Why Employees Leave: What You Need to Know

Why Employees Leave: What You Need to Know

Boosting employee retention is a major goal for most HR professionals. The cost of hiring a new worker can be substantial. Productivity also tends to suffer when turnover is high. When an employee leaves, others have to take on their tasks (on top of their own responsibilities) until a replacement is hired. Even when the company does find a replacement, training them takes time, and it’s unlikely they’ll initially perform as reliably and effectively as the individual they’re replacing.

You can guard against these consequences at your company by learning what factors cause workers to leave in the first place. However, these factors are not constant; they often change with the times. Staying on top of such developments will help you to identify the most effective ways to boost employee retention.

That’s why it’s important to keep the following points in mind. They represent some of the more common reasons workers quit these days.

Poor Relationship with Supervisors

Surveys indicate employees with “bad bosses” are far less likely to stay at their jobs than employees who have positive relationships with their supervisors.


That doesn’t mean a worker needs to think of their boss as a friend. What matters most is that supervisors communicate with employees regularly and respectfully. Workers want feedback and growth opportunities. They also want to be treated as valued members of a team. When supervisors provide regular feedback, help employees improve their performance when necessary, and always treat them with respect, workers are less inclined to quit.

Lack of Work/Life Balance

Digital technology has made it possible for workers across many industries to complete their tasks outside of the office. Many organizations have used this opportunity to embrace flexible scheduling policies.

Employees are eager to work for these companies. They’re looking for jobs that allow them to enjoy a greater degree of work/life balance. If their current organization doesn’t offer that, they’ll seek employment elsewhere.

Lack of Transparency

Employees often feel they can’t succeed at their job if the company itself isn’t thriving. It’s like playing a team sport; you probably won’t win the game if the overall team is weak, no matter how hard you work yourself.

This is a major reason why companies should be more transparent about their financial health with employees. A committed and ambitious worker who wants to climb the corporate ladder might seek employment elsewhere if they feel the company is failing, but if they’re provided with information that demonstrates otherwise, they’ll remain loyal.

Lack of Growth

This point directly ties to the last one. Many workers these days are not content to perform the same routine tasks over and over again. More likely than not, they want to advance in their careers, and as such, they’ll need to feel their employer will provide them with opportunities to achieve their goals.

This is why offering workers growth and development opportunities is key to retention. It has also been shown to boost engagement, which leads to greater overall productivity.

Poor Technology

This is an important point to keep in mind if your company is hiring a large number of millennial employees. When surveyed, millennials report that access to fast and up-to-date technology at work is something they value highly.


It makes sense. They’ve grown up with technology and understand how to leverage it to succeed at work. However, if their workplace doesn’t offer them the tools they need to work efficiently, they’ll feel less engaged.

Don’t overlook these factors. Workers want to succeed and grow. Making sure they have the tools to do so plays a major role in boosting retention.

Weak Onboarding

Improving the onboarding process is crucial to retaining employees. According to surveys, companies with weak onboarding programs are twice as likely to struggle with high employee turnover rates.

Onboarding should provide new hires with all the training and resources they need to feel confident in their roles. It should also involve a direct and clear introduction to the overall workplace culture. Employees who feel engaged with the culture of their employers tend to be more loyal than those who don’t. Thus, the onboarding process represents a valuable opportunity to help them understand and embrace the culture from the start.

Did you notice how higher pay wasn’t on the list? According to surveys, that’s actually not a very important factor in employee retention. If that comes as a surprise, it merely proves the value of researching these developments on a consistent basis. Make sure your organization is keeping up.

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