The Real Reason Why Your Best Employees Keep Quitting

July 17, 2016・5 mins read
The Real Reason Why Your Best Employees Keep Quitting

Employees leaving your company may give various reasons for resigning. While they may really need to take a job closer to where they live, decide to stay home with their children or want to change career paths entirely, these are often not the only reasons employees leave.

While major life changes do happen and employees do leave a job they love, most organizations fail to look at the actual causes that are typically associated with turnover of high-contributing employees. 

Many employees quit jobs for reasons that they never share with their manager. Think about these possibilities when assessing why your people are leaving.

Dislike of their manager

Bad bosses come in all shapes and sizes but they all have one thing in common: their ability to drive talented employees away. Companies that elect to keep managers who lack real leadership skills - or that fail to help these managers develop leadership skills - can leave employees with no other choice than to leave. 

Be an organization that measures its employee turnover through an exit interview with every voluntarily terminating employee. Have a confidential meeting with them, away from their direct manager, to ask them their reasons for leaving, what they liked and disliked about their time with your company and any recommendations they have for management to make the next person’s experience better. Collect this data and pay attention to how many people may be leaving because of the actions of their manager.

Additionally, reward those managers who are better at retaining the key talent on their teams. Then work on  developing, improving and, if necessary, disciplining those who have a high-turnover.

Lack of engagement

Employee engagement is defined as a state of mind where one feels satisfied, empowered and committed at work. It can also be characterized by such behaviors as persistence and initiative, and personal characteristics like the right attitude, high level of energy and a positive point of view. It is a fact that engaged employees contribute at a higher level to customer service, problem solving and the bottom line of the company.

If your employees are lacking engagement, start by reading up on how to create an effective employee engagement program.

Employees don’t feel heard

Employees who do not feel they have a voice in the company can quickly become disengaged. It is very important to maintain open communication and seek regular input from people at all levels of the organization.  Make it your mission to listen to employees so they know they are being heard. Act on their ideas whenever possible or provide them feedback with why you cannot implement their suggestions. 

Lack of recognition for their work

Remember that even if employees do not say so, they all want to feel valued. The way to let them know their contributions are important is to recognize them for doing good work and give them ongoing feedback so they know where they stand and how to improve, if needed.  

It is best to get to know your employees because employee recognition can come in different forms. Every employee has different motivations and needs. Offer rewards and incentives that your employees will value and personalize them to the individual as much as possible. Also, never underestimate the power of saying a simple “thank you” for a job well done.

More responsibility, yet no increase in pay or promotion

If an employee is going to be given a permanent assignment with added responsibilities above and beyond what they are already doing, consider offering an increase in pay or consideration for a promotion.  No one wants to do more and have it be a thankless experience. Few employees will put up with this for very long.  

Changing their role and job duties without their input and/or consent

Nobody likes to have their choices taken from them. When your employees joined your company, they did so (hopefully) with the understanding of what their day-to-day duties would entail. If you change their job without their input or permission, you are dictating to them how they will spend their time.  This can make employees feel they cannot trust the organization when it comes to what is in their best interest. It is a recipe for retention disaster.

Given the above findings, it is imperative for companies to consider the great impact they may experience when losing some of their best employees.  To undo the damage, find ways to shift your focus to the needs of your employees so they – and you – can be successful. 

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

This post may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by parties other than TriNet. Such hyperlinks are provided for reference only. TriNet does not control such web sites and is not responsible for their content. Inclusion of such hyperlinks on does not necessarily imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or association with their operators.

ESAC Accreditation
We comply with all ESAC standards and maintain ESAC accreditation since 1995.
Certified PEO
A TriNet subsidiary is classified as a Certified Professional Employer Organization by the IRS.