Why Do Good Employees Quit?

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Think about your business for a minute. What makes it great? What makes it operate? What’s the one most important asset you attain? If your answer doesn’t include “employees” in each of those questions, you might find yourself paying hefty expenses to replace a worker on top of pre-existing employee salaries.

Career Builder polled approximately 3,000 employees at the end of 2013 to understand major issues with their career. Take a look at a few important results:

  • 45% of workers were dissatisfied with the advancement opportunities at their current company
  • 39% felt underemployed
  • 37% had a poor opinion of their boss and his/her performance
  • 36% said they felt like they were overlooked for a promotion
  • 39% were highly stressed

So what does this mean for your small to medium sized business? How important is it to keep good employees around? We’re here today to tell you the most common reasons good employees leave organisations, how it harms and organisation and how you can prevent it from happening in the future.


Related Article: Top 10 Characteristics of a Solid Employee

First and foremost, replacing employees is expensive. HR Review posted an article revealing that it costs approximately £30,614 to replace a staff member. Oxford Economics carried out the news report and the two main factors that make up that cost include:

  1. The cost of lost output while a replacement employee gets up to speed
  2. The logistical cost of recruiting and absorbing a new worker

The HR Review article states, “On average, workers take 28 weeks to reach optimum productivity which has an attached cost of £25,181 per employee.”

To break this down even further, businesses spend £5,433 on average on logistical costs considering the following factors:

  1. Hiring temporary workers before the replacement starts: £3,618
  2. Management time spent interviewing candidates: £767
  3. Recruitment agency fees: £454
  4. Advertising the new role: £398
  5. HR time spent processing replacement: £196

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So what does your business need to do to bring down theses costs? Below you will find a few common issues employees have within their organisation and a corresponding solution to put an end to it.

The Problem: Poor Managers

There’s an age old saying that goes, “people don’t quit their jobs; they quit their bosses.” Some of your employees could be leaving due to your managers, not your actual organisation.  “One manager with poor people skills can do damage to the culture and effectiveness of a company in a short period of time, managers need to be people orientated and able to harness their team’s talent and passion. Middle managers are a significant force in accomplishing the business objectives and are essential to the overall culture,” said David Stevens, CIO of Arizona’s Maricopa County.

The Solution: Management Training

Employees could be unhappy with a manager due to differing personalities or disagreements that are out of your control; however, there are no excuses for managers with poor skills. Most of the time managers are put in positions they aren’t prepared for due to their loyalty to an organisation or their leadership skills. Providing proper training for your managers is key so they have the skills necessary to work business operations. You can either use an instructor-led training with an affordable fee, or use a free getting started training on beneficial software systems for your business.

The Problem: Overworked Employees

Nothing does the trick faster than overworking your employees. You want to use your best employees for everything because, well, they’re your best employees. Dr. Travis Bradberry, president at TalentSmart, said, “Overworking employees is also counterproductive. New research from Stanford shows that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that you don’t get anything out of working more.”

The Solution: Implementing Systems and Software  

Use a barcode system and software that allows you to “track, trace and report accurately and efficiently.” Invest a small amount of money into asset management software now and save yourself from losing thousands later due to good employees leaving.

The Problem: Unfair Treatment

Unfair treatment in the workforce is probably the most important factor in why good employees leave. Whether it comes to not allowing employees to pursue their passion, promoting and hiring the wrong people or not honoring accomplishment, if your employees are treated fairly they’ll have less of a reason to leave. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of owning and operating a business, but not taking the time to give credit when credit is due could cause your organisation to lose it’s most valued assets.

The Solution: Appreciate Your Employees

Forbes has compiled a list of 11 simple ways to show your employees you care in order to prevent your best employees from leaving. Here are a few key points to show your employees you value them:

  • Be real and transparent with them
  • Relate to them and don’t act like you’re above them
  • Create opportunities for new experiences
  • Send a quick email or note of encouragement every so often

In addition to making your employees feel valued, it’s important to be fair when you are promoting and hiring employees. Check out this article by Zane Benefits to see if you’ve been promoting employees entirely wrong. Promoting employees who don’t deserve a promotion can cause you to lose good employees.

 At the end of the day, when the store lights are off and the doors are locked, the last thing on your closing checklist should be your employees’ satisfaction. You could be doing everything right by the books, but in order for your business to thrive you must ensure you’re keeping around good employees. Meeting their needs and not overlooking their desires is the difference between a solid organisation and one that keeps getting swamped with expenses due to replacing employees. M.H. Dyer once said, “If a good employee feels stuck in a dead end job, there’s a good chance that employee will move on to a job that provides potential for growth, personal development and increased responsibilities. The best employees thrive where they feel challenged and are presented with opportunities to better their skills.” It’s better to appreciate a good thing before it’s gone.

Jason Sentell

Jason Sentell

Product Marketing Manager at Wasp Barcode
Jason Sentell is a Product Marketing Manager, responsible for development and execution of Wasp's product marketing strategy.
Jason Sentell
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