Top 10 Reasons to Leave Your Job
"Salary.com's survey results show that inadequate compensation is by far the
number one reason that employees want to leave their job within the
Whether it is poor pay, lack of appreciation, a long commute, or a tyrannical boss, many employees across America have just about had it with their jobs. This has led some employees to either passively or aggressively seek to leave their job within the next three months. The compensation experts at Salary.com recently identified 8,000 employees likely to look for a new job in the next three months, and asked them what makes them want to leave their current job. The results may surprise you.
The Top 10
#1 Inadequate Compensation
Percent Responding: 57.2%
"Compensation for most positions is far below the market average for our region, no annual increases in the last 4 years."
Salary.com's survey results show that inadequate compensation is by far the number one reason that dissatisfied employees want to leave their job. It has been proven time and again that fair pay practices benefit not only the employee, but also the employer (by reducing unwanted and unanticipated turnover costs). Employees who are paid competitively, relative to their specific market, are generally much happier.
#2 Inadequate Opportunities for Career Advancement
Percent Responding: 37.3%
"My boss has dangled the 'carrot' for a year."
Opportunity for career advancement is a major factor in retaining employees and keeping them happy. 37.3% of dissatisfied employees cited inadequate opportunities for career advancement as the reason they want to quit. Empty promises by upper management, such as promotions that don't pan out, have led many employees to give up on moving up the corporate ladder at their particular company.
#3 Insufficient Recognition or Appreciation
Percent Responding: 34.2%
"There is no recognition of my creative talent, training, or skills."
The three major portions of an employee's total rewards package are compensation, benefits, and the work experience. The work experience includes things like company culture, dress code, and how employees are recognized and appreciated for individual contributions and accomplishments. The fact that 34.2% of dissatisfied employees are disgruntled because of insufficient recognition or appreciation shows the importance of elements of the work experience, such as employee recognition programs. This proves that rewarding top performers with cash or gift certificates, or even just a pat on the back, goes a long way toward improving employee retention rates.
Percent Responding: 20.1%
"My job duties have gone from being challenging to boring."
20.1% of dissatisfied employees are unhappy because of boredom. There is only so much socializing with coworkers, surfing the Internet, or simply spacing out that an employee can do before it's time to find a new job.
The July 2005 AOL/Salary.com study “Wasted Time At Work” revealed that the average American worker admitted to frittering away 2.09 hours per 8-hour workday, not including lunch and scheduled break-time. However, employees expressed that they are not always to blame for this wasted time. 33.2% of respondents cited lack of work as their biggest reason for wasting time.
#5 Inadequate Benefits
Percent Responding: 16.9%
"The insurance premiums I pay cut deep into my paycheck."
Results recently released from Salary.com's 2005 Small Business Basic Medical Coverage Survey show that nearly 90% of small businesses are paying more this year than last year for basic medical insurance for their employees. And these soaring healthcare costs are forcing small businesses, in many instances, to adopt measures that lower employee take-home pay. This has spurred some employees to start looking for work elsewhere, perhaps at companies offering more generous employer contributions towards the cost of basic medical coverage.
Use the Benefits Tab of the Salary Wizard® Calculator to see how your benefits stack up.
#6 Inadequate Opportunities for Professional Development
Percent Responding: 15.3%
"I'm probably too experienced and educated for this organization."
15.3% of dissatisfied employees feel as if they have reached the pinnacle of their professional development at the company at which they are currently employed. Whether they are leaving to further their education, start their own business, or find a job that promises more professional growth, opportunity for professional development proves to be an important factor in retaining and satisfying employees.
#7 Insufficient Job Security
Percent Responding: 11.8%
"My job is being outsourced to Mexico and Asia."
Insufficient job security is a result of a variety of different factors, including outsourcing, industry decline, lack of profits, competitive threats, and rumors that the company may be sold. The survey results indicated that many employees are searching for new jobs in response to the fact, or rumor, that their company or job is going under. Many of the 11.8% of respondents who cited insufficient job security as their top reason for leaving lack confidence in upper management's ability to save the company.
#8 Undesirable Impact on Health or Stress Level
Percent Responding: 10.5%
"This is bad for my health- my knees are hurting due to 12 hour shifts."
Many employees are working long, hard hours and are finally realizing the effect that their job is having on their overall health and stress level. Some of these employees are opting to leave the workforce entirely, while others are in search of a job that won't give them an ulcer.
#9 Poor Relations with Management
Percent Responding: 10%
"Management is incompetent, clueless, overcompensated, abusive, hostile and predatory."
Bosses everywhere, beware! Your employees are watching you and may leave because of your behavior. Even though poor relations with management ranked as the ninth most common reason unhappy employees want to leave their job, employees who dislike their boss provided us with some particularly entertaining feedback:
"Upper management has no spine, they are jellyfish."
"My boss has a diagnosed mental condition, but doesn't take his medication."
"My employer wants to disregard regulations and laws in order to meet company goals."
"My direct employer is sexist, tyrannical, and engages in extreme favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism."
#10 Undesirable Commute
Percent Responding: 9%
"My cost of gas versus my hourly income equals my net pay."
Rising gas prices have become an effective pay cut for America's commuters, and many are starting to think about leaving their job for something closer to home. Assuming that individual and company goals are met, employees can expect a salary increase of about 3.7% this year. They can also expect to pour 3.3% of their salary down the gas tank, virtually wiping out that increase. In fact, while salaries are rising 3.7% year over year, commuting costs have risen 50% in the last year.
Courtesy of Salary.com