Top Four Reasons Why Employees Leave and How to Fix Those Leaks

Top Four Reasons Why Employees Leave and How to Fix Those LeaksImagine your organization’s talent pool as a leaky pipe. Regardless of its culture, every organization experiences turnover and when it happens it costs time, money, and productivity. Although you might not be able to stop capable employees (hourly or salary) from leaving your organization indefinitely (after all, people do retire), you can prevent high turnover by locating the source(s) of the problem.

But where do you start replacing leaky pipes in your talent management system without breaking the bank? You must start by understanding the source of the leaks. If you know why people leave, you can act to prevent it. Here are four principal reasons why people leave.

Reason #1: Poor Job Fit

Simply put, poor Job Fit occurs when companies match employees to roles where they’re unlikely to succeed or where the person doesn’t or can’t engage with others or the work involved. How people think and work needs to match the requirements of a role for an individual to perform that role successfully and engage with their work. To perform a job successfully, an individual’s cognitive ability, behavioral skills, and motivational interests need to closely match the requirements of the job. When that happens, it translates into a productive, engaged, and satisfied worker. On the other hand, when someone doesn’t fit a job, their productivity and engagement suffer and the likelihood of them leaving increases.

Reason #2: Poor Managerial Fit

People don’t necessarily leave their jobs, they often leave managers who lack the ability to properly onboard, build career paths, establish clear expectations, miss opportunities to leverage the skills of those they manage, or nurture the success of their employees. This can occur when organizations fail to match the right individual to the right managerial position or when the personalities of employees don’t mesh with their manager. When either of these occurs, management runs the risk of increasing turnover and disengagement. However, when managers fit their role and feel supported in what they do, the effects ripple throughout the organization, the pipes aren’t so leaky, and the possibility for long-term success increases.

Reason # 3: Poor Team Fit

To consistently perform at the highest levels, organizations need everyone on the team to pull their weight and contribute to a larger vision. However, even high-performing teams encounter challenges such as conflict, lack of alignment, and personality clashes. Just because everyone on the team is a great fit for their job doesn’t mean they fit together well as a team. By using assessment data that measures personal characteristics, managers can bring in people who can do their jobs effectively and who can work with their team in a positive and productive way. While matching one individual to a singular role has its own set of challenges, matching a whole team of individuals to each other and to the work itself means a whole other set of complications to consider. Having the data to inform and discern those decisions can make all the difference between success and struggle.

Reason #4: Lack of Career Opportunity

Top performers enjoy a good challenge, they thrive on solving problems, they seek out occasions to over-deliver, and they look for both personal and professional advancement. When organizations fail to provide talented employees with opportunities for development and career mobility, those employees often leave. Placing gifted workers where they’re most likely to succeed now and in the future allows organizations to engage and retain their workforce fully. To successfully manage their talent pipeline and build a strategic succession plan, organizational leaders require reliable data to determine which person is best suited for each role.

The Bottom Line

Are there other reasons an employee might leave an organization besides those we listed? Of course. But for all the reasons out of your control, many aspects of your organization do remain in your control that might potentially compel someone to leave.

Ready to fix those leaks? Talk to us. We’re happy to chat.