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Why Would a Happy Employee Leave Your Company?

The job market is changing. Gone are the days where employees found a job and settled in for life. A long ‘work history’ section on your resume was once associated with job hopping and was looked upon negatively. 

Today’s workforce not only expects to change jobs frequently, but many employment experts recommend a job change every four years. Surely, this only applies to disgruntled employees, right? Surprisingly, even employees who reportedly love their job and identify as “happy” are leaving their positions.

In 2018, employee retention statistics showed that the turnover rate was at 27%. The following year, turnover rates rose to 36%.  However, since 2010, employee retention statistics show that turnover rate has risen to an astonishing 88%

While studies indicate turnover rates were already rising before the world shut down, the COVID-19 pandemic has had dramatic implications for employee retention. 

By mid 2021, 65% of U.S workers were actively looking for a new job. 

But what has changed over the last several years to make employee turnover rise at such staggering rates?

Before you can implement a plan to increase employee retention, you first need to figure out why they’re leaving in the first place. 

They don’t see potential

Employees are less willing to stay at a job where they don’t see potential. Even a relatively happy employee may react strongly to management transitions, changing team dynamics and shifting job responsibilities. 

Nearly 40% of employees reported leaving their job because of a poor relationships with management. How many of those bosses would be shocked to know they caused their employee to leave? Too often, management assumes that everything is fine because there are no obvious problems. 

If employees feel that leadership is not delivering on their end, they’re more likely to go where there will be better communication and management practices within the company. 

They need more flexibility

Thanks to an ever-expanding availability of connections, you can find job postings for companies around the world right on your phone. For a generation of employees who thrive on experiences, “Why not?” has become a mantra.

Why not live on the other side of the globe for a few years? You can always come back home. Why not try a completely different field? New opportunities arise every day and being able to take advantage of them is a chance many people won’t pass up. 

The pandemic has opened peoples eyes to new opportunities and new ways of living. If you’re not fulfilling employee needs and offering flexibility in both scheduling and telecommuting, your employees will surely find it elsewhere. 

They don’t see room for growth

Top performers want to be where they know their hard work is having a real impact and where they will have a wider range of advancement options. Do you have a path forward that they can see? Do you offer training and development programs for your employees? These are excellent ways to keep your employees motivated and engaged at work.

Richard Branson once summed up his philosophy of keeping employees happy by stating, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” While there is no guarantee that employees will stay forever, you can make your workplace so attractive to employees that they will have little reason to leave.

Interested in learning more about how to attract, retain, engage and appreciate your employees? Check out our blog, where we explore new topics regularly.


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