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Four Top Reasons Talented People Quit Their Jobs


The economy the past several years has made jobs scarce, but talented people still quit for reasons that might surprise you. This turnover issue transcends all profit and non profit organizations.

In my 25-plus-year career in human resources, I’ve noticed that, while people will endure fewer amenities and less pay, there are three reasons skillful workers will bolt to another job:

(1) No progress

When employees sense no potential for career progress, or leaders are unaware that advancement is important, they look for better options.

(2) Feeling unappreciated

When employees receive little or no gratitude for their contributions, it’s demoralizing — they seek more rewarding work elsewhere. The biggest surprise? Many times, during exit interviews, departing employees disclose that a simple, verbal “thank you” would have made them feel sufficiently appreciated.

(3)  Sheer Boredom

Without savvy leaders or a solid idea of the big picture (Vision), employees don’t see concrete, interesting ways to contribute outside of the ordinary scope of their jobs. Things grow tedious and employees hunt for new challenges to make work feel more meaningful.

So, while you might think your employees desire high pay, a corner office, or a cushy benefits package, the truth is that the best employees are satisfied with simpler, more personal benefits.

Be thoughtful — find out what motivates your employees! This simple investment will ensure improved worker retention, enhanced overall morale, and increased organizational loyalty. And isn’t that what you really want?

Action Steps

What can you do as an employer right now to keep your best employees? This article provides some great ideas.

One more thing…what’s the Surprising New Reason People Quit?

Forbes magazine reveals a new reason spiking among employees who quit:

The Final Reason (4) –  Not enough flexibility for work-life balance

Not long ago this reason primarily concerned mothers, but now both men and women will leave pay increases and promotions behind to have a manageable work schedule that doesn’t crowd out the rest of life.

Keep in mind that, as a new generation of workers comes of age and/or starts having children, many will value fulfilling connections with family and friends above a full workload. Climbing the workplace ladder is simply not as important to young workers today as in prior generations. Many are talented and capable, but will choose a desirable work-life balance over monetary or organizational rewards.

So, if you are concerned with retaining talented employees while also saving time and money in hiring and training costs, remember these Top 4 Reasons and the new trend that makes talented people quit. It could make keeping great people you need much easier.

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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