Selecting the Right LMS,” for some great advice on how to pick the right technology for your business.

The facts don’t lie – there are high performing people in your workforce that are open to the idea of switching jobs. Be sure you notice before it’s too late!


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