Top 10 Reasons Good Employees Quit


1. Below Average Wages with Unreasonable Work Demands

It is sometimes true that employees discover they are being paid less than the salary that is standard for their particular job in their city or state. This is one reason that it is important to check out where your salary stands on

Aside from proper salaries, companies need to have a standard orientation program that is effective. This program needs to help employees assimilate into the particular company culture that is operating day to day. The program then provides a matrix for administering proper training that matches with the job performance expectations of the employees and management. Some companies have no such programs. Unfortunately, some companies say that they have these programs, but do not use always use them. Sometimes, "Here, do this" is all the training some of their employees receive.

In some organizations, there are no annual work reviews performed and employees receive little feedback. Further, a cost-of-living raise may not even be given. I know one company wherein after an employee reaches 60 years of age, he or she is given a REDUCTION in salary of 5% per year. Gasoline prices already increase their costs by 4% per year and the cost of living increase is only about 3.5%, so they lose about 12.5% of their salary yearly if they receive no cost-of-living increases and received an actual reduction based on "productivity", which is a proxy for "age," which is likely discriminatory and illegal. With the retirement age inching up to 75, these people will starve to death.

Management sometimes requires that one employee perform the duties of two or more people that have quit and not been replaced. This results in fatigue, job burnout, longer work hours, and loss of holidays. In addition, it is becoming more and more common for companies to scale back or completely eliminate clerical help so that professionals must do their own copying, collating, filing, distributing, mailing, etc. All of these things can result in a higher employee turnover rate, which increases the company's costs be requiring additional hours of interviewing, hiring, and training; not to mention the lost income from these positions being left vacant.



2. Lack of Autonomy and Respect

If the boss does not allow workers to make at least some of their decisions and take pride in their work, then employees will be dissatisfied and unproductive and eventually quit or be fired.

Micromanagement is often a symptom that the boss is under-educated or insecure, not that he or she is "important." The only legitimate reason for micromanagement is in the case of a worker placed on performance probation after a stretch of poor performance and an adequate work review and retraining program put into place.

In this case, the boss needs to spot check this employee quite often to determine their progress and the success of the training and to make adjustments.

3. No Professional Development Program

The following is an extreme example of the lack of professional development that hurt the customers to such an extent that it put the company out of business:

A colleague of mine once worked for a multi-million-dollar training company that had undergone downsizing three times and finally did away with their professional development program. However, he continued to study on his own and keep himself busy with customers seeking jobs, career planning, and education that included work readiness and GED classes. This should have been viewed as a good thing, but whenever he learned a new computer program or used new software, they removed it from his computer.

One particular job duty to run statistics in Access and Excel, but the company iT person removed that software completely. When the employee learned to build WebPages and opened up a company-approved distance-learning site, they blocked much of the Internet entirely from his computer so that he could no longer run the page or help students.

They blocked job search websites from the public computer lab that was provided by grant funding to be available for job search in the community. Because they wanted to hold this one employee back, they ended up going out of business because of lack of customers and money.

4. No Opportunity for Advancement

Sometimes management makes false promises of job promotions that never happen. Other times, companies need to downsize, rather than to hire and promote. Smart, talented employees that have confidence in themselves and their abilities will give up and look for employment elsewhere.

5. Lack of Recognition

Work itself can be very rewarding to an employee, especially then coworkers and supervisors reward it with praise or tangible awards. Individual accomplishments should mean something to the company and should be pointed out in praise that will help to further increase productivity, make the employee feel appreciated, and create an example for other employees to follow, knowing that they will be rewarded.

6. Lack of Health Benefits

Basic medical and major medical insurance for employees and dependents is skyrocketing in price to employers. In addition, as employees pass the age of 50, the cost increase is highly significant. Such medical and healthcare costs are resulting in businesses requiring employees to pay more or all of the premiums and accept less take-home pay. Employees who cannot afford to do this will find work with companies that offer them higher levels of such benefits. Some of these other companies will also offer an onsite gym or free or reduced-rate memberships to community health and fitness clubs.


7. Health Problems and Job Burnout

Many employees work in fear of their jobs with insufficient pay and rest, but are seeing the decline of their physical and mental health. I personally know several people who are working two full-time minimum wage jobs - 80 hours a week, without benefits. It's too much. What with the problems listed already, some people are dropping out of the employee pool entirely, while others hunt for a job that won't cause them migraines and ulcers. Some psychologically enter a fugue state and disappear. See our Hub on Job Burnout.

Overwork and under-appreciation really cost American employers millions of dollars yearly in replacement and training costs, as well as in insurance fees and absenteeism. Employees are increasingly quitting their jobs rather than to get sick and possibly become permanently disabled.

Read Fast Food Nation for some extreme examples of this.

8. No Job Security

In the 21st Century, we have circumstances such as downsizing, job outsourcing, decreasing profits, increasing corporate competition, and mergers and rumors of mergers. Many more employees stay on the lookout for new jobs constantly, even if they are happy with the one they have. Many have little to no confidence in upper management long-term.


9. Bad Management Behavior

Abuse in the workplace is coming into the limelight increasingly these days because of increased awareness and workers are no longer tolerating it. Consider all of these abusive scenarios (there are lots more):

Nonexistent or unclear performance goals

In some organizations, management changes the rules everyday in order to keep employees off guard and malleable. They reorganize, switch people around, and change focus repeatedly. They then reject completed work, stomping on employee the morale and self-esteem.

Strange HR practices.

