Top 5 Reasons Employees Quit and What You Can Do About It

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on October 01, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

As we saw from the woman who quit her job through a two-minute interpretive dance video set to Kanye West's "Gone," keeping employees happy, engaged and loyal is essential to preventing an ex-employee viral social media sensation at the company's expense.

But how do you crack the code of what makes employees disenchanted enough to literally shimmy out the door? The formula for a happy workplace may more of an art than science (sometimes literally), but there are a few common pressure-points that can trigger the employee tipping-point-of-no-return.

With a hat tip to Forbes, here are five common reasons employees voluntarily quit their jobs:

  1. Trust issues. Author Melissa Llarena of Career Outcomes Matter reports the biggest reason for employees choosing to chuck their jobs is that they no longer trust corporations, according to Forbes. Be dependable, reliable and truthful. Is your management known to be sunshine and daisies during an interview only to take promised perks away during the person's employment? Well, that bait-and-switch strategy is fodder for employees abruptly quitting and filing an ex-employee lawsuit.
  2. Insufficient recognition. Employees often call it quits when they don't feel appreciated or recognized. While giving too much recognition to one worker could give the impression of unlawfully discriminating against others, make sure to give credit where it's due.
  3. Internal politics. As in-house counsel, it's critical to recognize internal politics and diffuse it when possible. If you don't, you could have a company full of disgruntled employees that could spark a PR nightmare.
  4. Unlikable boss. Workers dislike bosses (and then file lawsuits) for a variety of reasons such as being selfish, telling bad jokes, micro-managing, and undercutting workers' achievements. According to Forbes, many workers cite quitting as a desire to become their own boss. A cost-effective solution is to give workers greater autonomy and let them feel more like their own bosses. It'll be less stressful and more pleasant for everyone -- including in-house counsel.
  5. Inflexibility. Giving workers greater control over their work schedule, ability to telecommute, and other employment decisions reinforces trust. The more you tighten your grip, the more you alienate your employees and make them feel mistrusted. According to Forbes, "To every degree a company can allow individuals to accomplish their important goals in a more flexible way, productivity can increase, but satisfaction and happiness in the job can dramatically increase as well."

Believe it or not, it's not a corporate sin to have a company culture that is actually fun and enjoyable.

If you don't know what exactly it is that your workers want to be engaged, happy -- and most importantly, loyal -- here's a novel idea: Ask them.

If not, get ready for a potential resignation video brimming with dramatic dance flair.

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