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Why Good Employees Really Quit Their Jobs

Why Good Employees Quit Their Jobs

Did another good employee just quit, leaving you scratching your head? The issue may not be what you think. Here’s why good employees quit and what you can do to retain them.

Millions of Americans quit their jobs every month. While managers can spot a bad egg or a long-time coming “Sayonara!” a mile away, some two-week notices or no-shows leave even the most involved bosses scratching their heads.

Understanding why good employees quit can open the door to a discussion around the office and pave the way for better company policy. We’re compiling why even the best employees are saying, “See ya!” and helping you see the signs.

The Statistics Behind Why Good Employees Quit

Losing a great employee is hard on more than just workload, it’s especially tough on company morale. When coworkers lose a beloved member of their own, it’s only natural to look to upper management in concern.

In a study from Gallup, researchers looked at the most common reason employees were quitting. This is what they found:

  • Lack of career advancement or opportunities: 32%
  • Meek pay or poor benefits: 22%
  • Lack of connection to the job: 20.2%
  • Poor management or work environment: 17%
  • Difficult flexibility and scheduling: 8%
  • Lack of job security: 2%

A common thread through all of these reasons is a lack of commitment from upper management. When the boss doesn’t seem to care about the work or wellbeing of their own employees, it’s hard for an employee to care about the work.

Consider your own management style. Are you fostering an “open door” environment for your employees? If not, there may be deeply rooted concerns in the culture of your business without you knowing it.

Now that we’ve seen the statistics, let’s really get into the real reasons why good employees quit their jobs.


When hiring managers and bosses hear about a person quitting their minds usually jump to an issue with the boss or a coworker, when in reality, it may be the work itself.

One of the most common reasons why good employees quit is that they’re simply bored. This could be due to a couple of reasons: either the employee has too light of a workload, they’re feeling bored with the routine, or their skills are not being utilized properly.

Meet with your employees regularly to ensure that they feel secure in their role and allow them to open up with any concerns. Platforms like PerformYard can help you create an exemplary employee experience. Monitor the performance of your employees so you can recognize them when they go above and beyond.

Relationship with a Boss

Many people say that people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. It’s true that quitting a job because of a bad boss is a common occurrence, but it’s really just the surface of a much larger issue.

A boss that butts heads with their employees either has poor management skills or employees that do not respect them or their role. The best boss/employee relationship comes from genuine concern and respect. A good manager should connect with each employee, be friendly and open, and give them a chance to voice concerns, suggestions, and feel part of the company.

If you find that you’re constantly battling with an employee, take them aside to discuss the issue.

Bite your tongue and allow them to get their frustrations off their chest.

Remember, a disagreement does not equate to a fight. Disagreements over a project or task are common in the workplace and are usually handled thoughtfully and with care.

Relationship with Coworkers

Don’t assume everything’s fine without digging in to see for yourself. When a good employee quits you may blame yourself when, in reality, the employee is leaving because of a difficult or aggressive coworker.

Monthly, quarterly or annual reviews are highly encouraged. Create a safe space for employees to voice their concerns about the business as well as employees themselves.

Very few employees will challenge the boss themselves, so even though you’re in charge, there may be an aggressive coworker that handles themselves improperly when you’re not around.

If you find that employees are hesitant to voice their concern about another employee, reinforce that their concerns will be anonymous. Better yet, have an anonymous option to give the concern in the first place. A shy employee may be emboldened to share the experience that’s having them consider leaving.

Lack of Job Independence

Once you reach a certain height in your career (usually decently early on), hand-holding and micromanaging becomes a thing of the past. At least, it should be.

Even the biggest control freaks should know when to stop pestering their employees and hand over the reigns. If your management style consists of putting your hands in all the pieces of your employee’s projects in a way that’s neither helpful nor needed, it’s time to reconsider that style.

Without knowing it, you may be a source of stress among your employees and, worse, the cause for them to quit.

Not Using Their Skills

There’s nothing more frustrating than being in a position that doesn’t suit you. Understand your employee’s background, as well as their strengths, and allow them to utilize any unique talents they bring to the table.

We mentioned boredom as a core reason why employees quit and not being able to incorporate their skills is a big factor for boredom.

During an employee review, be sure to ask if they feel like their skills are being used properly.

You may be surprised! For example, in a digital marketing company, the copywriter may be really skilled at face-to-face client management.

Include them in meetings and improve the customer experience. This would keep the client happy and the employee would be able to use their skills to feel valued.

The Key to Keeping Your Employees

Now that you have a better understanding of why good employees quit, you can focus on keeping it from happening. The key to keeping employees (especially good ones) is to stay involved in the workplace, in their career, and have an open door policy that they can count on.

At Your Business is dedicated to helping employees find the job of their dreams and helping business keep their teams strong. Check out our comprehensive guides to keeping track of employee performance, how to hire the best people the first time around, and many more business tools!