Applauz Blog

7 Reasons Why Employees Quit

Published: October 28, 2019

Last Updated: February 7, 2024

  4 min read

why employees quit

Why employees quit? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, but studies can help shed light on this thorny question and help to improve retention.

The Center for American Progress reported that employee turnover costs organizations anywhere from 16% to 213% of the lost employee's salary.

Every time a business hires or replaces an employee, organizations take a substantial financial hit. The cost of losing employees extends beyond financial implications, too.

When organizations lose top talent to voluntary turnover—meaning an employee left by their own accord—it can profoundly impact team morale. When employees leave for greener pastures, it may persuade other team members to take the plunge and quit as well.

Voluntary turnover of top talent is dangerous for business. When employees don't feel fulfilled or impressed by a company's offerings, high voluntary turnover is usually the first symptom.

In this article, we will go over the various reasons your business could be experiencing negative forms of turnover, and we'll dive more in-depth to examine their underlying causes, so you can keep a close eye on your team and improve retention rate before it's too late.

bigstock-employee-quittingCommon Causes of Voluntary Employee Turnover

Employee turnover results when people leave a place of business by choice. Voluntary turnover results because of a range of reasons: from lousy workplace relationships or business practices to poaching from a different company or competitor. Ultimately, these employees leave willingly because of a lack of loyalty to the current business.

In this case, it's essential to look at the root cause of the lack of loyalty, as most employees, when they do get hired, are very much ready to establish a career within a company that aligns with their ideals and treats them properly.

Here is a brief list of reasons your organization maybe be contributing to pushing employees out the door.

Poor recruiting practices

High employee retention begins with hiring the right person for the job and the cultural fit of the company. HR can test for a cultural fit by asking behavioural or personality-based test questions to new hires, assessing their general attitude and overall alignment with your team and business.

Unfortunately, many companies don't employ proper recruiting techniques or a refined enough filter, and candidates who are—in reality—not a good fit for the role or the company end up getting hired, only to leave a short time after.

Uninspiring Onboarding

Many employers fail to recognize the onboarding process extends beyond the first few days of employment. It takes several weeks for a new employee to settle in and begin to feel at home. 

Neglecting the importance of onboarding makes employees feel as though their presence is not valued and that they don't fit into the company's existing culture.

Great onboarding practices function to continuously inform new hires of the company's culture; its mission statement and values. Walking new employees through everything they need to know to get started within the organization; makes them feel like a welcomed member of the team and a new "work family."

If employees feel left out or segregated from their group or overall organization, loyalty will suffer as a result, and they'll jump ship relatively quickly for a more welcoming and inclusive environment.

Compensation and benefits are not competitive

Right off the bat, it's important to ensure that your company is offering competitive benefits and salary packages to employees. This turnover is a direct result of employees not receiving what they believe they are entitled to by way of recognition, or having been misled (whether intentional or otherwise) about the benefits they were meant to receive.

Even if you’re a growing business that is unable to offer highly competitive salaries and benefits packages, you can always offer non-cash incentives and rewards via a reward and recognition program using a cost-effective solution like Applauz Recognition.

Increase Retention with an Employee Engagement Program Download PDF NowRestrictive Management

Workopolis conducted a poll to get to the bottom of why people leave their jobs. They found that one of the top reasons cited by people is: "my relationship with my boss."

We've all heard the saying: "people don't leave jobs, they leave managers." For anyone who's dealt with difficult management, it's no surprise that managers and management styles strongly impact employee retention.

Further studies point to the dysfunctions within management that lead to churn. A study conducted by employee engagement firm TINYpulse found a strong connection between employee job satisfaction and the "freedom to make decisions about how to do their jobs."

In short, rigid management styles and micro-management results in higher dissatisfaction among employees, and as a result, higher turnover rates.

Uninspiring work and culture

There's no use hiring people that don't make a direct impact on your business; your employees should feel intrinsic importance to their position where they feel as though their say has consequences on the business.

It's human to feel like you want to be part of a group of like-minded people and contribute to a more significant cause that aligns with your own beliefs, fueling a sense of belonging and pride.

For example, someone who is a firm believer and proponent of environmental sustainability would feel proud to work for a company with similar values that makes decisions based on maintaining a low carbon footprint and environmental sustainability.

Recent studies support this claim. A TinyPulse survey found that uninspiring company culture is an active contributor to employee churn. According to the study, "employees who give their work culture low marks are nearly 15% more likely to think about a new job than their counterparts."

Little opportunity for career advancement

Many top-performing employees value future career opportunities within their company. They'll surely feel like their career is stalling if there's no talk of promotion once they've proven themselves and feel like they deserve consideration for advancement.

Over 70% of "high-turnover-risk" employees state that they want to leave their employer because they aren't given a chance to grow in the current position they occupy. The moral of this story? Depriving your star workers of advancement opportunities is a sure way to lose them, no two ways about it.

Situational Forces

In many cases, voluntary turnover also takes place due to an employee's inability to continue working for your organization.

Often it can be due to situations entirely out of your control as an owner or manager but occurs due to an employee relocating or needing to accommodate specific life circumstances that make it impossible for them to continue working for your business. Sometimes these employees can be saved from attrition by offering flexibility and accommodation for their new circumstances. However, it's not always possible to rectify.

How Applauz Can Support Your Employee Retention Initiatives Download PDF NowFinal Thoughts

In sum, several reasons trigger employees to leave to the detriment of a business's well-being; the important thing is to be aware of these situations and to do everything to ensure that your business implements defences against employee churn.

Each one of the situations described above can be remedied. It takes committed leaders that strive to build an optimal work environment by offering employees the tools and inspiration they need to succeed professionally and personally.

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