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5 reasons people quit their job

Monday morning. The delicious aroma of your first cup of coffee greets you. You open your laptop. Then you hear a soft knock on your door. You look up and there she is. Your best team member. Your superstar. You hired her 5 months ago. “Do you have a minute?” she asks with a serious look on her face.  

Half an hour later, completely in shock, you take a sip of your – now cold – coffee.  

You don’t understand. How did you not see this coming?   

Every manager has had to deal with it: employees who quit. It’s part of the job. It’s also natural, especially in today’s world, where people don’t stay in the same job or same company for decades. And when some people leave, it makes room for others. For new ideas, innovation, and different points of view.  

But what if your top employees leave one after the other?  

Or if employees that started 6 months ago leave?  

That’s a different story. 

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More than 15  years of experience within small and large organisations has shown us that there are a lot of different reasons why people decide to leave their jobs. We highlight 5 of the most common ones: 

1. Your employees don’t feel valued 

When your employees start feeling like they could easily be replaced at work, it may lead them to consider searching for a job where their efforts are more valued. It’s essential for most people to feel appreciated and to know that their contributions are significant to the company’s success. Entry-level roles can sometimes make it challenging to provide this acknowledgment due to the limited scope of responsibilities. As a manager, it’s important to recognize these feelings and support employees who may be ready for higher-level positions. 

2. Feeling conflicted with company policies 

Is everybody in the company working five days a week, because ‘that’s just the way we do things around here?’ Are employees expected to answer their phone always, even after office hours or when they are on holidays? These types of company policies or unwritten company rules might be a reason for people to leave. They might be looking for a better work-life balance, their personal situation might change (e.g. they become parents, or have to take care of a family member). Being flexible about working days, hours and places could have a positive impact on your employee turnover. 

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3. Poor leadership 

“People don’t leave a bad job. They leave bad leaders.” We hear this frequently. And it’s true. Good leaders are able to make their people grow, to help them bring out the best in themselves. Poor leaders, on the other hand, manage to turn motivated, hardworking employees into pale, uninspired robots that count down the minutes until they can go home and that use their lunch breaks to scroll through vacancies for a better alternative.  

This research shows that bad management causes 50 percent of the people to leave their jobs. 

Management is not about being there for a couple of important moments. You just aren’t going to cut it with one performance interview mid-year, an appraisal interview and an end-of-year bonus. Employees aren’t machines. Invest time in them. Get to know them. Know what motivates them. Good leadership can make or break the retention of valuable employees. 

4. There is no challenge 

Do you know what keeps your employees inspired? What challenges them? This is definitely not the same for everyone. As surprising as it may sound, not every team member is looking for a promotion. Not everyone dreams of being in a leadership role themselves. And that’s ok. It’s important that every employee gets the chance to develop in their own way. Whether that’s through a promotion or a new challenge within the current position. A good Learning & Development programme is essential for this.  

5. There is not a good onboarding programme 

Did you know that 28% of employees leave the company within 3 months? And that 40% of the people who have been with a company for less than 6 months plan to leave within the next year? 

A high turnover rate is incredibly expensive. Replacing an employee costs 50-150% of an annual salary. Additionally, the constant change of employees causes demotivation among the remaining team members.  

A good onboarding programme is key. And no, this isn’t about “you can get your coffee here and here’s the printer.” An onboarding programme ensures that a successful candidate turns into a successful employee within 90 days by showing them the culture of the organisation and by offering them a future perspective. By setting goals, clarifying expectations and creating a personal development plan. A good onboarding programme can improve employee retention by as much as 82%. 

What do you think? Shall we have a cup of coffee together to talk about your staff retention? We promise you your coffee won’t get cold! 

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