Top 10 Reasons Why Employees Leave and What to Do About It

That's not a valid work email account. Please enter your work email (e.g.
Please enter your work email

In 2021, according to SHRM , an average of 3.9 million workers quit their jobs each month.

As the Great Resignation and the Job Hopper economy wreak havoc on the job market, companies struggle to fill open positions and prevent their current employees from leaving. 

One way to do that is by figuring out the top reasons for employee resignations. By understanding why so many employees leave, you can focus on these areas to prevent people from leaving.

1. Relationships

Employees don’t feel like they need to be best friends with their manager, but there needs to be a good and respectful relationship. 

When there are toxic relationships for the employee at work, this can ruin their confidence, commitment, and engagement with the company. All of these, over time, will eventually lead to the employee being burnt out and looking for a new position.

In fact, according to Forbes , 40% of departing employees will leave because of a bad boss.

It would help if you had a company culture that allows positive relationships. If a company doesn’t have a good relationship with one of their coworkers or employers, they should speak to someone about that. If they are dismissed and not listened to, they will likely start searching for a new company

2. Higher Salary

If employees feel like they’re doing more work than they’re compensated for, they might start looking for a new job. 

Or, maybe they feel like they can take on more responsibility but also want a higher pay that comes with that. People’s lives change, inflation goes up, and their families grow. They might realize that they need to earn more money to keep up with expenses. 

Your company may also have frozen promotions or raises. In that case, employees might start worrying and looking elsewhere to find a company that will pay them more, give them promotions, and get a raise. 

If you notice that you have a high employee turnover and they’re citing salary as the main reason, your HR professionals should go back to the drawing board and look at your salaries. Compare them with the national average and what your competitors are paying. 

You may find that you’re underpaying your employees compared to the national average, so offering an adjustment could help convince valuable employees to stay.

3. Lack of Flexible Work Options

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, 45% of workers  have been working remotely. Many employees don’t want to go back to the office and work a 9 to 5 and lose their work-life balance.

Many people are now looking for jobs that will let them hang on to that flexible work schedule that will allow them to work either in the office or at home. They want to be able to set their location and work schedules. 

If you can figure it out, your company would benefit from providing flexible scheduling even after the pandemic ends. There will be a lot of candidates looking for new options that will let them do that, so you can attract top talent by offering flexible work options.

4. Not Able to Make Decisions

Some managers micromanage so much that employees can’t make any decisions independently. Your employees need to feel empowered and feel like they can make decisions without consulting management. 

Empowerment can be a broad term, but employees generally need some type of authority and responsibility for their positions. 

Try to talk to your managers to ensure that they aren’t micromanaging. They should be there to step in if an employee needs help, but otherwise, they should monitor from the sidelines. 

5. Not Being Able to Use Skills

Employees are more likely to stay if they feel like they’ve achieved something and feel confident in their abilities and talents. For example, if they have a degree in English but are doing accounting work, they likely won’t feel like their talents are being used in the best way.

You should make sure each employee is in a position where they can apply their skills and talents. Empower them to grow these skills and develop them as well.

People want support for their career development, and if they don’t have that, they’ll find someone who will help them grow. 

Each employee needs to see a way to grow with your company. Most people will always want career advancement, and if they can’t see a clear path up the ladder, they’ll climb the ladder at a different company. 

6. Not Finding Meaning

Some employees want to find meaning in their work. This meaning will be different for each employee, so you may want to try and talk to everyone and see what adds value for them. 

Instead of burying employees in transactional or busy work, give them something ambitious and meaningful. Give them a project where they will see how their contribution made a difference. 

Some industries have more meaning than others, but you’ll need to take a step back and find a way to show employees how their work matters and is essential. If they don’t feel like it matters, they’ll look for something else to fulfill that need.

7. Poor Management

Unfortunately, the wrong people are often promoted into leadership positions, which can ruin employee morale. 

These bad managers might not offer any feedback or coaching, and they have no idea how to connect with their employees or guide them. A manager is supposed to help people find the proper behavior and guide them through the process rather than ordering them what to do.

If you notice that many of your employees are complaining about a bad boss and leaving because of it, you may want to evaluate who is on your management team.

8. Economic Instability

Unfortunately, economic instability can affect specific industries, and employees might get scared that they will lose their job. In this situation, communication is the best strategy that you can implement

Be as transparent as possible so that employees know what’s going on. Doing this lessens the rumors, which can cause people to start quitting and searching for new jobs. 

If employees are worried, they’re going to all start leaving. Whenever you make a change, make sure it’s visible and show them your plan or strategy to get the company back on track. 

There is no such thing as overcommunication when it comes to employee anxiety. This will cause the employees to trust you more and feel like you can navigate through the time of change.

9. Corporate Culture

While the work environment may not be the number one reason people leave, it can be one of the last straws for good employees. 

Your organization should appreciate the employees providing perks, respect, and reasonable compensation. 

Do you find that your employees have low morale? Does everyone want to do their job and go home? Do you have no engaged employees?

You may not have a positive work environment. If employees are spending a lot of time at your company, you want to make it feel like it’s a great and supportive place to work. Even though this might not be a high priority, it can make a difference in your retention rate.

10. Poor Benefits

All companies should always stay up to date on what benefits their competitors offer. While it might not be the main thing people are looking for, a lack of decent healthcare insurance might turn them off. 

Focus on offering the best benefits that your budget can afford. You might find that employees are willing to stay for the same job for just an extra week of vacation.

Discover More Reasons That Employees Quit

These are only the top ten reasons employees quit, but there are many more reasons that an employee might pull up LinkedIn and dust off their resume. 

If you’re still being impacted by the Great Resignation and are overwhelmed with the number of open positions and lost productivity at your company, can help you.

We have powerful candidate-sourcing software along with recruiters who can help you on an as-needed basis. 

Contact us today  to get started on hiring!


Get the top recruiting news and insights delivered to your inbox every week. Sign up for the Recruiter Today newsletter.

By Alyssa Harmon