5 Reasons—Other Than Pay—Star Employees Leave

It’s a job seeker’s market and skilled workers have more options than they’ve had in more than a decade. The struggle to recruit workers with the right mix of skills and expertise needed to fill open positions is reaching a fever pitch, which means businesses must go to greater lengths to attract top talent, including luring workers away from the competition. So, even star employees who seem happily engaged in their current jobs may be tempted to test the waters with another company if the offer is right.

According to a study by Digital marketing firm AdTaxi, as reported on HRDrive.com, “52% of workers plan to look for a new job in 2019, and of those who will take part in the hunt, 54% landed their current job less than a year ago.​” So, anyone is susceptible, no matter how long they’ve been with their employer, and the reasons they choose to leave might surprise you.

Here are five reasons other than pay that could drive your star employees to leave.

Training or Advancement Opportunities
Not only is employee training and development an important part of maintaining a strong, productive business, it’s also vital to retaining top talent. According to a study by TINYpulse, a developer of employee engagement software, “employees who don’t feel supported in their professional goals are three times more likely to be looking for a new job.” So, an opportunity with another company that better aligns with an employee’s desired career path is a tempting prospect.

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Flexible Work Environment
We all have lives outside the office, so opportunities to create work-life balance with a flexible work environment that better fits our lifestyle are hard to pass up. According to a survey from Flexjobs, “61% [of workers] have left or considered leaving a job because it did not have work flexibility” and 77% said “having a flexible job would allow them to be healthier (eat better, exercise more, etc.), and 86% said they’d be less stressed.”

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Feeling like their skills are underutilized/underappreciated
High achievers are driven to perform, so if they feel their skills and expertise aren’t being fully utilized, they get bored and may start looking for a more challenging opportunity. Often, this comes down to recognition, which can be a key driver of retention. In fact, the research from TINYpulse, found that “employees who feel under-appreciated are unlikely to stay with their employers,” and “21.5% of employees that don’t feel recognized when they do great work have interviewed for a job in the last three months, compared to just 12.4% that do feel recognized.”

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Ambivalence toward the company mission
Most people want to know that the work they do each day contributes to a higher purpose or makes a difference in at least their small part of the world. So, an employee who may be generally engaged in their work and performing well could be tempted to leave if an opportunity arises with a company whose mission more closely aligns with their life’s passion, core values, or personal beliefs. In a survey conducted by Lexington Law, a law firm specializing in credit repair, people were asked to “choose between two extremes – a job you love, but half your current pay or a job you hate, but twice your current pay.” Three in five participants said they would take the 50% pay cut to have a job they loved.

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Personal reasons you may never know
It’s possible you may never truly know why a star employee decides to leave. From personal health issues to simply wanting to shake things up with a change of pace, everyone has their own motivations for the decisions they make and you may simply have to chalk it up to unknown factors outside your control.

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What are some other reasons employees who seemed otherwise happy and engaged in their jobs have left your company? Let us know in the comments section below.

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2 Responses to 5 Reasons—Other Than Pay—Star Employees Leave

  1. Stuart June 4, 2019 at 9:38 am #

    Great article…!!

  2. Liz June 4, 2019 at 4:44 pm #

    This article sheds sunshine on the insight that business leaders would benefit from in evaluating their priority of strategies for business success.

    JOB WELL DONE, by “Refresh Leadership”!!!!!!!!!!

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