Management promotes people without proper training and experience to supervisors, demoralizing staff ala the Peter Principle (employees will rise to their level of incompetence).

Deadly teams

Bosses impose rigid working conditions and unattainable goals and then pit different departments against one another.

Arbitrary and unannounced relocation

Sometimes management moves a company and demands employees move at their own expense and foot the increased transportation bill themselves. One fast food chain offers its managers a transfer to an obscure locale when they reach a certain salary range. Most managers cannot afford to move 3,000 miles away without relocation costs provided to they quit or are "fired" when they don't who up at the new location.

10. Transportation Expenses

This is most important right now, in 2007, with gasoline edging up toward $4.00/gallon. Increasing gasoline prices have created a pay cut for employees. Some are selling their cars and taking the bus. Some are carpooling. Others are quitting their jobs to work closer to home. Others are in a two-income family that is selling their home and planning to move to a smaller one so that one of the partners can quit the far-away job.

Cars of the Future

© 2007 Patty Inglish

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Thoughts and Experiences 30 comments

manoharv2001 profile image

manoharv2001 9 years ago from Bangalore - 560097, Karnataka, India

Your hubs make me great feelings

Hazok profile image

Hazok 9 years ago from Malaysia

So true but arent the reasons inevitable in due time?

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 9 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for visiting, Hazok.

No, I do not think these negative circumstances need to be inevitable.

I think that some companies may need to give up a "fast food" or "sweat shop" work model and pay employees a living wage and invest in their training and also hire enough help, because this will produce better results and greater profits over the long term. On the other side, employees need to be willing to put forth effort to excel.

Renee and Audra profile image

Renee and Audra 8 years ago from VA

We all have the same 24 hours and whether we want to see it or not, have the choice with what we want to do with our 24 hours. I am thrilled to say that I am usually happy with what is in the 24 hours I have been given each day.

It is so freeing to realize that statement's truth. I was told that about six years ago. It took me awhile to have that sink in.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for the comment. It is a trigger toward change, indeed.

Gary Vurnum 8 years ago

I think perhaps all this is more a symptom of employees generally feeling that they can do more with their life thanks to so much self-improvement stuff around and the impact of things like "The Secret"

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

That's an interesting notion. Many feel that they perhaps can do much better in independent employment and freelancing, after working for a large company. Thanks for the comment.

Erick Smart 7 years ago

Some work environments just are not supportive of their employees and it is hard to be your best when you feel like you are not appreciated and not really a important part of the business.

azril 7 years ago

Hi, great post. Can I copy your post to my blog? I will put backlink to your site. Thanks in advance.

Universal 7 years ago

Very nice hub buddy!

Thanx for such a nice effort!

just quit 6 years ago

I just quit my job. It was causing me to have panic attacks. No days off, no benefits, long hours, and a dirty, disorganized work environment. Not worth it. Id rather make less somewhere that will offer me benefits and a regular work week.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

I appreciate all the new comments from you, friends!

Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

The bicycle was witty! It is so true that workers need to feel at least semi-autonomous.

MaxKnow profile image

MaxKnow 6 years ago from Norwalk, CT

Thank you Patty, I really enjoy your writing!

jeza 6 years ago

I totally agree now days jobs are so under paid and expect you to work like a beast and, won't pay enough to buy your needs.

multimastery 6 years ago

Work like a beast! Sounds funny but true. Great hub!

BusinessTime profile image

BusinessTime 5 years ago from Twin Cities

Great list -- it's rough out there, but the fear of not finding another opportunity can often be a trap that keep us in jobs that don't fulfill us. Thanks for the food for thought.

EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 5 years ago from Croatia, Europe

Wow - Patty! I just discovered your hub, written two years ago. Believe it or not, my day job rates a "perfect" 10 out of 10. But it did propel me to look into other options, including HubPages.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

HubPages is a good investment of time and writing!

Fancy 5 years ago

Thanks so much for this - I'm in the process of updating my resume and moving to another part of the country to find a better, more rewarding job and this solidified that what I'm doing is the RIGHT decision :)

Gave me a boost when I needed it... Again, MUCH thanks!

nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

That is a sweet bike.

freemarketingnow profile image

freemarketingnow 4 years ago from California

I wonder if big life changes (i.e. family death) fits into one of the top 10 reasons. Otherwise, I think this is a pretty good list.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

That's a thought. A family death could certainly result in a quitting and moving away. Unfortunately, sometimes one spouse or partner will insist that the other quit a job for some other reason. I don't know how frequent this is.

freemarketingnow profile image

freemarketingnow 4 years ago from California

Quitting or moving away happens especially when work is demanding too much in terms of time and energy that it takes away from family. A lot of people in my circle discuss work-life balance and how to tilt the teeter totter more in the direction of life. Thanks for writing.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Very good points as well.

louromano profile image

louromano 4 years ago

Thank you always exploring for visiting and commenting. Wonderful hub.

jainismus profile image

jainismus 3 years ago from Pune, India

Patty, you have covered all the important reasons that forces an employee to quit his job.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

Thanks very much, jainismus; I have seen these things happen seveal times.

tamarawilhite profile image

tamarawilhite 6 months ago from Fort Worth, Texas

When the company's desire to create a safe workspace begins to infringe on the rights of the employees, from pushing them to reveal sensitive and personal information in the name of "sharing" to demanding they endorse political viewpoints the company has outlined if they want to get a raise or promotion.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 months ago from North America Author

Thanks for your thoughts. As time progresses, we will likely see new reasons for quitting a job.

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