Why Employees Move Onto to Greener Pastures

Learning why an employee is leaving your organization for another is essential to any talent management program.  This week we discuss two of the main reasons why people leave.  While this may seem like common knowledge, it never hurts to review the basics.


Employee turnover rates are climbing and are projected to continue to do so over the next decade.  Much of this turnover is due to younger workers replacing those who are retiring.  Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) and Generation Y (born between the early 1980’s and early 1990’s) tend to change jobs more frequently.  This trait poses a challenge to any organization’s retention efforts.     

The best defense is a good offense.  That offense is to understand why people are leaving.  There are a wide variety of specific reasons why employees resign.  The best way to determine specific reasons is through exit interviews conducted after the person has left their position.  Delaying the exit interview minimizes emotional responses, especially if the departure was due to a conflict.

In the majority of organizations, when reviewing exit interview data, there is usually an underlying theme of management. Data shows repeatedly that:  People don’t leave companies, they leave managers/supervisors and the overall work environment! 

The most common reasons that have to do with management include:

  • Lack of training
  • Poor supervision
  • Conflicts with management and/or other team members
  • Management/employee mismatch

Conflicts are one of the biggest catalysts for turnover.  It is also one that can be contained if acted upon quickly.  Many times it takes just one or two Difficult Employee types to decrease morale thus creating a negative work environment.  With upwards of 50 hours per week spent at work, atmosphere is everything. 

Salary is also a primary reason for turnover.  There is a “salary sweet-spot” of $80,000-100,000 that sees the least amount of turnover.  Those above and below this are more likely to leave due to salary.  Employees below the sweet-spot feel undervalued and will move on to a position that pays what they feel they are worth.  Those above the sweet-spot simply have more options, especially in high demand fields.

Employee turnover directly impacts an organization’s bottom line.  Issues with management and salary are only two of the most common reasons why employees move on.  Many times organizations realize there is a problem when it is too late.  In our next article we will reveal how to use predictive analytics in talent management.

Gary Vice is sought out by leaders in Software and Services who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent.  Through Strategic Recruiting Partners’ extensive network of relationships, they are able to identify high level opportunities for well qualified candidates.  To discover how this process can benefit your job search, simply reply to this email or call Gary at 469.402.4008.

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