Why do good employees quit?

⏳ 3 minute read

Bye, Felicia!


Published on August 26, 2020

by Patrick Dimayuga

Companies are always trying their best to find ways in keeping the best talent. Dealing with a resignation is disruptive and costly to the organization and can affect a team’s morale and productivity. 

While there are many reasons for employees to quit such as moving to a different country, going back to school, taking care of a family member or taking an opportunity to move up the career ladder; employee resignation is always a sensitive situation to handle. 

Content inspired from Patrick’s original post on Facebook on @sinabimo_pat

Oftentimes, people leave bad managers, which means managers can influence their decision and find ways to prevent top employees from leaving. Avoiding pitfalls such as the ones listed below might help in keeping the best talent.

1. Salary is not competitive 

Loyalty and passion for one’s job may keep an employee but it can only take you so far. Homegrown talents usually suffer the brunt of being underpaid because they don’t usually try out for jobs in other companies to know their current value. Most of the time, they believe that they are being paid well. 

When an employee does extremely well and delivers high-quality work, they deserve to be compensated for it. Although money isn’t the only motivator for outstanding performers to stay where they are, it certainly affects their work output and engagement because they know their worth. Keeping an underpaid overachiever is like holding a ticking time bomb that will blow off once they get a whiff of a higher compensation elsewhere. After all, the bills are stacking up and goods aren’t getting any cheaper so fair pay sounds about right. 

2. Poor management 

What’s the relationship between the employee and her manager like? Do they have frequent 1-on-1s? Do they have a harmonious working relationship or does she go on Facebook rants all night about how bad management is? 

It’s become such a cliche to say that good employees don’t leave bad jobs but leave bad bosses but it’s just so inarguable given that we inherently trust our managers to have our backs and be a good supporter; and if that trust is broken–employees, often the best ones, will head for the exit faster than you can even ask why. 

3. There’s a lack of challenge

Top performers will disengage if work becomes mundane. Repetitive and routinary work will bore them and make them seek out for more mentally-stimulating opportunities elsewhere. 

Don’t mistake additional work as a motivator for top performers. Managers are responsible for creating opportunities that will allow their best people to stretch their mental muscles and utilize their skills effectively.  

4. There’s a lack of recognition

Everyone wants to feel appreciated and valued for a job well done. Some want public praise and recognition while others prefer a private acknowledgment. No matter the preference, a good manager should be able to give credit to her best-performing talent or risk getting subpar output moving forward or worse, a letter of resignation. 

Recognition emails, award ceremonies, online celebrations or even just that proverbial pat in the back are all great examples of showing appreciation for one’s contributions. 

5. It’s time to move on

Sometimes, it’s just time for a change and it’s nobody’s fault. No matter how hard companies try to keep their employees happy and content, some people just need to spread their wings. Perhaps the most apparent example of this is when a person undergoes a life-altering event like getting married or welcoming the birth of a first child. Such high-impact events can trigger people to rethink their life goals and purpose that might influence their decision to leave their company. 

Final thoughts: One of the common complaints I hear from managers is about the wasted time and resources allocated for someone only to end up seeing him quit in just a couple of years. Being a good employer means having a holistic understanding of what your people need and providing an environment for everyone to thrive and feel a sense of belongingness. This is what being the best employer is all about.

Patrick Dimayuga

Patrick is one of the Philippines’ most influential figures in the field of recruitment and employer branding. He has led these initiatives for Smart Communications and Coca-Cola Beverages. His industry mantra is all about giving the best candidate experience. You’ll also find him sampling the best food in the city through his food blog, @thepatkidinside while giving the occasional HR advice on @sinabimo_pat. 

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