Why do most employees leave their jobs?

Most employers believe it’s because of the lure of better salaries and/or advancement elsewhere. But the premise of this article is that rather than being pulled away by positive factors in a different job, most employees disengage and are pushed away from their current workplace by negative factors. Examples range from being bullied, generally ignored, overlooked for promotion, discovering they are underpaid compared with others or being asked to do something unethical, through to being asked to perform boring menial tasks.

But, in our experience, the most common triggers include personality clashes – often when the employee’s line manager changes with the result that established working practices are altered – or a mismatch between the original job the employee applied for, and the gradual change of the role over months or years as the role develops.

Based on credible research, there is a really costly problem associated with high employee turnover and every business ought to be trying to improve staff retention levels. Some solutions are pretty obvious: create realistic job descriptions; mentor more; make people feel important; dismiss non-performers. Others are less so: on-the-spot cash payouts; building social connectedness, encouraging some fun in the workplace (within the confines of discrimination legislation, of course!).

Some employers have even considered doing away with HR policies and management practices completely that might block internal progress (but probably not a course of action we would endorse or recommend). More recent post-Covid trends include offering more flexibility for working from home, granting extra or unlimited holidays and linking salary with value created rather than hours worked (the last one sounds great in principle, but could increase the risk of grievances and equal pay claims).

Please contact us if you would like to discuss any current problems relating to staff retention issues in more detail.