Why do good employees quit?

Working in recruitment provides us with the opportunity to make a real impact on people’s lives, and for some people this means helping them to move on from a job they’re not happy in anymore. Over the years we have heard hundreds of reasons why people quit, and there are definitely common grievances that regularly crop up. Here are just some of the reasons for quitting we hear most often…

Feeling Underappreciated


For many professionals out there, a big part of their job satisfaction comes from feeling valued in their position. More often than not, a lack of employer appreciation can be attributed to management style rather than organisational culture. When it comes to showing employee appreciation, a little goes a long way - even a quick email praising an employee for a job well done, or a mention in a team meeting can make a huge difference. If an employee is recognised and celebrated for putting in the effort and doing a great job, they are much more likely to repeat that professional behaviour again and again (which is obviously to everyone's benefit).

The Boss


As an employer, a high level of turnover (particularly if that turnover is disproportionately higher in a specific department/area of the organisation) can be a clear indicator of management problems. For many of the career moves we've supported over the years, it would be fair to say that they weren't leaving the job, they were leaving their boss! Obviously there is a huge variety of management styles, however there are certain behaviours we see/hear that are just a huge no-no regardless of where you work.

Over the years we've heard numerous horror stories - whether it's obsessive micromanagement; inappropriate workplace behaviour; blaming subordinates for their own mistakes; or outright bullying, it's no surprise that bad bosses are regularly cited as a reason for quitting.

Lack of career progression


A personal attribute that many top professionals share (especially in the world of Facilities Management) is ambition. From our own experience, as well as numerous FM salary surveys we have conducted over the years, it's clear that the best employees constantly strive for professional growth throughout their career, and if those opportunities aren't available in their current position, they will look elsewhere.

Employers need to ensure there are adequate ongoing professional growth and educational opportunities available for employees to continuously learn and develop throughout their time working at your organisation. In some cases, regardless or what training and opportunities the employer provides, the employee may simply have outgrown the company. In many of these cases, the business simply can't offer the progress routes the employee is looking for due to limited size and organisational structure etc.

Work/life balance


In an article we published a while back, it's clear that long hours may be part and parcel of a career in FM. Regardless of the sector, there may be an expectation for many senior professionals to work long, unsociable hours - yet there is definitely a limit to this. From our past salary surveys, a good work/life balance has become increasingly important for many professionals when making their career decisions.

Recent conversations we've had also suggest this is becoming more important as the global pandemic has brought about a shift in motivations, for both employees and employers alike.

That's not in my job description!


In many senior positions, a degree of flexibility and adaptability may be required to meet the needs of the organisation. Although this may be a common expectation, again there are limits to this. Throughout our time in recruitment, we have spoken to many professionals who have left their position due to a feeling of being completely mis-sold on the job and almost feeling 'conned' into the role.

There could a number of reasons for this; the needs of the organisation may have changed drastically; significant restructuring could have taken place, or it could be that the employer simply did not have enough knowledge around what needs to be done. In any case, it's vital that employers are completely transparent with their expectations and the requirements of the role from the get-go.

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