Why Employees Quit? — 5 Reasons

Organisations, worldwide, are experiencing turnover, even during the current pandemic. Key questions employers are found asking are: Why our employees are leaving us in such difficult times? Can they still find opportunities elsewhere?

Precisely, there may come a time in our own careers when we decide to move on. The reasons for such a decision can vary depending on our workplaces and personal and professional lives. In order for employers to retain their employees, they need to be doing something besides figuring out how to retain them? In this article, we shall deliberate on this subject in detail.

Why Employees Quit?

Marcus Buckingham once said: People leave managers, not companies”. This is pretty evident that the first and foremost reason of the employees’ departure is not the organisation but the bosses. They may be unhappy for a variety of reasons. Those reasons are tough to address by an employer because they involve life events in the employee’s world outside of work. But, the majority of reasons why employees quit their job are under the control of the employer. In fact, any element of the current workplace, culture, and environment, the employee’s perception of his or her job, and opportunities are all factors that the employer affects.

Employee Retention Strategy

The most important questions employers must ask themselves that: Do they have any retention strategy in the competitive marketplace? The best way to retain employees is to stay in touch with what they’re thinking. Are they happy with their work? Are their genuine needs for a challenge, belonging, development, and meaningful work being addressed? Do they have the communication, problem-solving, feedback, and recognition that they need from their management?

If you stay in touch with your employees, you can head off potential retention issues. But, you must think about employee retention every day. Are the systems, processes, and requirements in your company supportive of employees? Ask them. Hold stay interviews to determine why employees stay with your organization. Then, pay attention to and enhance the factors they identify that keep them coming back every day.

Is your Exit Interview Process good enough?

It’s important to know why employees leave because when a company has a high turnover rate, this could signify low employee job satisfaction. Hiring new employees to fill these openings requires time and effort and it isn’t cost efficient either which is why it’s pertinent for employers to find ways to keep their current employees around. By knowing the reasons employees leave, employers can directly solve the iteration issues and make a more pleasant work environment for everyone.

Key Reasons Employees Leave

These may be the main reasons employees decide to quit their jobs:

1. Cultural Shock

Most beginer employees coming from an entrepreneur managed small sized setup to a blue-chip multinational organisation and vice-versa are initially in a state of shock. Since they find the new culture ‘strange’ for a number of reasons i.e. the water cooler or smoke cornier gossip, workplace politics, time spent in pleasing the supervisors etc.

Some don’t initially digest the egalitarian culture that is gradually taking roots in the Asian workplace environment as well. Some employees coming from the closed offices to an open landscape. It can also refer to the company’s culture, whether it is more casual, social or professional. One may want a job that offers a work environment he/she feels the most comfortable working in.

2. Enough Challenge

Young and bright employees like to be challenged. Since they are quick learners, they get frustrated after a while. When there’s little or no more to learn in the current role, they may start to feel like they are ready for more of a challenge. Employees do give such signals but the managers must learn to read these signals. This is a natural part of growth in one’s career, especially as you become interested in learning new skills.

3. Value System

Some organisations follow the open office landscape but they forget that such a major change only comes with a strong value system.

In certain organizations, new entrants are sometimes found struggling with the fact that organizational value system is either completely missing or not being adhered to i.e. code of conduct, transparency or privacy policy or compliance related matters.

4. Career Growth

If your existing organisational structure ‘so called’ lean and growth options are limited in terms of vertical or horizontal promotions or learning opportunities they offer, you may want to find an employer who has these resources. Having room to grow in your career is your birth right and an important part of feeling fulfilled. Employers of choice do offer continuous learning opportunities and cross exposures.

5. Work-life balance

This is immensely critical to most of the employees. In this age, the young employees are immensely health conscious. They want to avail breaks, vacations, family and personal time. This is what we call maintaining a healthy work-life balance. You may have experienced that outside of working hours your manager is always contacting you through phone calls, text messages or emails or that you are constantly working overtime. At some point, this can begin to adversely affect your personal time and make you feel burnt out. Looking for a new job that values employee’s personal time can help you achieve this balance once again.


To conclude, when good employees leave, productivity sinks, morale suffers, unrest prevails and colleagues struggle with increased workloads. Add in recruitment and training costs, and onboarding new hires can make for a difficult and expensive transition.

It is suggested that preemptive intervention is a better way to deal with employees’ wandering eyes than waiting for someone to get an offer and then making a counteroffer. A survey shows that 50% of employees who accept a counteroffer leave within 12 months. It’s almost like when you’re in a relationship and you’ve decided you want to break up, but your partner does something that makes you stick around a little longer.

Learn how sometimes smaller things in our lives make huge impact and you can take some learnings on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and on our official website. Also follow us on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Medium, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Muhammad Sajwani is the Founder, Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Evolve HR which aims at transforming, enriching and evolving Human Capital of Pakistan. At Evolve HR, him and his team thrives in challenging assumptions that hinder organisational aspirations, by creating innovative solutions that yield maximum impact, scalability & benefit to a wider base of stakeholders.As a Business Coach and Organisational Consultant, Sajwani knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

C-Level HR, Transformation Leader, Board Advisor, Writer, Business Coach & Organisational Consultant