According to data shared by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, every month, approximately 3 million Americans quit their jobs, leaving many employers wondering why employees leave.

When good employees leave, colleagues struggle, morale suffers, and productivity sinks. Not only this, but organizations find it difficult to hire replacements immediately and end up spending huge amounts of money on recruitment, onboarding, and training.

The best solution is to be proactive. If you keep employees happy and motivated, they won’t leave. Before you can build a plan to improve employee retention, however, you must know why employees leave.

Here are some common reasons why employees leave their organizations.

6 Reasons Why Employees Leave

1. There’s Lack of Autonomy and Trust

Trust is one of the most critical factors that can improve employee retention. Organizations that don’t trust their employees often end up micromanaging them, doubting their decisions, and asking them to seek approval for everything they do.

Employees who are performing well don’t need constant supervision. They need an environment of autonomy and trust where they can thrive and grow. Transparency is a critical element of trust and trust is paramount even in professional relationships. Employees who feel that they use their best abilities and strengths at work are 15% less likely to quit their jobs.

2. They Are Not Being Appreciated or Recognized

Another reason why employees leave their jobs is a lack of appreciation or recognition. This lack of appreciation can come in different forms, such as not receiving positive feedback, being underpaid, being constantly monitored by managers and peers, and so on. The absence of appreciation or recognition can demotivate employees and reduce their productivity. Many organizations lose good employees because they don’t recognize talent on time.

A “thank you” or “kudos” from the leadership can go a long way. Recognizing employees does not necessarily have to be a monetary benefit; an encouraging email from the leadership can work wonders for employees. Eighty-nine percent of managers wrongly believe their employees quit because they want more money.

3. There’s a Lack of Respect

If employees aren’t feeling respected, there’s a high chance that they will leave. Respect could imply how they are treated by their colleagues and managers, the type of projects they are working on, and the compensation they are receiving.

Employees who say there’s low respect among colleagues are 26% more likely to quit their jobs. Remember, employees don’t leave good jobs without a reason.

4. They Are Not Engaged

Highly engaged employees are 75% less likely to look for a new job compared to disengaged employees. Sometimes, employees are satisfied with their jobs but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and work environment. They do show up to work but their productivity is low compared to actively engaged employees.

To increase employee engagement, organizations should focus on giving regular feedback, opportunities to grow, and employee recognition.

5. Workplace Policies Are Rigid

Organizations that support remote work have 20% lower employee attrition than organizations that don’t. Comprehensive research by OwlLabs found that the option to work remotely can have a great impact on employee retention.

Whether it’s a flexible work routine or a permanent remote work arrangement, there are many ways in which flexible workplace policies can improve the employee experience. Thirty-seven percent of employees would quit and apply for a new job that allowed them to work remotely.

6. There’s a Lack of Work-Life Balance

Paying attention to employees’ challenges to achieve a work-life balance can go a long way in improving employee retention. In a survey by Kronos, 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to 50% of their annual employee attrition. Not only this but 42% of millennials who have worked at two to four different organizations said that their job is extremely stressful, and 36% feel their job has a negative impact on their health.

The top three issues that contribute to employee burnout are:

  • Unfair compensation
  • Unreasonable workload
  • Poor management

Today’s advanced employee management solutions allow organizations to prevent employee burnout by scheduling employee welfare sessions, allowing rest sessions during working hours, providing them with opportunities to pursue their hobbies and passions, and more. Small gestures and offerings that emphasize the vitality of work-life balance can help a great deal in making employees feel that they are an integral part of the organization.