5th October 2022

Reasons Why Talented Employees Quit

Why Good Employees Quit During the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation has taken the US labor market by storm – resignation rates are soaring to new heights and employees who are sticking around may be “quietly quitting” (doing only the bare minimum). It’s no secret this combination is hard on businesses across all industries; employee retention was hard enough pre-pandemic and it’s only gotten harder!

If you find your business losing good team members, you’re not alone; many business owners today are wondering why good employees quit. To better understand how to keep the best of the best on your staff, it’s important to dive into the main reasons they are leaving in the first place. Then, we can work backward from there to learn how to boost employee retention.

Reason #1: Low Pay

According to the Pew Research Center, a February 2022 study found low pay to be among the top reasons Americans quit their jobs. This was not without good reason – another study found that 60% of employees who quit went on to get higher-paying jobs. With inflation on the rise, it’s no surprise wage growth is a real draw to those looking for a new job.

Of those who stayed in their job, less than half experienced a pay increase; no wonder we’re seeing employees quitting left and right! Those who are changing industries are being rewarded with higher pay while those who stay are often asked to pick up extra hours to make up for the loss (which hurts their work-life balance) and they are not being offered higher pay to compensate.  

Reason #2: Lack of Job Security

If your team members fear losing their job, they are much more likely to leave. In fact, the Pew Research Center suggests only 14% of employees who have a “great deal of security” in their current position were considering finding a new job in the next six months. Of those who felt they had little security, nearly half were considering a job change. If you expect your team members to continue working for you, it pays to make sure they know their job isn’t going anywhere.

Reason #3: Lack of Opportunity for Advancement

Over 60% of those who left their job in 2021 cited lack of advancement as a major reason. Many people find the chance for a promotion to be a great motivator, a goal they want to work towards. It follows, then, that those who see no bigger goal available to them will look elsewhere. If you’re expecting your team members to stick to their current roles forever, they may be feeling overlooked.

One method of engaging and retaining employees is to reward outstanding performance. Though there is a myriad of ways to reward your team, providing advancement opportunities is a great one. If your staff comes to anticipate a chance to be noticed and move up, it’s a lot more likely they will stay with your company.

Reason #4: Feeling Disrespected

As leaders, it’s easy to get stressed but if your stress overflows into treating your employees with disrespect, they won’t want to stick around. Feeling disrespected was cited by the Pew Research Center as the reason 57% of employees quit their jobs in 2021. What causes someone to feel disrespected may vary, but as a leader, it’s your job to ensure a healthy workplace culture and make sure your employees know they are valued.

Creating a healthy culture means investing in your employees, their work life, their goals, their wellbeing. Focus on fostering connection, balance, and fulfillment, and your team members will enjoy being at work. When your work environment is centered around those values, disrespect will begin to dissolve.

So, What Now?

Though there are many factors that may make people feel like switching jobs, from lack of flexibility in hours to childcare issues, businesses can only address so much at once; these four major reasons for quitting are a great place to start! If you can, it’s helpful to speak with employees who are moving on from your company to find out why they are leaving. Doing this can shed light on which area you should focus on first.

If you’re struggling to imagine how you can ever begin to make the necessary changes to keep your team engaged, we’ve got you covered. Check out our employee engagement training here or read through the blog for some more tips.