What Are the Top 10 Reasons Why Employees Quit?

John Krautzel
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Leaders are often taken by surprise when their top employees hand in their resignation forms, but if they pay attention to the warning signs, they may realize that good workers have one or more reasons to quit. Here are 10 major "last straws" that can push employees to throw in the towel.

1. Unfair Treatment

Employees who see other workers getting ahead without deserving it, whether it be through promotions or pay, find an easy reason to quit. Workers have a hard time desiring to move up in the workplace if the criteria for rewards are unclear or unfairly advantageous to certain employees.

2. Selfishness of Leaders

A strong leader seeks to build up his team, putting aside his own needs to work toward the success of the company and his employees. If workers notice that an organization's leaders only care about their own gain, they can quickly become disillusioned and start working on their resignations.

3. Being Taken for Granted

Every professional hopes to be valued for hard work and accomplishments. When an organization's leadership continually takes a great employee's strong performance for granted, this gives the employee a good reason to quit, as he is likely to seek recognition in another company.

4. Being Ignored by Managers

Managers are the front-line leaders that employees interact with on a regular basis, so if workers can't get the attention or approval of their managers, their feelings of being taken for granted are multiplied. Managers should constantly encourage and show a vested interest in their team to avoid this common reason to quit.

5. Promises Not Kept

Promises, whether they're for company improvements or work team rewards, can fill employees with hope for the future. However, broken promises can rapidly erode employee trust.

6. Corporate Politics

When companies nurture a culture of gossip, brown nosing and workplace politics instead of sincerity and empathy, good employees have a strong reason to quit. A toxic office culture can quickly suck the life out of even the most positive-minded worker.

7. Inefficient Work Processes

Talented employees become burned out when they have to jump through too many hoops to get projects approved or face other unnecessary challenges. This can make them feel like they're putting time and effort into something that isn't worthwhile.

8. Reaching a Developmental Rut

Employees seek to enrich their careers by continually learning, improving and progressing in their jobs. If a company doesn't offer any more for their more advanced workers, those workers may move on.

9. Existential Realizations

All it takes is a big life milestone or other event to make great employees realize that a certain job isn't giving them the satisfaction and purpose they crave. Organizations must offer everything to help employees meet their own professional goals as well as those of the business.

10. Exposure to Other Organizations

When employees begin to network, they may see that other organizations have more to offer. Companies must stay competitive in an internal sense to retain strong workers.

A few good employees may stick with a company despite its drawbacks, but many don't find this worth the effort. Companies should work on eliminating or reducing these major reasons to quit if they want top talent to stick around for years to come.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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  • Lawrence S.
    Lawrence S.

    I wish I could point to examples of Senior Management placing their people first--but I cannot. No executive is going to compromise their job security over some middle-manager employee. You have to be loyal to your supervisor, but don't expect loyalty in return. It just doesn't work that way in the USA.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. Sorry, though, for the circumstances. @Kenneth Majors that is usually correct; companies don't sit up and pay attention until some of their top brass decide to walk. It is a shame that companies have that attitudes to the employees - to those people who are doing the work and making money for the company. Without the employees there is no company. @Yolanda P so sorry you had to go through that and glad that you quit. Hope you gave them an earful on your way out. Normally I would say not to burn bridges but, in this case, I am not guessing that you will ever go back to that sweat shop! All the best in finding your next position.

  • Kenneth Majors
    Kenneth Majors

    When leaders are surprised by their top people suddenly resigning speaks volumes to the reason they are leaving. If the manager was paying attention and listening and treating these employees like they were a valued asset they would probably not have the problem in the first place.

  • Yolanda P.
    Yolanda P.

    Raise.12 cents after a year. Therefore making $9.12 after a year n 3 months. 10 to 20 hrs a week. And burn you to the core in those few hrs. Then ac in building not working more than working and this is a huge massive company across the USA. MAKING 100s of Thousands of dollars or millions n billions a day. And ur working under horrible conditions. Sweating the whole time your there. Every they promised as incentives was all lies told at orientation. Then story changes when it comes up. Nothing they told me was true. So much more to say but I will leave it at that. I quit 10/21/17. Finally had it. This company sucks. .

  • Lisa D.
    Lisa D.

    When your supervisor treats you like trap, and long down on you. Instead of molding you to continue to be a great Team Lead. And you go to management and they do nothing.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. So sorry you are going through this. I don't blame you @Sheila R for quitting. Life is tough enough without having to deal with a screaming boss. Makes for a terrible work atmosphere for everyone. @Deborah M. that's a terrible environment to be in. I, too, would be looking to get out of it. But, if you do leave, don't burn your bridges. Don't say that you are leaving because of the negativity permeating the company. Just that you have more of an opportunity for growth at the new position. You never know when you might need a reference or even if you may end up coming back to that company sometime in the future.

  • Sheila R.
    Sheila R.

    When there are too many chiefs,not enough Indians,too many bosses,when the boss earns the salary yet screams and yells at you . That is why you quit

  • Deborah M.
    Deborah M.

    Another reason for resignation. When nothing positive is stated in each meeting with the assistant manager. Second meeting it was mentioned that he had to fire an employee for not learning the system and bring this up at other opportunities. Never taking ownership of not providing proper training literature early on in learning process. This is a waste of the employees time and efforts.

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