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Top-5 Reasons Employees Leave a Company

It’s no secret, top talent wants to work for an employer that values their skills and abilities. To help guide you, we’ve outlined the top-five reasons why top-talent move on from their current employer in 2022. Respect, Pay, Culture, Management, and Upward Mobility.

A record-high 4.4 million people, or 3% of workers, quit their job in September, according to the Labor Department’s latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

When you’re invested in your employees’ success, your employees will be invested in your company’s success. Still, despite your best efforts it’s not always that simple. It’s no secret, top talent wants to work for an employer that values their skills and abilities. To help guide you, we’ve outlined the top-five reasons why top-talent move on from their current employer in 2022: respect, pay, culture, management, and upward mobility. 

1. Respect

One of the top reasons employees choose to leave their job is a lack of respect from management and coworkers. One or two instances may not drive an employee to quit but can contribute to growing negative feelings that ultimately cause them to leave. Disrespect in the workplace can happen in many ways and isn’t always detectable at first. Examples could include how an employee is spoken to, the projects or work assigned, or the way their managers oversee their production process.

Trust in the workplace means your employees benefit from a culture of honesty, safety, and mutual respect. When employees feel they can trust their team and leadership, they have more pride in their work and are willing to go the extra mile. It’s no surprise that 80 percent of HR professionals link engagement to trust in leaders, and 55 percent of business leaders believe a lack of trust in the workplace forms a foundational threat to their company. 

One of the best methods to build more trust in your workplace is to allow employees the chance to provide feedback. Another way to develop trust between team members is through transparency. Having open conversations can allow leadership to hear and address employees’ concerns before they become critical. Transparency is also helpful in increasing productivity and improving overall company performance because it avoids confusion and promotes sincere interaction. 

Equally as important, leaders should put trust in their employees. If you’ve ever worked in a position where your tasks are micromanaged, you know how exhausting it can be. Trust your employees to get the job done because their capabilities motivated you to hire them in the first place.

2. Pay and value

Paying employees lower wages doesn’t end up costing your company less in the long run. In fact, low wages are a significant factor in why good employees quit. Make sure to take the time to look into industry-standard pay for your employees. If other companies offer (for example) 15% more than what you’re paying, you’ll have difficulty retaining employees and the money you saved in labor will instead get spent on the hiring and training process. 

Workplace surveys in 2021 showed that money is the biggest motivator driving employees to seek other jobs. In fact, 44 percent of respondents recently polled by Monster cited the need to earn more money as the main reason they’re looking for a new job. Competitive companies offer more competitive pay and additional financial incentives, such as attractive benefits packages.

3. Management

Money aside, 93% of employees are more likely to stay with their job if their boss is empathetic. Creating a workplace culture where employees feel valued is just as important as providing adequate pay.

Even if you pay industry-standard, employees who feel ignored or unappreciated will be the first to take a job opportunity elsewhere. A great practice to ensure your employees are appreciated is to establish employee recognition methods in your workplace. You can read about some of the best employee recognition practices here.


It’s no surprise that poor management will drive an employee to leave. But how can managers know when their employees are unhappy? This is where employee feedback can be the glue that holds a team together. As we mentioned earlier, employee feedback offers transparency between leadership and team members and can make employees feel more empowered. Consider having one-on-one meetings with each of your team members to promote their growth within your organization. Learn about how active employee coaching can support your management team here.

4. Culture

Company culture consists of the shared values, attributes, and characteristics of an organization. It’s made by all of the company’s employees. A survey conducted by HAYS found that 47% of people actively looking for new positions blame company culture as their main reason for leaving their current job. Some companies have a team-based culture that emphasizes employee participation on all levels, while other businesses have a culture where formal, traditional, or hierarchical management is valued. 

Company culture can directly impact job satisfaction. If you work somewhere where the culture is a good fit, you’ll tend to develop better relationships with coworkers and maintain a higher level of productivity. In contrast, employees who don’t fit company culture can often feel disconnected from the team. One way to ensure you’re hiring employees that fit your company culture is by having a clear mission and values for your business. 

Similarly, company culture encompasses workplace practices such as flexibility and expectations. For example, do you encourage employees to take time off, or do you expect them to work weekends and nights to meet deadlines? This plays a huge role in employee retention. Burnout happens, and it can quickly lead to resentment. There are three steps employers can take to avoid burnout. Read about them here

Plus, consider providing more flexibility for your team members, such as remote work or flex schedules. If you notice the signs of burnout, encourage your employee to use their PTO and take a couple of days off. Sometimes all an employee needs is some time to regain their motivation.

5. Upward Mobility

Ambitious and hard-working employees need a path to grow in their role. If they can’t advance their career with your organization, at some point they’ll seek that growth with one of your competitors. 

How does your company promote growth? Do you offer training and leadership development opportunities for your team members? Ask them where they see themselves with your company in a year and help them create a plan to get there. People can lose motivation when their role becomes stagnant or they no longer see upward mobility within an organization. 

In many companies, job mobility may also include a move to other departments. Sometimes there isn’t a clear path for immediate promotion at startups and small businesses. In this case, top companies also develop talent with lateral moves to similar roles in different departments. This lateral mobility trains employees in different facets of the work your company does, and can provide them with greater organizational awareness. Furthermore, when your organization’s leadership has a stronger cross-functional understanding of each department, the variety of ways they can benefit your company increases.   

Simply, when employees know that advancement is possible within your company, you’re able to retain and attract top talent.

Retaining key employees and hiring top talent depends significantly on the benefits your company can offer. When you provide more sought-after benefits or even a customized benefits package, you can improve your employees’ quality of life — creating a more productive and satisfied team. If you want to update your benefits package before the end of the year, contact the MBS team and learn how to receive the best benefit plan for your business and employees.

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