7 real reasons why your employees are quitting

Happy jumpingFlickr/Gabriela Pinto. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0Here’s why your employees are leaving you in the lurch.

There are tons of personal reasons why people quit their jobs.

Maybe they decided to sail around the world, or start their own business in their basement.

But there are a few key organizational factors that, more often than not, play a role in someone’s decision to leave.

We checked out some recent research on employee retention and turnover and highlighted seven issues that can prompt people to say, “I’m outta here.” Read on and see if you recognise any of these problems in your company.

1. They want more money

It might sound obvious, but money can be motivating.

According to a recent study by the International Consortium for Executive Development Research (ICEDR), a lack of fair pay and compensation is among the top reasons why men and women around age 30 leave their jobs.

Perhaps surprisingly, women around age 30 are more likely than men are to say they have left a job because they found another one that pays more. A whopping 65% of women cited this as a reason, compared to 56% of men.

2. They don't see opportunities for learning and development

That same ICEDR study found that men's top reason for quitting was that there aren't enough opportunities for learning and development. As many as 65% of men cited this issue as a factor in leaving.

Recent research from Deloitte yielded similar findings. According to the survey, 71% of millennials who plan to leave their jobs in the next two years are dissatisfied with how their leadership skills are being developed. But that number drops to 54% among those who are planning to stay beyond 2020.

3. There's no sense of greater purpose

Terms like 'purpose' can sound fuzzy, but it turns out that employees really do value the chance to make a positive contribution to the world.

Based on its survey results, Deloitte highlights a 'purpose gap' between millennials and their employers, meaning there's a disconnect between the world-changing opportunities businesses offer and the opportunities workers want.

The survey found that among millennials planning to stay with their current company for more than five years, 88% said they were satisfied with the company's sense of purpose. Meanwhile, only 63% of those planning to leave within two years were satisfied with that aspect of the organisation.

According to Deloitte chairman David Cruickshank, organisations can start to close the purpose gap by employing their strengths to help society and giving millennials the chance to participate. For example, Cruickshank told Business Insider, some London firms invest in outreach programs with disadvantaged local schools so they can help give students skills that will make them more employable.

4. There's too much collaboration between coworkers

'Collaboration' might sound like a great thing -- everyone pools their knowledge and skills to help a company succeed.

But researchers say there's a dark side to collaboration: The more valuable you are to the company, the more demands get placed on you, until eventually you burn out and quit. Researchers call it 'success syndrome.'

The worst part is that managers can be completely oblivious to how overloaded their employees are becoming. In some cases, they might not even know that their employees are fielding requests from other people and departments.

Senior leaders can help resolve this issue by re-evaluating group meetings and deciding if everyone's input is really required. They can also show the most burdened people how to prioritise requests and say 'no' when necessary.

5. The company doesn't facilitate collaboration between coworkers

But don't think that eliminating collaboration completely will solve any problems.

A 2015 EY survey found that one of the top five reasons workers quit is that their work environment doesn't encourage collaboration between coworkers. Worldwide, 71% of people cited this issue as a factor in leaving; in the US, the number dropped to 66%.

6. They don't feel appreciated by management

Everyone likes to hear that they're doing a good job.

In fact, half of respondents in a 2013 CareerBuilder survey said that increasing employee recognition -- in the form of awards, cash prizes, and company trips -- is one way to prompt employees to stay with a company.

Author Cameron Morrisey writes on LinkedIn that managers should ask themselves a few key questions to figure out if they're valuing their team. Those questions include:

• Is the manager listening to employee feedback?
• Are they giving constructive feedback to the employee?
• Are they showing appreciation and noticing successes?
• Are they empowering their employees to be able to do more than the basics?

7. They work excessive overtime hours

The same EY survey mentioned above found that excessive overtime hours was one of the top reasons for quitting.

That's an especially striking finding given that nearly six in 10 US managers report working more than 40 hours a week.

Plus, research suggests that logging 50-plus-hour workweeks is only feasible for a short time. After that, productivity starts to plummet. Managers would therefore be wise to keep tabs on their employees' hours, or else they could lose them -- to burnout or another company.

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