10 Reasons Why Employees Leave

You are here:
< Back

reasons why employees leave

Have you ever wondered why some of your best employees leave? You pay competitive salaries and offer some great perks, yet some of your most promising employees are leaving you. If your people are looking elsewhere, then something has prompted that decision. Being aware of possible reasons why employees leave could help you not just to retain talent, but get the best from everyone.

1. Relationship with line manager. If the relationship between an employee and their line manager is not a positive one, it’s very likely that the employee will leave. It may be poor leadership, different personalities, previous experience, or a clash of values. Good communication and building self-awareness, for line managers and their teams, could help strengthen the relationship.

2. Boredom. If a job role isn’t challenging enough, or it’s just become stagnant, some employees will seek new adventures elsewhere. Whilst some are happy with comfort and familiarity, there’s a good chance that your best talent will be looking for something that challenges and excites them as they follow their passions. Find out what people want and keep them interested and engaged.

3. Workplace relationships. Office politics, team dynamics and relationships with co-workers are common reasons for people leaving jobs where they would otherwise be happy. Work with your team to create a positive culture, encourage open communication, build self-awareness and don’t allow cliques to develop.

4. Not using their skills. If employees don’t feel they have opportunities to use their unique skills and abilities, they will seek opportunities to use those talents working for your competition instead. Similarly, if people don’t feel they are able to develop their skills further, they’re unlikely to stay with you. Again, communication and enabling open conversations will help you discover your employees’ unique talents so you can provide the right opportunities. You’ll also be getting much more from your people as they become more engaged in their work and use their skills for the benefit of your business.

5. Autonomy. Show your employees that you trust them by enabling autonomy and independence whenever possible. Employees who feel trusted by you will not only be motivated to do their best work, but will build confidence to make choices and decisions independently. Set clear objectives, be available when needed, delegate at a level that works for you and your team, then take a step back and watch your employees grow.

6. Contribution to the bigger picture. Human beings value connection, and we need to know how we are contributing to the bigger picture. This could be letting people know how their individual tasks contribute to team goals, to organisational goals, or to the client experience. Beyond the organisation, how do your employees’ efforts make a difference to the world? Showing your employees the importance of their contribution helps to build a stronger sense of purpose.

7. Stability and security. Times of organisational change or uncertainty, or instability on a national or global scale, could send employees looking for security elsewhere. Change at work can be difficult, although manageable, but financial insecurity or organisational changes that could affect people’s lives beyond the workplace are far more difficult. Ensure that people are given opportunities to voice concerns, and given sufficient support through times of change.

8. Company culture. Another one of the main reasons for leaving. If the culture doesn’t fit with the employee’s personal values, or has become unhealthy, then employees will seek a more positive and personally aligned experience elsewhere. Work with your leaders and teams to build a positive, healthy culture.

9. Recognition. You may have a recognition program in place, but does it really fit your employees’ needs? Most people would rather have regular recognition from their line manager and peers, than ‘Employee of the Month’ schemes or other employee rewards. Encourage peer recognition and embed positive feedback as part of the culture. Also provide opportunities for personal and professional development, so employees can feel valued and accomplished without needing external validation.

10. Life circumstances. Sometimes it’s not about work at all. People’s lives and priorities can change and cause them to look for a job that fits these new circumstances. Moving to a new area, changes in a partner’s employment, financial changes, health, children starting school, or childcare issues are just a few of the reasons. These may be beyond your control as an employer, but if you enable open conversations between managers and their teams, these issues could be brought to light and you might be able to offer a solution. Flexible working, part-time hours, or offering home working, could save you from losing your best talent to changes in life circumstances.

Now is a great time to take a look at the morale and engagement of your employees. Have conversations, don’t rely on surveys and tick-box exercises, and it might just save you from losing some of your best people.

Ruth Randall is a Life and Leadership Coach, and Team Development Specialist. Ruth works with teams to help them to build trust, develop strong working relationships, manage stress, and increase productivity and job satisfaction. She also coaches individual clients who want to make changes in their lives, careers and relationships.