Why Do Employees Leave

Why Do Employees Leave?

Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland
August 24, 2022
5 min read

There’s nothing worse than putting lots of effort into hiring the perfect team only to start finding resignation emails piling up. People leave their jobs for various reasons, and sometimes you’ll have to wave goodbye to valued team members whose personal lives are taking them in a new direction. But if you’re noticing a trend, it’s time to act. 

It could cost you as much as 33% of an employee’s salary to replace them. Your employees are an asset, and it’s worth investing in keeping them with you. 

Employee Retention is a Recognition Issue

If you want to get to the heart of the problem, we have decided to put together a few of the most common reasons why people leave and move on to better things. 

1. Feeling unappreciated

Did you know that 79% of people say lack of appreciation is the number one reason why they quit? Feeling underappreciated is a massive driver for unhappiness in the workplace, but the good news is that it’s something you can fix – with the right tools and mindset. 

Making someone feel appreciated is more than giving them a higher salary or expensive perks. While they are both great, financial incentives are not what matters most to your employees. It’s consistent recognition that pays off. It may take a little time to bed in a new, recognition-rich culture, but the benefits can be huge. 

The first thing to do is to make sure you’re leading from the top, modelling the behaviours you want to see. Next, you need to make sure recognition can happen quickly and often – a good recognition platform will make this easier – and ensure that when you show your appreciation, you’re being specific. 

Create a recognition-rich environment and ensure your employees know their value before they set their sights on greener pastures. 

2. Engagement issues

According to Gallup, almost 85% of employees worldwide are still not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. This is a huge number, especially because the companies that survived the pandemic were actively putting effort into improving employee engagement

Engagement can be tricky because it has a lot to do with individual work styles and preferences – but that’s not to say it’s something you can’t improve on! 

The key is to pay attention to what your employees are looking for and how their values align with yours and those of your company. Finding a triangulation point between the three gives you the sweet spot for developing a plan. Employee engagement strategies can be very effective when deployed with intent. 

From building a culture of valuable and invigorating feedback to emphasising employee wellbeing, there are many ways to take engagement to another level. 

3. No room to grow 

Even employees who love their job and are comfortable at a company can get itchy feet, especially when they’re not being challenged.

Room to grow is so important. We all like to feel as though we’re on the path to achieving our full potential. And when we can’t see a path to greater fulfilment, we might start to check out. 

McKinsey’s 2022 Great Attrition Report found that turnover is significantly less likely when employees enjoy good prospects for internal mobility. 

Clear career paths and development plans combined with transparency around internal hiring and job opportunities can offer good incentives to stay put. As can making space for skills-based learning journeys, even when there’s no specific role to prepare for. 

4. A lack of company culture

To feel invested at work, employees need something to invest in. That something is a culture that promotes connection, communication, and shared values. 

Without a recognisable company culture, retention is sure to be an issue – as is hiring. Glassdoor found that 77% of respondents would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there. 

Not all company cultures look the same, but the best have a few things in common. Including space to experiment, strong leadership and a willingness to lead by example, strong values that are reflected in day-to-day interactions and a robust reward and recognition scheme. 

Other things can help make your company a more pleasant place to work – from a funky office to fun team activities – but the human touch makes all the difference. Hybrid working might mean you need to mix things up, but there are many ways to create a thriving culture in a remote team

5. A bad onboarding process

Onboarding is an essential part of welcoming a new member to the team. If the system is disorganised, dull or sporadic, it can have a negative effect that’s hard to recover from. 

On the other hand, if you get the onboarding process right, you’re much more likely to have happy employees. Glassdoor found that a strong process can improve new hire retention by 82%.

And the good news is that many tools are out there to help create a good experience for your new hires. Check out 10 onboarding software options for inspiration and start your employees on the right foot. 

6. Poor or inefficient management

Feel like you’re getting it all right, and employees are still leaving? You may have a management issue. A popular saying hits the nail right on the head: people leave managers, not companies. 

How hard you work to create a thriving company culture doesn’t matter. If you have managers failing to connect with their teams, you will be fighting a losing battle. 

A study from CIPD and Simplyhealth found that poor management styles are among the most common causes of stress at work. When a manager is detrimental to an employee’s general wellbeing, it’s a strong incentive to start looking for a new position. 

We recommend thinking about what makes a manager a good leader – and the ways that incorporating some leadership values into your upper management structure can help all of your employees grow. Once you’re working with your managers, you can start thinking about repair.

Improving employee recognition and team communication is a great way to start healing damaged relationships.

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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues. Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today.

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