Moving On: Why Your Best Employees Leave


These days, it is uncommon for someone to stick with the same company throughout their career. In-demand employees have options - where they work, how many hours they work, and sometimes, whether or not they can work in their pajamas. However, there are valid reasons why people decide to move on from secure employment — and it isn’t just about the money or the location.

Just Another Cog in the Wheel

Sometimes, employers are only concerned about profits, productivity, and pleasing stakeholders. These factors are certainly vital to a successful business venture, but they are impossible to achieve if the people doing the work are being mistreated. Staff need to be given dignity and motivation to be productive. If staff are underpaid, not provided with flexible work practices, and not given adequate benefits or a safe, healthy, and enjoyable working environment, they are likely to quit and all that expertise is lost when experienced people are pushed out of their jobs through sheer neglect.

No Mobility

Ambitious people will eventually get bored doing the same thing day after day. They want to learn new skills and progress in their careers. Staff expect to be trained and educated so they can build their “toolboxes.” They want to grow with the organization they work for and to have something to show for their hard work. If a job provides no opportunity for career progression, chances are workers will quit and seek greener pastures with better opportunities elsewhere.


If a workplace still seems as though it’s still in another decade in terms of its policies, staff are likely to quit even before their first year is complete. Nobody wants to work in an environment that is sexist, racist, ageist, or discriminatory in any way. Workplaces need to keep up with the times and adapt to individual needs and allow for flexibility. People no longer tolerate workplaces that accept outdated attitudes — and they’ll eventually go to competing business with a more progressive and evolved culture.

Low Morale

When people are unhappy in a workplace, it is evident the minute you walk through the door. People are cynical, negative, and will find any excuse to avoid being productive. When there are no consequences for poor productivity and bad service, people eventually start looking for an exit strategy. This is often due to poor communication and a lack of team building. When there are miscommunications and no one feels appreciated, the employees just don’t want to be there anymore.

Discouraging Enthusiasm

Innovation and ideas are the heart of any organization, and everyone should be given a chance to show initiative. Some workplaces are incredibly resistant to change, even if those changes will mean a vast improvement in work practices or productivity. People will often start a job with positive energy and idealism, which is quickly squashed by a management that is stale and lacks vision. When enthusiasm is constantly diminished, employees not only avoid taking risks and trying new things, but often become jaded and are further enticed to quit and seek more rewarding opportunities.

Hierarchy Instead of Autonomy

When the hierarchy is more important than the value of each and every person contributing, a workplace not only loses excellent opportunities to learn, but also crushes vital decision-making skills in its workers. Strong leadership in a workplace should empower its staff to be self-reliant and conscientious for the greater good of the business. Power struggles and mind games only work against the common goal and contribute to a toxic workplace. Staff will quit in a hurry when they feel that they can’t be trusted to make even the most basic choices by themselves.

As James Goldsmith once said, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” With this in mind there are many reasons why an employee might quit. You can’t please everyone, but rewarding good work with appropriate pay, benefits, and recognition creates a culture where employees can grow — because they know they are valued.

Topics: Talent Acquisition

Updated April 24, 2018