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Why Happy Employees Quit: Three Top Reasons

You thought they loved working for your organization until you got their resignation. So what makes happy employees quit?

Top Reasons Your Employees Quit

The “Great Resignation” remains historically high as 4.5 million employees quit their jobs in March 2022. That’s up from February’s 4.35 million people. This startling trend should be a wake-up call for employers who haven’t already addressed why their employees quit. Here are three top reasons:

  1. Culture clash: Changing work dynamics and employee perspectives highlight the importance of having a strong work culture that’s sustainable. Burnout and lack of growth opportunities are two of the top reasons employees leave their jobs. “It’s been difficult to cultivate culture during the pandemic,” says The HT Group Founder and CEO Mark Turpin. “Good employers have focused on making their workers feel connected to others and the company mission.” A key step in making it happen? Transparency. “Respecting your employees enough to be honest about where you are and where you want to be to improve your culture can go far,” he adds.
  2. Uncompetitive wages: As inflation reaches an all-time high, employees are jumping ship to higher-paying jobs. Average hourly earnings have consistently fallen since the beginning of the year, yet the inflation rate continues to climb. When employees quit over money, they often see a 10-15% increase over their current pay rate. It’s irrational to expect employers to keep in step with inflation, but finding ways to match competitors is vital.
  3. Opportunities for advancement: While salary is often to blame for poor employee retention, there are other motivating factors. A recent McKinsey study found that if employees decide to stay with a company, they need to know they aren’t wasting time at a dead-end job. Employees want to see room for growth and a long-term impact on their careers.

How To Prevent Employees from Jumping Ship

Businesses that remain stagnate while waiting for “normal” to return are the ones that are going to sink. Truly successful companies create opportunity and act, not react. Here are some ideas that will slow down the rate at which your employees quit:

Improve employee satisfaction and engagement
Having a clearly stated mission (what we do) is key to keeping company and employee values (why we do it) aligned. When you consistently operate with the same purpose and reward employees for upholding your values, your mission will become ingrained in the company culture. At the same time, your employees should feel seen and heard. Giving them the opportunity to voice opinions and be a part of the solution will go a long way towards having a happy, satisfied employee.

Compensation means more than just a paycheck
Higher pay isn’t the only perk you can use to give your employees a sense of abundance. Companies that cannot offer uber-high salaries but need to keep pace with the competition can provide a variety of flexible benefits, especially as the cost of living continues to rise. Offering an allowance for home office supplies when remote work is necessary, fitness memberships, flexibility when family issues arise, and access to mental health support services are just a few examples.

Listen to what your employees want
The pandemic spotlighted the need for work/life balance as employees were Zooming from home with children and dogs in the background. But, like it or not, hybrid work models are here to stay. A recent PwC study found that 55% of employees prefer to be remote at least three days a week. The flexibility to work from home helps create a needed balance between work and family obligations.

“In the end, employers want to hire employees who are happy with how their work is set up,” says The HT Group Director of Operations Anne Walker.

Sharpen your recruiting and onboarding tools
Your last step is to turn your sights to better recruiting and onboarding. Be sure your job descriptions are on par. About 52% of job seekers told Indeed the quality of a job description is very or extremely influential on their decision to apply. Especially today, don’t get caught up in biases. Take age biases, for example. There are four main generations in the workplace, representing ages 76 to 16. When you stereotype generations, it can become problematic. Lastly, improve your onboarding process to ensure your new employee feels welcomed, part of the team, and confident in their ability to do their job.

It can be scary and frustrating when employees quit for no apparent reason. But don’t worry: You can always turn to our advisors and recruiters to help you sharpen your company’s HR policies or find new talent that is sure to stay awhile.