Retention Woes: Why Employees Leave

November 20, 2018 / by Kellee Perez


We’ve all experienced having to let someone go and/or having an employee leaving us for one reason or another over the years; it’s just the nature of the beast. What I want to focus on in this article are those instances in which our organizations seem to feel like a revolving door (employees leaving shortly after they’ve been hired), or even when they’ve been with you a while but you just can’t seem to get quality employees to stick and stay with you for the long haul...especially when your business is positioned for growth but lack of qualified staff is preventing that from happening. Often, we want to attribute this inability to retain to any and everything but ourselves, but well... that doesn’t help us solve our problem now, does it? Especially considering “in the wake of consistent economic growth employees have seized available opportunities resulting in a surge of voluntary turnover that’s challenging employers- and it is here to stay for the foreseeable future.” (Work Institute 2018) It’s estimated that “42 million employees will voluntarily quit their jobs in 2018. This means that 28.6%, or more that one in four employees will leave their jobs this year to go work somewhere else.” This rate will rise to 33% (or one in three employees) by 2020! (Work Institute 2018)

So, the question here is why are they leaving? And then, of course, what can you do to stop it?


According to a study done by Workplace Institute these are the top 10 reasons an employee will leave:

  1. Career Development: Opportunities for growth, achievement and security (21%)

  2. Work-Life Balance: Travel and scheduling preferences (13%)

  3. Manager Behavior: Positive and productive relationships (11%)

  4. Well-Being: Physical, emotional and family-related issues (9%)

  5. Compensation & Benefits: Total rewards promised and received (9%)

  6. Relocation: Physical move outside of proximity of the job (9%)

  7. Job Characteristics: Ownership and enjoyment in manageable work (8%)

  8. Involuntary: Terminations or layoffs (7%)

  9. Retirement: Decision to exit the workforce (7%)

  10. Work environment: Physical and cultural surroundings (6%)


Let’s focus on the top three. Career Development, Work-Life Balance, and Managing Behavior alone account for the reasons why 50% of employees left their place of employment in 2017! These are all areas that can and should be targeted strategically in your organization to mitigate high turnover and employee dissatisfaction. Allow BIG-HR to conduct a no cost Human Resources Assessment for you today to help you uncover ways to develop your organization's human resources practices in these areas. Our Free Assessment will also include custom recommendations to yield immediate results & improvement! Contact us today!


Topics: Employers, Internal & External Human Capital

Kellee Perez

Written by Kellee Perez

Kellee Perez is an account Executive at Benefit Innovations Group specializing in analyzing and implementing HR services within small & large businesses.