Why Employees Leave: Insightful Analyses for the Forward-Thinking Employer

Posted on Wednesday 4 October 2023.

why employees leave

Over 50 million employees quit their jobs in 2022.  According to HReview the employee turnover rate is expected to rise to 41% this year. They also reported that employee turnover rates have increased by 8.7% since 2019 and are estimated to increase even more this year, with a predicted 35.6% turnover rate in the UK and 46.8% in the US.

The employee turnover rate has been an ongoing challenge, calling for effective employee retention strategies. Strategies that benefit employees at an individual and professional level.

Employers who are forward-thinking differentiate themselves from the rest by prioritizing employee retention over simply hiring the best talent.

These employers develop retention strategies immediately after hiring top talent, which involves understanding their employees’ needs.

The Changing Landscape of The Modern Workforce

In the past, having a stable job and financial stability were paramount. Though those are still important today, many employment options are available, and the creator and gig economy have grown in popularity.

As a result, the employee value system has shifted, with remote work being a significant aspect.

98% of workers wish to work remotely at least some of the time. So, employers unwilling to offer remote work automatically get struck off. They get the attention of the remaining 2%. 

While remote work was bound to boom in the future, the pandemic only fueled this need. So, if employees expected flexible work hours in 2025, they started experiencing it in 2021.

Let’s take a closer look at why employees leave their jobs…

5 Top Reasons Why Employees Leave

There are many reasons why employees are leaving. They could be professional or personal, but these are considered the main motives:

1. Lack of career growth opportunities

One of the most common reasons employees choose to resign is out of feeling stagnant after serving the company for years.  At that point, writing a letter of resignation might seem like the best solution to unsatisfied and unhappy employees.

If you want to know whether an employee feels stuck in their current job role, the questions below might help.

  • For how many years has the employee worked with the company?
  • What are their job responsibilities?
  • Have the job responsibilities changed since they joined the company? If not, do they need to?
  • Do you regularly check with employees whether they’re growing in their current job roles?

Asking these questions will help you navigate the reasons employees choose to leave. If there is a need for more career opportunities, you can offer them a different role or tweak their job responsibilities to allow them to grow. It’s a win-win!

2. Feeling undervalued

Feeling valued is important, as employees who don’t feel valued are 34% more likely to leave their jobs within the following year. When an employee’s contribution goes unrecognized for a long time, it erodes their morale even to fulfill the most basic job responsibilities. However, some cues may help you identify whether an employee feels undervalued:

  • An observable decline in their passion for the work.
  • They’re frequently taking trips, or you notice a sudden increase in absenteeism.
  • They don’t participate as much in meetings.
  • They become passive and more reserved when communicating.
  • You sense a general disengagement or detachment from their organization.

If you notice any of these signs, make sure to communicate with the employee to understand the cause and find a solution.

3. Poor management and leadership

📢 A good manager directs the team, while a bad manager controls it.

77% of employee turnover is due to poor management. A manager’s job is to identify the team member’s strengths and use them for maximum output. When a manager fails to do so, the team lacks a proper direction, eventually making the organization suffer in the following ways.

  • Unclear communication from management leaves employees feeling confused and disconnected.
  • An overbearing manager stifles employees’ autonomy and fosters a lack of trust.
  • Favoritism and biases caused by managers erode trust among other employees.
  • Irregular feedback from managers halts the employee’s growth.

4. Lack of work-life balance

72% of workers believe work-life balance is crucial when choosing an employer. So don’t be surprised when an employee states a lack of work-life balance as a reason to leave your company.

When an employee works long hours, it:

  • Deteriorates the quality of the work produced over time.
  • Decreases employee morale and motivation in the long run, impacting the overall environment.
  • Repels top talent due to the reputation of poor work-life balance.
  • Deteriorates employees’ physical and mental health.
  • Poses a legal threat to the company if labor laws regarding work hours or leaves get violated.

5. Lack of communication and engagement

🗝️ As overworked as it may sound – communication is key.

According to a compilation of workplace communication statistics, 86% of employees cite the lack of effective collaboration and communication as the main causes of failure.

Communication doesn’t simply mean taking feedback meetings at regular intervals and keeping employees posted about organizational changes.

