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Why do people ‘Quit’?


​No company likes to deal with turnover, but it’s an employees’ market in many industries and jobs aren’t hard to find. The process of employing someone takes time. In business, time is money. So, it can sometimes be expensive to continually hire new employees. That’s why, when an employee leaves, it can be a chore for the organisation to get a replacement.

The average employee does a good job. Good enough to warrant a letter of recommendation upon departure. If they were anything less than good, we can assume you would have had to unfortunately let them go. So, when your average employee leaves, someone still has to replace them and it can be costly.

Imagine losing a highly valuable team member and the impact that it can have on the business. Replacing them can be a struggle. Ensuring the high standard continues can be hard. Hiring the right candidate, even harder. Knowing what might make your employees quit, however, can give you an opportunity to make changes before they give their notice.

There isn’t always just one “smoking gun” reason that makes a good employee quit, as it’s typically a combination of things that weigh on their minds and impact their decision to quit over time. Many reasons why employees quit their job are under the control of the employer. The question is how can this be achieved? To start, you need to understand why people want to leave an Employer in the first place. Here are just some off the top ones:

  • Lack of trust and autonomy

  • Not being appreciated or recognized

  • No opportunity for growth and development or progression

  • Feeling underutilized

  • Bad manager or poor management

  • Poor communication

  • Lack of support

  • Work-life balance

      • Toxic company culture

      • Seeing good employees leave

      • Company values don’t resonate

      • Feel micro-managed

      • Lack of feedback

Understanding why people really quit their jobs is essential whether you are a hiring manager, running your own business, or if you are currently seeking a new role for yourself. When you know why people really quit their jobs, creating or locating the right workplace becomes much clearer.

Of course, many organizations have an exit interview process that should, ostensibly, provide insights to help improve employee retention. However, even when conducted well, these interviews have serious shortcomings. Even when exit interviews take place, research suggests that a large percentage of employees are not candid. Whereas some departing employees mask critical feedback in order to leave a positive impression, others feel that providing this information is a waste of time because they believe the company is unwilling to change. In addition, departing employees may feel that, because of how poorly their company treated them, management does not deserve to know their true reasons for leaving. In short, exit interviews are often ineffective.

You could try to have an informal discussions with colleagues close to the employee who resigned, companies may be able to ascertain the motives behind their departure. An added benefit of this approach is that it gives remaining employees, who may be disappointed and confused by their co-worker’s resignation, an outlet to discuss their thoughts and opinions, which may reduce any feelings of distress.

So, when you’re recruiting your next hire, be open and honest with potential candidates. Try to paint a clear picture of the job and what the future holds for a candidate. Identify the reasons why people quit their job early on and try to adapt and be flexible. This will help you keep the best employees around and help to drive your company to success.