Why do people leave their jobs?

According to the SHRM/Career Journal survey, the major reasons employees quit are as follows:

  • Compensation and benefits (53 percent)
  • Career development (35 percent)
  • New experience (32 percent)
  • Job security (21 percent)
  • Career change (21 percent)
    Followed by the management indictments of:
  • Poor management (20 percent)
  • Boredom (18 percent)
  • Conflict with values (18 percent)

So what is the message here? Of course, all employers run a risk in the employment marketplace if they are not prepared to provide competitive and equitably administered pay, benefits, and other conditions of employment. But most people want much more out of a job than high pay and comprehensive benefits.

Employees want a career and a reasonable job security. They want an employer who thinks about them and their individual development, possible new experiences, and equitable consideration for advancement. Most important, they want to work for an organization and person they respect.


Should we not, therefore, work more on those employee-centered issues, especially since many of them “come for free” through improved HR practices and improved first-line supervision? Examples include good employee relations, career development, job enrichment and rotation, and reasonable opportunities for advancement. Then try to buttress those efforts with a work environment characterized by its challenge, appropriate values, and reasonable security, including the ability to speak up and be heard
without fear of retribution? What do you think?

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