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Top 10 Reasons Why Good People Quit

According to the US Department of Labor and Statistics, turnover can cost an organization 33% of an employee’s total compensation including both salary and benefits. But the impact is not only financial it also affects employee morale. Therefore, it would be prudent for hiring managers to focus on reducing turnover rates but in order to do that they must first understand the reasons why employees quit.

There have been many studies and articles written on why good employees leave their current positions. As a veteran search consultant, I have heard an infinite number of reasons first hand. Over the years, I have identified and compiled a list of what I feel are the “Top Ten” reasons why good employees quit:

1) The job was not as expected. All too often the job changes from the original description and what was promised during the interviewing stages. It becomes painfully clear to the new hire that their new company played the bait and switch game which ultimately leads to mistrust. The new hire is now thinking, “What else are they lying about?”

2) Work/Life imbalance. There are times when management demands that one person do the jobs of two or more people. This is especially true when a company downsizes or restructures resulting in longer hours and possible weekend work. Employees are often forced to choose between a personal life and a career.

3) Mismatch between job and new hire. No matter how much you love the candidate, don’t hire them unless they are truly qualified for the job and they mesh with your company culture. Too many times, I’ve seen hiring managers try to fit a square peg into a round hole especially when it comes to a sales position.

4) Management freezes raises and promotions. Money isn’t usually the first reason why people leave an organization but it does rank especially when an employee can find a job earning 20-25% more somewhere else. Make sure your wages are competitive and your benefits package is attractive. Resources like www.salary.com can provide accurate and appropriate information.

5) Feeling undervalued. It’s human nature to want to be recognized and praised for a job well done. And in business, recognizing employees is not simply a nice thing to do but an effective way to communicate your appreciation for their efforts and successes while also reinforcing those actions and behaviors that make a difference in your organization.

6) Lack of decision-making power. Too many managers micromanage down to the finest detail. Empower your employees and allow them the freedom make suggestions and decisions. I realize that Empowerment is a ‘catch-all’ term for many ideas on employee authority and responsibility; but as a broad definition it means giving employees latitude to do their jobs and placing trust in them.

7) Too little coaching & feedback. Many managers have no clue on how to help employees improve their performance. In addition, many managers put off giving feedback to employees even though they instinctively know that giving and getting honest feedback is essential for growth and in building successful teams and organizations. Your role as a manager is to help your people find the right behavior, not just tell them what to do.

8) Management lacks people skills. Remember that many managers were promoted because they did their first job well, but that doesn’t mean they know how to lead others. People skills can be learned and developed but it really helps if a manager has the natural ability to get along with people and motivate them.

9) Too few growth opportunities. One of the most common reasons employees express for leaving their jobs is lack of challenge and potential for career growth. The most successful employers find ways to help employees develop new skills and responsibilities in their current positions.

10) Loss of faith and confidence in corporate leaders. With employees being asked to do more and more, they see less evidence that they will share in the fruits of their successes. More often than not, when revenues and profits are up, employers are still thinking competitive wages but employees are thinking bonuses, stock options and creative development opportunities.