What most frequently leads employees to quit?

July 30, 2014


Complete and udder frustration

We have all been there at some point, but what about in the workplace? Perhaps, that frustration begins as something small, like answering the phone because one of your co-workers is not working to their full potential. Or your boss asked you to finish a co-worker’s project when you are heading out the door. 

These small frustrations can fester until pretty soon, you feel like you cannot take it anymore. Sometimes frustration stems from a feeling of being “over worked and under paid,” but whatever the reason, all of us having a breaking point. But what constitutes a breaking point for most employees?

BambooHR conducted a survey of over 1,000 employees in the United States to find out which things annoy them, and which of these things would lead to a breaking point.

Not only does this help you understand what is making people terminate their employment, but also, which things may be annoying them and slowing their productivity due to their frustration.

The top three deal breakers

The top three deal breakers BambooHR found were: not getting promoted, not finding a healthy work-life balance, and not being paid what they think they are worth. 22% of employees who are not getting promoted, will begin to look for employment elsewhere.

When you can, try to hire people from within, rather than hiring new people to fill jobs that current employees may have their eyes on. 14% of employees will leave if they cannot find a healthy work-life balance. This may mean something different to each person, but think about what it means to you. If you value being home at the same time every night so you can see your family, chances are your employees do too. Limiting the amount of time your employees spend working outside the office on projects will certainly help maintain a healthy balance.

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Everyone needs time to recharge before tackling the next day. Most surprisingly, only 10% of employees think they’re not being paid what they’re worth. BambooHR attributes this to employees valuing building their careers and finding a healthy work-life balance, rather than focusing on a monetary number. However, money is almost always a secondary factor; for example, “She was promoted over me and I don’t get paid enough to deal with that.”

Top annoyances at work

Workplace annoyances begin the frustration process that can lead to valued team members walking out. What are some of the top annoyances? 82% of employees become irritated when their managers do not know as much about the industry or projects as they do. (Again, they think, “they get paid more and I’m explaining this to them.”) So make sure you are well-versed in your area. Fully 82% of employees also feel as though they are not recognized for their work as often as they deserve. Additionally, 79% of become annoyed when co-workers are promoted faster than they are and 74% want better benefits. 

While some of these may not be things you can address, for example, better benefits may not be in your budget; keeping a watchful eye on employee performance for both promotion and praising purposes can go a long way in keeping your employees happy, more productive, and less annoyed.

In summary: value and respect for all

The survey also showed that while people need to like who they’re working with and strive to maintain a good team dynamic, they do not necessarily want to hang out after working hours. In fact, more than 50% of employees said it was irritating. Also, it is important to entrust college-educated employees with tasks that challenge them to grow; the higher the degree level, the more employees ask for harder, more challenging assignments.

Employees need to feel valued and respected at work, while being allowed to maintain a healthy lifestyle outside of work, or they are not likely to stay long. However, if you meet an employee’s basic needs: empowerment, flexibility, fair wages, and recognition, they will be more willing to tolerate every day annoyances. Allowing them to remain on-task, focused, and happy.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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