People often lie in exit interviews about why they are leaving. Managers should, of course, know in advance who is leaving and why. A comprehensive list like this is of little value unless you use it as a guide to gather your own information as to why YOUR workers are leaving.
Top Reasons…why people leave their jobs (research results)
Harvard Business Review
- Job content
- Level of responsibility
- Company culture
- Caliber of Colleagues
California Strategic HR
Partnership (CSHRP) Result
- Low growth potential
- Lack of challenge
- Lack of autonomy
- Not enough money
- Work environment issues
Summary of general reasons why people decide to leave their jobs
Suggested action items are listed after each reason
- No one asked them to stay. (lack of personal “suasion”) – Talk to them one-on-one
- No one asked then what motivates them – Talk to them one-on-one.
- They feel isolated and “in the dark” – Increase communications with your employees.
- They are unhappy with the mix of their job responsibilities – Change job responsibilities / and increase their job challenges.
- Lifestyle / work-family conflicts – Change their work schedule/location.
- A lack of resources or support – Give them direct assistance or additional resources.
- A feeling of isolation and lack of recognition – Increase their “exposure” opportunities.
- They don’t identify with the organization – Develop common goals / passion/ values / a sense of urgency / and a shared vision.
- No personal ties to the team – Develop friendships, relationships, and heroes.
- They don’t feel empowered, appreciated or that they are “members/owners” of the organization. – Develop a sense of ownership, identity / belonging / fit, etc., with the dept / product / team.
- No compelling vision of the future – Make the future look more promising and the prospects of leaving unpleasant.
- No pride in the products/company – Improve our image/reputation.
- A lack of authority/control/autonomy – Increase their involvement/participation and control.
- Not enough “toys”& great working conditions – Change their physical environment.
- Work isn’t fun anymore – Make work fun / make it hard to quit.
- Lack of equity – Create a perception of fairness and equity.
- No group pressure to stay – Develop a cohesive team.
- They don’t feel appreciated or” special” – Make each employee feel special/wanted/needed.
- A lack of external pressure to stay – Involves their family and friends.
- No prospects for a “new” job / promotion / growth – Offer new job responsibilities.
- Having a “bad” manager – Avoid bad management actions (or inactions) by individual managers.
- Undefined or miscellaneous reasons for leaving – Miscellaneous retention strategies.
- Perception of low pay/benefits, rewards or no vision of wealth – Change compensation/benefits.
- Retention efforts came too late – Implement preventative strategies.
Micro reasons why people leave their jobs include:
- Not enough stock options / low value
- Not enough benefits
- Lack of bonuses
- Lack of promotions
- Lack of awards
- Low pay and…
- Loss of possible chance of “Wealth”
2. Lack of motivation for a particular project
- Lack of enthusiasm toward the project
- Work team not cohesive
- Lack of communication in the project team
- Assigned to a project unwillingly
- Impossible to meet deadlines
- Too many projects ongoing
- Long working hours
- Work taken home = less leisure time
- Family/relationship problems due to the above
- Possible health problems i.e. blood pressure high, nervous breakdown, anxiety attack
4. Competitor’s work environment is a better place to work
- Companies such as SGI, Levi, Microsoft have a reputation of being “fun places to work at.”
- More autonomy
Post-exit interview reasons for leaving (6-month delay)
- Bad management (actions–or inactions–by individual managers)
- Lack of challenge
As seen on Gately Consulting