At its core, it means making the employees feel included in the decision-making. 

  • Disengaged employees produce low or average-quality work, impacting badly on the customer service quality.
  • Lack of communication across team members hampers their individual and collective growth.
  • Disengaged employees may signal disinterest in work by frequent absenteeism or inactive participation in company activities.

To foster open communication, you must always keep the communication channels open. Only when a company practices transparency can employees thrive.

Once the reasons are identified, it is important to comprehend the strategies for retaining employees.

5 Prominent Strategies to Retain Employees

employee retention

We’ll look at the five simplest employee retention strategies you can implement for your company.

1. Invest in good leadership

Choosing the right manager requires the right hiring approach.

While 83% of organizations believe it’s important to develop leaders at every level of the company, only 5% of businesses have implemented leadership development at all levels. Instead of keeping the candidate’s qualifications and professional experience in primary focus, ask situational questions to gauge how they handle leadership challenges.

A few ways listed below will help you hire the right one.

  • Present real-world scenarios to test the candidate’s leadership skills.
  • Use psychometric tests to assess the candidate’s personality.
  • Check whether the company values align with the candidate’s values.
  • Conduct a reference check by communicating with ex-employers.

It’s not always necessary to hire a new manager. Consider training a trusted employee, as it can save resources spent on recruitment.

2. Foster regular feedback and open communication

74% of employees feel they are missing out on company news and information. To avoid making employees feel excluded, consider the following tips:

  • Cultivate and communicate a clear process to address and resolve conflicts.
  • Go for a hybrid communication model involving in-person meetings, emails, and other written communication channels.
  • Conduct monthly or biweekly surveys to measure the effectiveness of communication.
  • Conduct training for managers to actively listen to their employees and indulge in meaningful two-way communication.
  • Establish anonymous channels for employees to express feedback and concerns without fear.

3. Offer continuous learning and development opportunities

Every company wants to hire top talent. However, very few offer these talented employees enough growth opportunities. To give employees continuous learning opportunities, follow the below-mentioned tips.

  • Assign mentors to a group of employees to ensure the team gets direction.
  • Provide skill-enhancement training and workshops tailored to each employee’s needs.
  • Motivate employees to explore numerous roles and departments to expand their skill set.
  • Allocate resources for employees if they wish to pursue higher education.

After all, building a skilled and collaborative team is one of the greatest ways to enhance employee experience and organizational success.

4. Offer creative well-being packages to promote work-life balance

Wellness packages don’t simply include outstation vacations or sponsorships to health clubs. You can devise your wellness packages based on your company’s budget and employee needs.

  • Check whether employees would benefit from physical or emotional/mental health training.
  • Organize training camps and workshops regularly after knowing their needs.
  • Sponsor a vacation yearly or quarterly as per your budget.
  • Offer gym or dance club memberships to motivate employees to spend time indulging in movement after office hours.
  • Keep conducting mental and physical health workshops now and then.

5. Reassess and communicate company values

Employees’ value system is changing, and so should the companies. 

For example, if your competitors use generative AI to enhance employee productivity and your company is reluctant to try tech, it’ll only cost you.

It’s essential to ask a few questions regularly to check whether company values have shifted or need a shift.

  • What were the company values at the time of establishment?
  • Have the values shifted over time? If not, why? If yes, how?
  • Do employees quit or refrain from joining your company, stating a mismatch in values as a reason?
  • Why does the company believe in the current values? Does it benefit the company? How?

Answering these questions will take you closer to the actual values and tell you if they need changes.

Be A Forward-Thinking Employer and Put Employees at The Core

This article provides some of the main reasons why employees leave and the strategies to combat them. While these strategies give you a clear roadmap to achieve employee retention, putting employees at the center of your organization is the ultimate solution to retaining them. The strategies mentioned are simply a workaround for achieving that.

So, it’s up to businesses to figure out which strategy works for their employees. To do so, engage with every employee and determine their needs. And use that data to create strategies that effectively meet their needs.

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Parita Pandya

Parita Pandya

Parita Pandya is an Engineer turned Writer. She usually finds herself writing for businesses. When she is not writing, she is either strumming her guitar or penning her thoughts down on her blog.



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