The Top Five Reasons Employees Leave Organizations

September 16, 2015

The US is the most overworked developed nation in the world given1:

In the U.S., 86% of males and two-thirds of females work more than 40 hours per week.


134 countries have laws setting the maximum length of the work week, while the U.S. does not.

In every country included except Canada and Japan (and the U.S., which averages 13 days/per year), workers get at least 20 paid vacation days

Most Americans are aware of the health risks associated with working excessive hours such as higher blood pressure; mental health issues; higher suicide rates, etc.   Despite knowing the facts, many employees are more than willing to work long shifts and during weekends—even while on vacation, for certain reasons such as career opportunities and more money.  On the other hand, there are total deal breakers which force employees to resign.

A recent HubSpot article reveals what drives employees away from companies and keeps current employees disengaged at work.  BambooHR conducted a survey of over 1,000 current employees in the U.S. to determine what the breaking point would be that would make them leave.  The study concluded that the top three reasons employees jump ship is for career advancement, work-life balance and more income, in that order. 

Even more interesting are the top-five deal breakers for employees the study states as follows.

‘Your boss doesn’t trust you.’ 

‘Work expectations during off-time.’

‘Difficult co-workers.’

‘Boss blames you for mistakes.’

‘Work isn’t flexible.’

Every deal breaker other than ‘difficult co-workers’ directly relates to the employee’s relationship with her boss.  This underscores leadership’s ultimate ownership of employee engagement.  Trust is the foundation of every strong, meaningful relationship.  Effective leaders demonstrate that they trust team members by giving them opportunities to grow.  Instead of micromanaging employees, effective leaders coach them as needed and consistently offer encouragement.

The ability for leaders to establish and build trust is paramount to their employees’ success.  Leaders that are 100% accountable set the example for employees to act with integrity and also be accountable for their actions.  This reciprocity helps foster trust and minimizes most of the deal breakers cited by the study. 

Three of the Human Relations principles penned by Dale Carnegie in his best-selling book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, are surefire ways to build trust in both professional and personal relationships.

The 11th principle states ’Show respect to the other person’s opinion.  Never say, “You’re wrong.”’  This is because respecting others helps maintain their trust.

The 12th principle is, ‘When you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.’  Everyone one makes mistakes—even leaders, and admitting them quickly helps to maintain the trust of others.

The 19th principle states, ‘Appeal to nobler motives.’  Employees are more apt to trust leaders who act ethically and with integrity on a consistent basis.  They strive to exhibit the noble behavior exhibited by top leaders.

Consider investing in your leadership capabilities by enrolling in the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training for Managers course.

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