Why Do Employees Quit Their Jobs?

The costs to your organization when good employees quit are hard to quantify, but trust me, they are

more serious than you are adding up. Retaining good employees, with the means that an employer can control, is critical during a time when skilled employees are becoming more difficult to find.

It’s unfortunate, but good employees quit their jobs for reasons that an employer can’t control. Employees’ lives change and their circumstances may place them back in grad school or moving across the country.
Costs to Employers When Employees Resign
It’s sad when good employees quit, because your organization has invested a lot in the employee in terms of training, attention, and commitment. Most of your investment is not measurable which is why losing a good employee is a serious blow to your organization.
When employees resign, you lose the working relationships that the employee has developed with coworkers, his or her contacts with customers, and the energy and dedication that the employee brought to the job.
You will need to invest additional untold hours in replacing the good employee when employees quit. And, during the recruitment process, your remaining employees will be stretched to cover the extra work, or the work won’t happen until a new employee comes onboard.
What Causes Employees to Resign?
Of the reasons that employers can control, these are the top reasons that employees resign.
  • The job is not what the employee expected when he came to work for your organization. Employers need to carefully outline the requirements of a job and explain to the potential employee how he will spend his time. The potential employee also needs to see where he will work and meet coworkers. If you have another employee with a similar job, schedule time for the prospective employee to ask questions.  Prepare a potential employee for the reality of a job, so that you are less likely to lose the employee once he starts.
  • Something, anything is wrong in the employee’s relationship with his or her supervisor.Employees resign to get rid of a bad boss. And the definition of a bad boss is all over the map and depends on what the employee needs from his or her boss. Feedback, recognition, and attention are the minimum expectations – and probably more often than many bosses recognize they’re needed.
  • The employee is not a good match with the job and its requirements. You can spend time and resources to find and hire a smart, talented, experienced person, but you also need to ensure that the job you offer is the right seat on the bus for this individual. If you find that it’s not, you have the opportunity to find her another seat – before she leaves for another employer.
  • Employees resign when their compensation package is below market and they can get more money by changing jobs – the last figure I saw was an average 10% increase for going to a new employer. Especially for hard-to-fill positions, you need to stay on top of the competition or you’ll lose skilled employees.
  • Employees have an intrinsic need to know how they are doing on the job. They also desire the opportunity to continue to grow and increase their skills. Especially with the newest two generations of employees in your workplace, you are likely to lose the employee if they don’t receive regular feedback, recognition, and attention from their boss.
  • Employees quit when they don’t feel special. The compensation system, the rewards and recognition passed out must favor your best employees – or you’re not spending the money wisely. Nothing deflates the motivation of a good employee more than seeing poor performing employees equivalently rewarded.
  • Employees seek growth and potential advancement opportunities. Research shows that the opportunity to continue to grow and develop their skills is high on your employees’ list of what they expect to attain at work. In fact, the lack of opportunity is cited in exit interviews as a key reason the employee is leaving. Managers need to work with employees on career development plans so that the employee is looking forward to constant growth and development and can see what the next opportunity brings.
  • Employees need to feel confidence that the senior leaders in their organization know what they are doing. They need to have faith that their executives have a strategic direction and are executing on it. Employees don’t do well when they feel rudderless and drifting. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to make decisions that have an impact on the organization and to feel as if they understood the context well enough to make effective decisions.
Pay attention to these factors so your best employees don’t feel the need to quit. You also want to track why employees resign so that you can see patterns and deal with the issues before you lose your best employees. An employee resignation allows you to examine your retention processes and take steps to retain your best employees. Here’s everything you need to do when employees resign.