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. 
  • 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 our gamified behavioral assessments to identify potential for any role based on soft skills.
  • 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.

How Harver Can Help

Harver’s suite of automated solutions can help you minimize unwanted attrition before you even send an offer letter. Schedule a demo to learn more about:

  • Pre-hire assessments that accurately and fairly predict fit for any role, reducing poor quality of hire that leads to attrition
  • Realistic job previews that improve two-way matching by providing candidates with a transparent understanding of the role
  • Automated reference checking to capture colleague feedback that helps avoid bad hires (including fraud detection)


Harver Team

Harver Team

Posted on:
August 9, 2023

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