What a difference 18 months can make when interviewing candidates and listening to their reasons as to why they want to leave their current job. Employees change jobs for many reasons. They relocate due to their husband/wife finding a new position, stay home with children or return to education. Those reasons are very different to the norm as they involve life changes in the employee’s life outside of work.
However in the main the most common reasons why employees leave their job are within the control of the employer.
Below are some of the most common reasons that I hear as a recruiter as to why someone wants to leave their current job:
This may not be the number one reason for an employee to leave a company. However I do hear that on many occasions that it’s a great company but I work in a different department and the culture is different.
Financial Stability / Salary and Benefits
Financial instability, redundancy, salary freezes / decreases or removal of benefits was a key motivator when searching for a new position during the last few years. One of the most common comments is that employees are nervous about the unknown. A simple update of how the business is doing at all times and what the company’s future goals are, is all that is needed to resolve this as many employees are generally happy otherwise.
Relationship with Manager
A high percentage of employees would not consider their manager a friend, however most employees understand that they are required to have a relationship with him/her as they are there to provide feedback, support and direction. An employee who has no relationship with their manager loses confidence easily, lacks engagement in his/her duties and shows no loyalty.
Unchallenged / Focus
A large number of candidates that I speak to highlight the reason as being unchallenged or bored by their work. Employees need to enjoy their job as they spend over a third of their lifetime in work. I am often told that if they had more engagement, were allowed more creativity or additional responsibility it would increase their enjoyment and productivity.
Opportunities / Recognition
Most employees have a desired career path and want to develop and grow their skills. There are a number of unhappy employees that feel that they are unable to do this in their current job and without continued growth, development or recognition and consider this a main reason to change employment.
So the advice that I give to clients and employers who are worried about retention and turnover of employees is to concentrate on the key areas that I have highlighted above.
The reason for this is that they are all controllable by the employer and can be altered by just improving communication, internal relationships, creating additional responsibilities and creating a good culture and working environment.