Why Employees Leave

Most employers believe that the primary reason employees leave for "greener pastures" has to do with compensation that it's about the money. While this is certainly a factor for some individuals, a recent study of exit interviews conducted with over 19,000 employees presents a different picture from the employees' perspective. David Witt, writing in the Blanchard Leader Chat blog, highlighted the top 10 reasons why employees leave their employer, as determined by these exit interviews. Here are the top 10 and the percentage of individuals who listed this factor as the reason for their leaving:

Limited career/promotional opportunities - 16%

Supervisor lacked respect/support - 13%

Compensation — 12%

Job duties boring/no challenge - 11%

Supervisor lacked leadership skills - 9%

Work hours - 6%

Unavoidable reasons - 5%

Supervisor poor employee relations - 4%

Supervisor displayed favoritism - 4%

Not recognized for my contributions - 4%


Better compensation is only part of the reason why people leave an organization. In most cases it is a symptom of a more complex need that people have to work for an organization that is fair, trustworthy, and deserving of an individual's best efforts. Although it may be difficult to reward employees with significant pay increases in the current state of the economy, supervisors should be encouraged to show that they care about their employees, that they have an interest in their development, and are committed to their careers.

In the summary above, it is obvious that many of the reasons employees leave are directly related to supervisory skills. Indeed the maxim seems to be true that employees leave managers, not companies.

SESCO Management Consultants is available to assist with your human resource issues. You may contact us by phone at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com.