Why Do Employees Leave?

You can look at virtually any labor statistic you like these days, but most of them bear out one important point: unemployment is the lowest its been in several decades. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 304,000 new jobs were created in the U.S. in January, and there are still over 7 million open positions in the nation right now.

With the economy in full rebound mode, there’s more opportunity for workers than we’ve seen in quite a while, and employees know it.

The folks at Ceridian recently teamed up with Nielsen to conduct a survey of American workers. They found that nearly three out of four workers are either in the job market or could be in the near future. About half of the workers that fit this category weren’t really searching, but would consider leaving if approached.

And why are people leaving? The primary reasons are: they didn’t like the job, they felt a lack of recognition, there were no opportunities for growth, they didn’t like their boss, or they wanted more money.

So how do employers resolve the issue of high turnover? Half the battle is figuring out what the problem is. The first step is to find out what’s important to employees. Focus groups, employee opinion surveys, and informal interviews are proven methods for employers to discover what’s important to their staff. From there, leaders must develop a plan to address employee concerns. Is there a way to divert more revenue to workers’ salaries? Are we doing all we can to develop our employees and enhance their careers? Can we look at new ways to increase employee fulfillment in their jobs? Are we recognizing and rewarding desired performance appropriately?

The answers to these and similar questions may not come easily, but if employers truly care about retaining their top talent, then they must approach the issue thoughtfully and diligently.