Why Do Good Employees Quit?

I Quit - woman writing I quit in notebook

Thought leadership by Bianca Pitt

It has become apparent that employee loyalty is at an all-time low across all industries. After years of talking, the workforce has finally had enough and started to demand more from their employers.

The phrase “people don’t leave companies, they leave managers” has never been truer than it is today. Great employees are quitting their jobs because they have realised they want more.  

The Great Resignation has taken the workforce by storm, leaving many employers wondering where they have gone wrong. The fact is that it has been a long time coming.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to greater personal introspection for many people who fast came to the realisation that aspects of life such as work-life balance and the ability to have a flexible schedule are more important than slogging away at a company that doesn’t value time and efforts – or at least doesn’t show it.

So if you are trying to figure out why your great employees are hitting the road in numbers, now is the time to have tough conversations that require you to take feedback and understand your talent and their desires on a human level. 

You may find that managing your employees is more complicated than you initially thought. People have different goals, personalities, and ways to spark their inspiration and productivity.

Although it is impossible to please everyone and stop people from leaving, you may be able to avoid common pitfalls and set your business up for success by considering the following important factors.

Top Reasons Employees Quit

Poor Company Culture

In an era of a more human workplace, many employees would rather be happier at work than have a high paying job (or, they demand both, which is fair enough).

Employees want to feel connected and engaged with the operation as a whole and not feel like just another cog in the wheel. In addition, lack of transparency, little recognition and not providing staff with the proper tools to carry out their responsibilities are just a few of the problems that lead to poor company culture.

I also find that poor leaders (sometimes well intentioned ones too) are culprits who inadvertently drive poor company culture. 

Poor Leadership

A sad fact is that many good employees leave because of bad employees, especially if those employees are senior members of staff.

This can be because of various issues, from personality clashes and poor leadership skills. Therefore, to avoid disgruntled employees, ensure members of your senior staff in leadership roles are not only competent in their field but are also trained and suitable to manage your team.

Certain leadership skills can be taught, so placing emphasis on certain leadership skills can add great value (e.g. how to create clarity, how to listen actively, how to give and receive feedback, how to drive accountability).

Lack of Growth Opportunities

Employees seek growth, even in small businesses. After years of doing the same job, without any visible growth opportunities, they will seek those opportunities elsewhere.

While providing promotions for all your staff might not be feasible, there are other ways of providing growth for your employees, such as personal development.

Providing internal skill-building, work-based seminars and offering fringe benefits such as education stipends are a great way to provide many employees with the growth they have been looking for.

No Work-Life Balance

Last but definitely not least is no work-life balance. After the pandemic hit, many employees began to place more value on having balance in their lives, and working from home to remain compliant showed that it could be possible.

The modern workforce is looking for flexible working, whether it be flexitime, hybrid work arrangements or the freedom to blend their personal and work lives in a way that makes sense for them. 

Misalignment Between their Core Drivers and What Business Provide

Principally, the above-mentioned points add real value when it comes to retaining people. However, what we find in the work that we do is that success in retention is about more than that.

One of the key retention-drivers is understanding your talent’s core motivators (the things that give them energy) and being able to match some of those, within reason. For example, if I am motivated by innovation, doing fulfilling work and working in a great team I will be significantly more inclined to stay with a business that gives me these things.

This starts to move towards a customised way of looking at retention, which definitely adds complexity but also ensures better outcomes.  

Find Out What’s Important To Your Employees

These are just a few of the litany of reasons that great employees quit, but finding out what makes your workforce tick is as simple as sitting down with them and asking.

Having honest discussions with your team alone can increase retention because it shows them that they are valued and that their opinions matter. Even if employees do leave, take the time to hold good-bye lunches and exit interviews to understand why.

Recruiting new talent is expensive and time-consuming, so why not spend the effort on retaining the ones you already have?

Share this article


More Posts:

Case Study: WhoYou

CASE STUDY WhoYou Fixing what? Why fix something that isn’t broken? That’s the motto that many businesses live by. If things are running smoothly, why