Why Do Employees Quit?


I have always thought the reasons why employees quit are obvious. All of us are, or at one time, have been employees and we know our reasons for departure likely mirror others. A desire for more pay and a better boss are the commonly accused culprits for employees jumping ship but they aren’t the only reasons. Fortunately, if your head is buried in the sand and you truly don’t know why your subordinates left, the gurus of the HR and recruiting world have posted volumes online to help you recognize your shortcomings. Below are a few lists. All reasons, as I evaluate them, can be grouped into two categories; boss problems and job problems.


From BalanceCareers.com

Poor relationship with the boss – Boss problem

Bored and unchallenged by the work itself – Boss problem

Poor relationships with coworkers – Boss problem

Few opportunities to use their skills and abilities – Job problem

Employees don’t feel connected to the mission – Boss problem

Need for autonomy and independence on the job – Boss problem

Meaningfulness of the Employee’s job – Job problem

Lack of knowledge about your organization’s financial stability – Boss problem

Corporate culture – Boss problem

Management’s lack recognition of employee job performance – Boss problem


From Forbes contributor – Liz Ryan

Tired of arguing their position – Boss problem

Tired of being overlooked – Boss problem

Don’t have faith in their leaders – Boss problem

Exhausted – Boss problem

Fed up with internal politics – Boss problem

Have big ideas their company won’t implement – Boss problem

Want to move up faster – Boss problem

Want to change career paths – Job problem

Want to work for themselves – Job problem


Forbes contributor – Jack Altman – CEO of Lattice

Bad managers – Boss problem

Can make more money changing jobs – Boss problem

No growth opportunities – Job problem

Don’t outline a clear career path – Boss problem


HR digest

Lack of recognition – Boss problem

Lack of job training – Boss problem

Lack of trust – Boss problem

Poor relationship at work – Boss problem

Excess workload and dumb work policies – Boss problem


Direct recruiters.com

Job was not what was expected – job problem

Work/Life imbalance – job/boss problem

Mismatch between job and new hire – boss problem

No raise or promotions – boss problem

Feeling undervalued – boss problem

No decision-making power – boss problem

Too little coaching – boss problem

Management lacks people skills – boss problem

Too few growth opportunities – job problem

Loss of faith and confidence in corporate leaders – boss problem



Low compensation – job problem

No advancement opportunity – boss problem

Relationships with co-workers and managers – boss problem

Job security – job problem

Pursue other opportunities – job problem


Candidates, as we know, use entry-level jobs as temporary stepping stones to further their careers and depart when new opportunities providing greater compensation or advancement present themselves. These “job problems” are typical and often unavoidable at every organization because no room for growth is available and an organization has no option but to watch their baby birds fly away.

Most of the problems above are not related to salary or growth however. They are boss problems. A good manager must understand that employee turnover has as much to do with their own inadequacies as the shortcomings of the job. Managers who exercise self-awareness are likely to see fewer birds fleeing the nest.

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