Why do employees leave their jobs?

2014-08-09 17:14

During the past ten years I have seen many staff members come and go. Most of the time, I did not focus on why a specific employee had opted to leave.  As a manager, you concentrate more on ensuring that the business moves forward as seamlessly as possible with the loss of the employee, and prioritise replacing that particular individual.

Having said that, it became apparent that a clear pattern had emerged.  The most common misconception is that financial reasons precipitate resignations. While this may be the case in some instances, I would say that this is the case in less than 5% of the instances. Especially with the current economic climate, employees are very scared to leave for more money as they are scared of the unknown and are very much aware of the LIFO “Last in first out” risk.

In my opinion, the major causes for people leaving a job are as follows:

1.       No clear progression ladder: Employees need to be able to clearly see how they can progress at a workplace. This is more than just about promotions. It takes into consideration personal growth, additional responsibility, long term stability, job satisfaction and recognition of good work.

 2.     Weak company policies: Badly written HR policies or ambiguous financial policies that allow for random interpretation of benefits, bonuses, leave and other perks will cause havoc in a workplace, especially when the interpretation of the ambiguous policy is done differently for each employee. This will cause friction between staff members and will be a major reason for employees leaving.

3.     Weak managers: Having a weak manager who is threatened by the employee will be disastrous. A weak manager will not encourage growth, nor be open to ideas from the employee and will constantly be over-sensitive to various scenarios that will cause friction between the employee and manager, and most of the times it’s the employee who will resign.

So if any of these points ring a bell, stop for a while and think. How long until you get a resignation letter in your inbox?

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