Employees may leave because of a difficult work environment, a bad boss, or a work-life balance that is no longer sustainable. Why do employees leave when there are no clear reasons to do so, however?
It can take some work to discover why such unforeseen resignations occur. If you can spot such trouble when it appears on the horizon, you may be able to act pre-emptively. Here are five reasons why employees sometimes want to leave when everything seems right.
They hope to find a better life elsewhere
It used to be that being happy and satisfied with your job was good enough. Today, however, jobs need to be far more than simply satisfactory; they need to help employees feel that they are making a difference. Workers need their job to help them feel proud of who they are. When an employee leaves the job even when they have no apparent reason to complain, it usually means that something made them want to reevaluate everything. Maybe they went through a personal crisis, or maybe they saw how someone quit their job to start their own business.
You can find out what is going on by conducting employee reviews. These should be carefully aimed at uncovering not just what your employees have done at work, but also uncover how fulfilled they feel.
Employees look at who else gets recognition
The absence of recognition isn’t always the problem. Sometimes employees may be recognized adequately, but not in the way that they hope for. For instance, many employees do not want applause. They want quiet recognition. You can only know this by asking at your employee reviews.
Employees also want to be recognized in well-defined ways. They do not want recognition for vague achievements.
Some research has uncovered that as much as employees care about finding recognition for themselves, they care deeply about who else is recognized. Context helps them learn how much value their own recognition carries. Recognition needs to be consistent and meaningful.
Employees need flexibility
Flexible working formats are being offered everywhere. People work from home far more than ever before. When employees see other companies offer better work-from-home arrangements, they would like to find a better deal for themselves. Offering flexibility at work is vital.
Inflexible job definitions can be unacceptable
The average worker has worked at a dozen different jobs by the time he turns fifty. As much as people change jobs, however, they often chafe at the inflexible nature of the job descriptions that they function under. While well-defined job descriptions are a good thing, inflexible ones are not. Employees hope to start with specific job descriptions, but then to be able to mold them to suit their needs. Such freedom is important to employees.
Employees dislike red tape
Employees today want to see their workplaces function nimbly, and without too much process or too many rules. Things that slow down work can have a detrimental effect on employee satisfaction. Employees need autonomy and freedom. If they aren’t trusted to do things on their own, they feel they should look elsewhere.
Work isn’t a two-way street
Employees quickly recognize when a job is just about serving the company. They rarely see that the company is as eager to serve them. They can begin to feel like they are simply cogs in the wheel serving the larger good but never paid attention to themselves. While it can be difficult to change the way a company operates, it’s important to move in the direction of helping employees be their best.
While these insights can be hard to implement it is important to try. If you don’t act quickly, it’s possible that your employees will.