Why People Leave Jobs Even When They Like Them

Why People Leave Jobs Even When They Like Them

Losing a great employee is a terrible thing. There’s the expense of finding, onboarding, and training a replacement. There’s the uncertainty of how a new employee will work out. There’s the hardship on the rest of your staff until the position can be filled.

Sometimes there’s a solid reason–the person was a bad fit for the team, or moved away for personal reasons, or was offered an opportunity too great to pass up. In those cases, even if it’s a difficult transition, it feels fundamentally right.

But what about the rest?

Keeping your best employees starts with understanding why people leave. Here are seven of the top reasons:

1. Stagnation

People don’t want to think they’re locked into a groove and will come to the same place and do the same thing every day for the next 20 or 40 years. People want to feel that they’re still moving forward and growing in their professional life. They want to have something to aspire to. If there’s no career ladder or structure for advancement, they know they’ll need to seek it somewhere else. In the meantime, they’re far more likely to be bored, unhappy, and resentful–things that affect performance and the entire team’s morale.

2. Overwork

Some periods of stress and feeling overwhelmed come with most jobs, but nothing burns out great employees faster than overwork. And often it’s the best employees–the most capable and committed, your most trusted–you overload the most. If they find themselves constantly taking on more and more, especially in the absence of recognition such as promotions and raises, they come to feel they’re being taken advantage of. And who could blame them? You’d feel the same.

3. Vague visions

There’s nothing more frustrating than a workplace filled with visions and big dreams, but no translation of those aspirations into the strategic goals that make them achievable. Without that connection, it’s all just talk.

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