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Build Your Career Get Ahead

The Top Reasons Employees Quit

The Top Reasons Employees Quit
Credit: stockphoto-graf/Shutterstock

A desire for more money and the chance to advance their careers are important to employees when changing jobs, but those reasons aren't what motivates them the most.

The chance to work in a job that allows them to do what they do best is the top reason employees list for considering, or taking a new job, a Gallup study found.

The problem, however, is that many employees aren't getting what they're looking for. Research revealed that employees who have worked at their companies for less than three years are more engaged and think they have more opportunities to learn then those who have worked for their employers for at least 10 years. However, it's the long-tenured workers who feel like they are doing what they do best, the study showed.

The Gallup analysis discovered that the highest percentage of employees who strongly agree that they have opportunities to do what they do best are those who have worked with their employers for at least a decade. [Why Frequent Job Hoppers Might Make Good Hires ]

These results show a major disconnect, the study authors said.

"If workers are switching jobs and companies because they think a new role will allow them to do what they do best, yet they have fewer opportunities to do so in their new role than their more-tenured counterparts, employers are at a continued risk that workers will keep looking for a new role," the study's authors wrote. "Few workers may be willing to stick it out for three years when their opportunities to do what they do best seem to increase."

To help prevent employees from looking for new opportunities, Gallup recommends several tips, including:

  • Foster employee strengths from the start. To help keep employees from having a wandering eye shortly after they join your organization, find ways to apply their strengths early in their tenure. Additionally, place them under the tutelage of managers who can identify and maximize their employees' talents.
  • Don't forget about long-term workers. Research shows that the longer an employee works for an organization, the less support that person feels. In order to retain and engage employees throughout their time at the organization, it's important to provide them with more learning opportunities and feedback.
  • Define expectations. Making sure employees understand what is expected of them requires more than listing their job responsibilities. You also need to explain to your employees how to prioritize their responsibilities and how those responsibilities connect with other jobs in the company.

The study was based on surveys of more than 13,000 U.S. workers over the age of 18.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.