3 Reasons Employees Leave and What To Do About It

By Teoddy Baldomaro

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

Despite the current global economic situation, employee attrition is a critical issue that constantly affects workplaces.

It might be surprising to learn that employees who find their work highly stimulating and rewarding, with excellent coworkers and a healthy company environment, still leave their jobs.

The reasons why employees leave? They find it difficult to work with their boss.

If you’re one of these bosses, you may not know that this is an issue. When tendering their resignations, employees may cite ambiguous or unrelated reasons as their impetus for leaving.

Or if the employee left on less-than-pleasant terms with you, you may consider this simple bias on the part of the employee.

However, as a manager, you should take the time to step back from the situation and assess why this is happening, especially if this is not the first time an employee has left.

You could inadvertently be contributing to a hostile work environment.

Luckily, that’s what we’re here for. Let’s take a look at three primary reasons why employees quit. And even better, what can you do to avoid this from recurring?

1. Your Rules are Suffocating and Nonsensical

A workplace won’t run smoothly without rules. Guidelines are essential to keep operations flowing, prevent delays, and generally keep everything in the office working to a certain standard.

Employees, especially when they are starting out, appreciate that there are rules to follow and guide them as they learn the ropes.

It helps them understand the skeleton of the system and lets them know the boundaries for their endeavors and, hopefully, how to work within them.

That said, many managers like to exert extreme control over their subordinates. What does having the right color tie have to do with their accomplishing their work?

How does their leaving the office for a snack break affect productivity?

More often than not, these rules just get in the way of doing their work. Or, arguably worse, they go against the ethics of the company as a whole.

How to Prevent It

Loosen up a little. People are much more productive when they are let off the leash a bit. This shows that you have confidence in their abilities and boosts their self-esteem.

As long as what they do doesn’t hinder their deadlines or daily quota, what does it matter if they smoke a pack a day? Well, that might make them leave the company earlier than expected, but that’s for other reasons altogether.

2. You Fail to Acknowledge Excellent Work

As their superior, your employees look up to you for guidance, inspiration, and praise. They are eager to please, and when they do a good job, and you don’t let them know that you appreciate it, that’s a crushing blow.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs cites esteem as the last tier needed for self-actualization.

If you consistently fail to recognize their great work, what impetus do they have for doing it again in the future?

How to Prevent It

This is the simplest issue to address. Learn to recognize and appreciate good work. Of course, you shouldn’t just be handing out praise cavalierly (and, in fact, this could be the reason why you didn’t acknowledge your employees’ excellence in the first place).

Too much praise removes its power, so only give it when it is truly warranted, like if you see them pulling overtime and putting in all of their efforts.

3. Your New Employee Orientation Makes a Terrible First Impression

New workers are the most receptive to the way the company runs. If their first few weeks are prime examples of tedious paperwork and red tape, they may feel remorse at being hired at this boring, inefficient workplace.

Why will these new employees look forward to a career with you if their first impressions are those of stagnancy and old-fashioned ceremony?

How to Prevent It

Sit your employees down and let them know that they are valued, and give them responsibilities straightaway. That way, they’ll understand the importance of their position.

Waiting for regulations to push through can be done concurrently with their new work—it should be a footnote, not a focus.

People who have just signed on are raring to hit the ground running and prove themselves, so provide opportunities to do just that.

These are just some of the most common issues that managers overlook when supervising an office environment. Sometimes we do these things without knowing that we are affecting morale and increasing the chances for attrition.

This should serve as an eye-opener for you to not only acknowledge these missteps and correct them but to recognize similar errors as well. This will lead to a healthy workplace for both you and your employees.

How Do You Handle Employees Leaving?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Would you like to contribute a post?

Teoddy Baldomaro
Teoddy Baldomaro
Teoddy is a business writer for Piton-Global, a call center in the Philippines. They offer lead generation, customer service and technical support. You may follow him via Twitter @teoddybaldomaro.
  • Dr. Scott Simmerman says:

    Involving and engaging people is another great tool for retaining employees. Often, people do not feel as it anyone will listen to them or that their ideas matter. They will quickly regress to the mean level of performance.

    New employees will often have good ideas about things that could be done differently, based on their past experiences. Sometimes they do not mesh with current practices, which means that either the current practices are better or maybe that they could be improved.

    Some people also simply choose to leave for perceived greener pastures. Smart companies will allow those ex-employees to come back into the organization while it is amazing that some actually have policies against such things, as if retribution for leaving is a good idea.

    Policies, Procedures, Rules and Regulations are often antagonistic to continuous continuous improvement.



  • rwhitaker says:

    Great insight, Scott. Tedd brought up some great points we need to remember.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
    Brilliant Leadership Logo

    Improve Yourself & Your Team

    Get The Training Proven By 40,000+ Leaders