5 Reasons Why Employees Quit

By Lim Lay Hsuan|13-07-2015 | 1 Min Read

Companies lose talent every year – a lot of times, it’s the ones that they really want to hang on to.

The following are some examples why employees quit, and for good reasons too.

1. Compensation

According to Business Insider’s Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter in her article 10 Reasons Employees Resign, lack of compensation is often a common reason why workers quit.

“This is a big one and should be addressed even if the company feels it is being fair. It is no secret that companies that are the most generous in this area are also some of the most successful.”

Leaderonomics chief executive officer Roshan Thiran concurs that compensation is a reason most people state why they leave an organisation.

“But in most instances, money usually only comes up after a person has decided to leave.

“Most people who are somewhat fairly compensated will not yearn to leave but if they have bad direct managers, or feel not aligned to the organisational purpose or see a lack of growth opportunities, they will then start the itch to leave.”

2. Lack of appreciation

Heera Training and Management Consultancy principal consultant Heera Singh says employees always want to feel appreciated, in particular high performers.

“Appreciation here does not only mean verbal praises but also tangible items like salaries and benefits or training.

“For example, when employees find out that their salary doesn’t equate to what they think they are worth, then it usually translates to them feeling unappreciated, which tends to bring about a lot of work-related problems.”

On the other hand, a lack of verbal appreciation for good work done can also lead to employee de-motivation as they feel they are not being given recognition, adds Heera.

“When these tangible and non-tangible factors are not resolved, then employees will usually resign, hoping to enjoy these factors in their next organisation.”

Barrett-Poindexter says that those who leave for “appreciation reasons”, or rather, a lack thereof, aren’t looking for a pat on the back every time they show up for work on time or when they complete a task.

“They simply need to be reminded from time to time that their contributions are a value to the team. Ignore them for too long, and they will seek that appreciation elsewhere.”

3. Poor growth prospects

Closely linked to the above is that many employees quit due to lack of growth opportunities within an organisation.

“Many people reach a glass ceiling due to their capabilities, skills, reputation and other factors in an organisation. After a period of soul searching which will lead to self-awareness, they come to the realisation that there will be limited growth opportunities in the organisation.

“Once they come to this realisation, they start to itch to find other places that will enable them to grow.”

Roshan adds that many times, organisations try to pamper their employees with benefits to keep them instead of pushing and growing them with challenges.

“This state of ‘pampering’ results in employees not growing. Good employees will realise they need to constantly grow.

“When they realise that they have learnt everything in their current role and there is little opportunity to move to new roles in the organisation (even laterally) due to their manager wanting to keep them and because of the ‘pampering’, they will start to look for places that offer them more challenges and learning opportunities.”

The need to be challenged is also a reason why employees feel that there are no growth prospects within their current job, says Barrett-Poindexter.

“If school-aged children get bored with their studies, their minds wander and their grades drop. When working adults get bored with their jobs, their minds wander and they start seeking a more challenging position. Keeping a bright employee challenged with rewarding tasks is the best way to keep a bright employee, period.”

4. Bad bosses

Most people resign when they do not have a good working relationship with their superiors, says Heera.

“Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman in their book, First Break All the Rules: What The Worlds’ Greatest Managers Do Differently, said “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers”.

“A good relationship with the superior is critical for employees as most of their work time is spent interacting and carrying out their superior’s requirements.”

Roshan, meanwhile, cited a Gallup study of 7,272 US adults, which revealed that one in two had left their job to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.

“Managers play a huge role and having a bad manager is often a double whammy. Employees feel miserable while at work and that misery follows them home, compounding their stress and negatively affecting their overall well-being.”

5. Unhappy environment

Nobody wants to work in an unhappy environment, says Barrett-Poindexter.

“Look around your place of business. Do your employees seem happy to be there? Is there a certain positive energy among your staff that seems to reverberate from department to department?

“If not, why not? Work places needn’t be all drudgery, and those that are have bigger problems than the frowns that everyone is wearing. This doesn’t mean it needs to be a constant party atmosphere. But it should at least be pleasant.”

Office politics, where people use strategies to seek advantage at the expense of others is a fact of life and can trigger an unhappy environment, says Heera.

“However when the levels are high and it directly affects an employee negatively, then there is a tendency for the employee to want to resign. Office politics will usually contribute to a ‘toxic’ and bad working environment which in turn leads to high employee stress levels.

“Most employees will be more than happy to forsake this stress, even at the expense of getting a lower paying job,” he says.

For more Consulting Corner articles, click here.

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Lay Hsuan was part of the content curation team for Leaderonomics.com, playing the role of a content gatekeeper as well as ensuring the integrity of stories that came in. She was an occasional writer for the team and was previously the caretaker for Leaderonomics social media channels. She is still happiest when you leave comments on the website, or subscribe to Leader's Digest, or share Leaderonomics content on social media.
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