Why Your Best Employees Want to Quit

  • Brace
  • October 19, 2018
  • 4 min

A study by the Work Institute has once again shown what many already knew: If you want to keep your best employees, focusing on employee well-being and workplace atmosphere make a big difference. A strong feedback culture gives companies the edge in retaining top talent.

Every team member that leaves costs a company money, a price that can be up to 400% of the employee’s yearly salary. Contained in this calculation is the cost of posting a new job ad, paying a recruiter, the extra effort of the interviews, and the additional travel costs for well-qualified candidates. But its not only direct financial factors that cost money. Bringing a new employee up to speed, integrating them into the team, and educating them on the company and task takes time and energy; time where your team won’t be operating at full efficiency.

Reasons Employees Leave

According to the 2018 Work Institute study, which reviewed 234,000 exit interviews, the various reasons for turnover can be grouped into 10 categories. Even better, many of these were factors that employers can change or prevent, if they are aware of the problem. The top 3 reasons given for leaving were:

  • 21% — No career development opportunities
  • 13% — No flexibility in work locations and hours
  • 11% — Poor manager characteristics

These results correlate well with our own data using an analysis of 55,360 kununu search queries. What job seekers are looking for provides great insight into the relevance of specific topics to employees. At the top of the results were “flexible work hours” (51%) followed closely by “home office” (33%), showing that the pendulum is swinging quickly toward a positive work environment with freedom, flexibility, and a harmonious work-life balance.

Academics Want Feedback

A study from abroad emphasizes further what a significant role work environment plays in keeping the best. The outplacement specialists at the von Rundstedt Group in Germany found recently in their survey that well qualified academic workers are more sensitive to a negative workplace and less willing to wait it out. 74% of the respondents placed inadequate compensation, in the form of free time or wage, as reasons to quit. Another 72% said that an uncomfortable work environment would warrant the same reaction.

These results show that managers need responsive feedback to know and maintain the workplace culture that well-educated employees desire, but this doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant to workers without university qualifications. Academically qualified workers rated the importance of feedback only 8% higher than those without degrees, showing that a responsive, vibrant company culture is a key to keeping not only the best, but all employees across the board.

Want to know learn more about employee retention? Check out our employee retention guide here!

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kununu engage is an application that allows you and your entire company to share continuous and anonymous feedback about what working in the company is like. This insight and transparency can help a company function better and build a stronger company culture.