Rewards & Recognition, Talent Management

Here’s Why So Many Good Employees Are Looking to Leave This Year

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According to a recent study by CareerBuilder, 1 out of every 5 workers is planning to leave their job in 2014.

That’s a lot of disengaged employees.

After digging into the data, you find it’s not because these workers want a higher salary. Even though salary is important and makes up a large percentage (66 percent) of why people said they are dissatisfied with their current job, respondents were just as likely to attribute dissatisfaction to not feeling valued (65 percent).

Why employees are leaving their jobs

When you look at the factors that make people want to leave their job, we should be focused less at big expensive enterprise-wide programs and more at the quality of interactions and communication between managers, supervisors, employees and teams.

Recognition, appreciation, and thanking someone for their contribution is not a million dollar HR program.

In addition to general dissatisfaction, here are the other most frequently cited reasons for leaving a job 2014: -

  • Job dissatisfaction — 54 percent;
  • No growth — 45 percent;
  • Work-life balance — 39 percent;
  • Underemployed — 39 percent;
  • Stress — 39 percent;
  • Don’t like boss — 37 percent.

Ways to mitigate the risk of departures

You can’t give everyone a 50 percent salary raise, but there are many inexpensive ways to mitigate the risk of people leaving:

  • Recognize. Appreciate. Thank people for their work.
  • Ask people what’s important to them. Sally may value autonomy and a promotion but Scott would love nothing more than to start his day at 9 am instead of 8 am.
  • Help people see what their career progression could look like. What skills do they need to develop? What lateral job moves are possible?
  • Communicate what’s ahead. How does their work fit into the direction or goals of the business?
  • Understand where and why people are stressed or overloaded. Stress may be the nature of the job but sometimes walking someone through where to delegate or how to re-prioritize can make a significant difference in how they approach their work.
  • Take a hard look at your managers and supervisors. Great pay, interesting work and a clear career path holds little meaning when you have a horrible boss to deal with every day.

Yes, 20 percent of your employees say they plan to leave their job this year.

Are you giving them a good reason to stay.

This was originally published on PeopleResult’s Current blo

Marta Steele is a Partner at PeopleResults and a change and human resources consultant, having served in diverse internal and external consulting roles for over 16 years. Prior to People Results, Marta was affiliated with Accenture where she held leadership positions in a number of successful large-scale people initiatives. Connect with her on Twitter at Twitter.com/MartaSteele or via email at msteele@people-results.com.
  • Martha Duesterhoft

    Marta – I love that you’ve written about this and offer great tips and insights. Too often HR gets caught up in developing “programs” & neglect the basics of helping people managers focus on what makes the biggest difference with their employees.

  • http://www.vidcruiter.com/ VidCruiter

    I agree with Martha! Thank you for the article, Marta

  • Grant Short

    People join companies; People leave managers.

    • Marta Steele

      For me, a great boss and great team trumps everything.

  • Barbara Milhizer

    Well done, Marta. You present practical, low-cost solutions here that everyone should be implementing, not just HR.

  • Mel Kleiman

    It is only of importance if the 20% who plan to leave are the in the top 25%. It would be wonderful if the 20% who plan to leave are in the bottom 50%.

    • Brian

      Here is a perfect example why employees want to leave their companies…remember you hired these guys in the first place,,,what does that say about you

    • Marta Steele

      Mel, there certainly are employees who aren’t a good fit and would be better off somewhere else. But what strikes me about that 20% is that there are a lot of great and just fine employees in that number. The turnover costs alone — yikes!

  • Shelli

    Marta, thanks for the practical solutions that we all can do with very little HR support, cost or intervention. Treat people with respect – understand where they’re coming from and where they want to go – and appreciate their diversity.

  • http://www.good.co/blog Lisa – Good.Co

    Interesting article – and comments! Though, I think part of what the article is getting at, is that a certain number of this “bottom 50%” mentioned by another commenter may only be at the bottom due to lack of engagement. You might think it’s all well and good if these folks just get the heck out of your company, but if there are always half of your employees that you would describe as underperforming, it might be worth looking at what steps might be taken to increase engagement on the company’s side. Don’t get me wrong – engagement is a two-way street. There will always be nay-sayers and foot-draggers who haven’t yet realized that a significant portion of their own happiness rests on their own shoulders, and is largely based on their own perceptions of their own situations. You can’t control that, nor should you try. However, if you remind them that there were good reasons that they were hired, and that if they’re struggling with something, there is help available, you might find a reduction in the population of those at the bottom – and it won’t be because they up and quit.
    Cheers! Lisa Chatroop, Good.Co

    • Marta Steele

      Thanks for your comments, Lisa. Of the 20% leaving, some may be the employees that aren’t performing, some average performers, some top performers. Your perspective is an interesting one — looking at what’s in our control as managers and leaders. And there really is a lot within our control to keep employees engaged.

  • Wahu kenya

    I second Grant unappreciative managers are the last stroke and one hits the door

  • Jake

    This article is so true, about half of the people in my company have left due to no employment growth or any type of recognition.

    • Marta Steele

      I’ve seen this over and over, Jake. It makes me wonder if the top leaders “feel the pain” and understand what’s at the root of people leaving.

  • Mike Harvey

    I doubt that many of the 20% who’ve decided to move on are currently in the bottom 50% of their companies. Moving on demonstrates initiative and courage, traits not usually found in bottom performers.