Why Employees Quit and How to Prevent It

Illustration of four employees running out of a door with a box of personal items to signify quitting en masse

It’s no secret that workers are quitting their jobs at an alarming rate. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States has not seen quit rates this high in over 50 years.

While there are many reasons why employees decide to leave their jobs, employers are left to understand it all and find ways to improve the employee experience to keep their top talent on the books.

The Great Resignation & Quit Rates

The Great Resignation was coined to describe the historical number of resignations happening within the job market as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As quit rates continue to fluctuate, 1 out of every 4 workers say they plan to quit as soon as another opportunity presents itself.

While the pandemic was a major factor in why employees were quitting their jobs, it’s not the only reason.

Why do employees want to quit their jobs?

1. Low salary ranges lead to higher quit rates

With salary ranges becoming more and more competitive, low salaries are often the primary motivator for workers to leave their jobs.

That, coupled with the fact that employees have more leverage in the ongoing labor shortage, leaves the onus on employers to become more competitive with what they pay.

2. No growth advancement opportunity

When an employee feels stuck in their position without any opportunity for advancement, they will likely start to look for new opportunities elsewhere.

And with more businesses catching on and offering, higher salaries in addition to more comprehensive growth opportunities now is the time for employers to rethink their retention strategies.

3. Lack of fulfillment can lead to quitting

In addition to advancement opportunities, employees want to find meaning and purpose in their work.

When they don’t, they’ll start to look for opportunities that will offer them a sense of fulfillment.

Employers who can create a meaningful and fulfilling work experience for their employees are more likely to keep them on the payroll.

4. No remote work options may increase quit rates

The pandemic has forced employers to reevaluate the way they do business and many have found that remote work is a viable option for their company.

However, not all employers have been as quick to adapt and this has created a problem for workers who need or want to work remotely.

5. Poor company culture can lead to resignations

After-hours communication, unreasonable workloads, passive-aggressive feedback, and fear of retaliation are all cited by employees as signs of toxic work environment and they’re starting to speak up.

Employers need to listen to their employees’ concerns and take action to improve the company culture if they want to keep them around.

6. Lack of work-life balance

The demands of work often spill over into our personal lives and this can have a detrimental effect on mental and physical health.

When employers don’t respect the need for their employees to have a life outside of work, it’s only a matter of time before they start looking for an employer who does.

7. Poor management and it’s impact on quit rates

It’s no secret that bad managers can make or break a job.

Employees who feel micromanaged, belittled, or otherwise disrespected by their managers are more likely to start looking for a new opportunity.


For a complete breakdown of all top salaries, download our  2022 Salary Guide across Tech, Creative & Digital Marketing.


What makes employees happy in the workplace?

A sense of purpose 

Employers who take the time to find out what makes their employees happy and gives them a sense of fulfillment are more likely to create an environment where they can thrive and find success.

Tapping into employees’ intrinsic motivators is a great way to help them grow and thrive in their roles.

Autonomy 

When given the opportunity to work independently, employees often feel a sense of ownership over their projects and a sense of trust from their employer.

Autonomy leads to trust and when workers feel trusted to do their jobs, they tend to stick around.

Time and location flexibility 

Plain and simple — employers who refuse to adapt to the growing remote work landscape will ultimately be left behind.

With so many companies offering 100% work-from-home or hybrid work options, if you don’t offer flexibility, your employees will find someone who does.

Work-life balance

Employers who understand that their employees have a life outside of work are more likely to create a healthy workplace culture.

When workers feel like they can take a mental health day without judgment or that they won’t be expected to answer emails at all hours of the night, they’re more likely to stick around.

Feeling heard

When employees feel like their voices are being heard, they’re more likely to be engaged and invested in their work.

Listening to employee feedback and taking action based on that feedback shows that you value their opinions and that you’re committed to making the workplace a better place for everyone.

Final thoughts on why workers quit their jobs

There are many reasons workers consider quitting their jobs, but some of the most common include a lack of growth opportunities, a lack of fulfillment, no remote work options, poor company culture, a lack of work-life balance, and poor management.

Employers who want to improve retention rates should focus on creating a meaningful and fulfilling work experience for their employees, offering time and location flexibility, and creating a healthy workplace culture.

By staying up to date on the latest employment industry trends, employers can take a proactive approach to their hiring and onboarding strategies and ultimately improve their retention.

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