Motivation and satisfaction

Six reasons for good employees to quit

Dynamics in the workplace rise every year.  The modern workplace has become more flexible but also more demanding.  Some people are surviving in this new environment, while others cannot make it.  This second group of people leaves the company at the moment in time. People from it are often defined as the ones who cannot meet the rising number of demands, which are not adaptable enough and do not have what it takes to finish the job they were given. 

According to a Gallup survey in this second group, 45% of people who quit the company are high achievers, who search for better opportunities and find them everywhere else.  Companies are losing more than 250 billion dollars (only in the US) from people who leave to search for a different place where they can contribute better.  While still, companies are taking on the blaming chair of the person who lives, there are not many companies who deeply analyze the reasons and see their place in the process. The same Gallup survey also gives data that in 83% of the cases of people leaving a company,  the reasons for leaving are in the company, and it is a matter of leadership that will change that negative trend while transforming the company for good. 

I have seen many companies who do not stress enough about this problem and do not do anything to change the situation they have got to by themselves. There are common reasons which make people think of leaving their job and searching for another company. And these reasons are manageable by the leadership team of every company. My top 6 reasons for employees who decide to leave a company are shared below:

Burn out from too many responsibilities

One of the most apparent reasons and still underestimated is burnout.  It is natural when you see someone doing its job well to assign them with more responsibilities.  What many leaders do not know is when to stop.  People have a capacity. Even the brightest talent and the highest performing employee has its limit.  It is the leader of the team that responded to recognize that point and not overpass it. Hidden after the paradigm of talent development, many leaders overburn their best talents, assigning more and more responsibilities while finishing as much work as possible. That often starts well for the person,  with much recognition,  high level of passion, and engagement toward the job,  but in most of the cases finishes with the person leaving the company while not seeing anything good for him or her and remembering only the long days and nights,  the busy weekends and the trouble organizing his or her social and personal life outside work.  


A leadership bias and a sober reason for bright talent to leave are leading full of micromanagement activities.  A person hired to do a job wants to see his or her results while putting a balanced energy level and following its tempo.  Many leaders, especially the young ones, need to show up and prove themselves do not let people breathe freely. To be sure that the work will be finished within the deadlines and the quality promised, the leaders often interfere with their teams while telling everyone how to do their job, at what speed, and to what level of perfection.  There is nothing wrong to be there and support the new person in the team while still learning how to be effective and efficient,  but if the leader turns to follow at every small task delegated and dos not give the person space to bread,  then this erodes to something negative as a behavior.  This negative behavior makes the person a dumb tool for finishing the work and often reflects negatively on people’s engagement and accountability. 

Lack of support

The leader who uses this tool to “help the high performer get out of the door” is often the one who causes the most troubles at work.  This group of leaders often hire great talent, just to let it by him or herself when the moment comes.  The leader’s job is to offer support when needed and asked for and let the person do the job how he or she sees it.  Hiring someone and not giving enough support to help the person become a valuable contributor to the team is always a waste of time, money, and other resources. The leader who is not there when needed with contacts, relationships and enablement of what the person wants to do is why people fail, leave companies, and achieve success everywhere else.

No clues about team dynamics

I have experimented with leaders from different levels at company structures to prove that as high the leader is in the system the less, he or she knows about team dynamics. Every team has its internal dynamics.  There are significant numbers and people who are great at presenting results, and those who work better in the evening and not in the morning, etc. For the leader to ensure that the team will be successful, they must be familiar with the team dynamics’ specifics.  That will allow the leader to plan and delegate better and ensure the results achieved are in line with the company expectations and the team members are well settled and putting their strengths toward challenges and goals. A leader who is not familiar with team dynamics causes an unconsciously high level of stress to all team members that slowly evolves into internal burnout,  conflicts between team members, an unhealthy team environment, etc., and ends with people leaving the team while searching for a better place to show up their full potential.

Inefficient and unproductive meetings

I have been a witness to this team destroying elements.  Several years ago, I was part of a team where we met weekly to, how my manager called it, “discuss priorities and challenges.” The meetings were so poorly led that from the the1,5 hours scheduled, we always finished the essential tasks for the meeting in less than 30 minutes, and we started losing time with sharing some useless personal information from other team members’ lives.  That caused me stress, and I started searching for excuses not to be present at these meetings while delegating this “right” to a colleague to represent mine there. The leader did not even realize why I did that but built a negative attitude toward my work, no matter how great my results.  One day,  I just made a point in front of the whole team built from 86 people in more than 20 countries and asked about the purpose of the meetings and why we lose so much time in unproductive and unhelpful topics.  The team leader’s first reaction was to deny the ineffective element in the discussions, but when other people from different countries started the same as me, then the leader couldn’t d anything except change the format and purpose of the meetings.  For every leader, there is an opportunity to improve team meetings.  If not sure about the level of the meetings’ efficiency, the leader must ask the team.  Or the team will struggle with the sessions for a period, and then team members will take the initiative. Unproductive meetings cause team members to lose internal motivation, disengage toward team goals, and search for different opportunities to be more productive while losing less time.

Lack of communication

I pretty much like this one.  It is my favorite topic because we tend to lose our communication skills faster and faster in a more connected world.  Surrounded by social networks, groups, and communities, we have lost our ability to communicate accurately.  That is why a limited number of people who have learned how to communicate quickly become leaders with masses of followers. The weakest part of each team is the level of communication established as a standard. If the leader does not master this skill, then the team struggles.  Communication is not writing an e-mail or sharing the job at a team meeting Communication is a skill the leader must master to ensure that everyone understands him or she communicates. When there is a piece of information missing, others will give a sign or point on that element to ensure that the task or job will be finished with the highest quality possible.  The leader who points to communication as a one-way street where he or she talks and others listen is causing people to feel  uncomfortable and often leads them to  the decision to  search  for an opportunity  where they  will understand and will be understood


There are many reasons why employees leave their jobs, leaders, and companies. But most of them relate to the leader’s personality and the biases the leader must fight to become a better team engager and supporters.  Pointing on the six reasons above can help every leader help team transformation, productivity, efficiency, and cohesiveness.  


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