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8 Reasons Great Employees Quit (Even Though They Like The Job)

8 Reasons Great Employees Quit (Even Though They Like The Job)

There are many reasons why people change jobs. These days, it is uncommon for someone to get a job and stick with it for the rest of their life. There are many opportunities and our lives are filled with diversity and flexibility. However, there are often patterns to why people decide to move on from what seemingly is ideal employment — and it isn’t just about the money or the location.

Here are eight common reasons why someone might quit their job.

1. Disrespected and undervalued staff

When you are treated like just a cog in the wheel and you feel like just another number, you feel dehumanized and worthless. Sometimes, employers are only concerned about profits, output, pleasing stakeholders, and productivity. These factors are certainly important for a successful business venture, but they are impossible to achieve if the people doing the work are being mistreated.

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Staff are human beings. Workers are people and they need to be given dignity and motivation to be productive. The outcome is just as much about them as it is about the consumer or investor. If staff are underpaid, not provided with flexible work practices, and not given adequate benefits or a safe, healthy, and enjoyable working environment, they are likely to quit. Staff retention is underrated, and a lot of expertise is lost when experienced people are pushed out of their jobs through sheer neglect.

2. No career progression

People no longer want to just do the same thing day in and day out for the rest of their lives. They want to feel as though they are learning and progressing in their careers. Staff expect to be trained and educated so they can build their skills and experience. They want to grow with the organization they work for and to have something to show for their years of hard work. They want variety and excitement and they want to be challenged. If a job provides no opportunity for career progression, chances are workers will quit and seek greener pastures with better opportunities elsewhere.

3. Inequality

If a workplace still seems as though it’s in another decade in terms of its employment practices and policies, staff are likely to quit even before their first year is complete. Nobody wants to work in an environment that is sexist, racist, ageist, or discriminatory in any way. Times have changed. The human race has intellectually evolved, and when inequality is rife in a workplace, staff retention is difficult. Workplaces need to adapt to individual needs and allow for diversity and flexibility. People no longer tolerate workplaces that harbor an outdated culture. Even if people choose to stay in these workplaces, or have little other choice, that business or endeavor is guaranteed to fail and will not be able to compete with more progressive and evolved workplaces.

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4. Low morale

When people are generally unhappy in a workplace, it is evident the minute you walk through the door. People are cynical, impolite, and will find any excuse to avoid being productive. There are no consequences for poor productivity or incomplete and incompetent service, and eventually people start looking for an exit strategy.

Team building and union among workers are vital components to the success of any workplace, and individuals on every level need to genuinely care about each other and the common goals of the workplace. When there is a breakdown in communication and a feeling of futility in putting in any effort at work, nobody wants to be there anymore. This is the perfect reason for someone to quit their job before the workplace starts to have an adverse effect on their health.

5. No recognition or reward

Everyone needs a pat on the back every now and then. Sometimes, a kind word of thanks or just being acknowledged for the effort you put in is enough. You don’t need to receive a gold trophy or fat bonus check to feel like you are being appreciated — however, incentives can go a long way towards giving people motivation and a feeling of purpose. If you have never been thanked or noticed in a job, you are likely to feel invisible and worthless. Deciding to quit can be the easiest option.

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6. Discouraging enthusiasm

Innovation and ideas are the heartbeat of an organization, and everyone should be given a chance to show initiative. Some workplaces are incredibly resistant to change, even if those changes will mean a vast improvement in work practices or productivity. People will often start a job with positive energy and idealism, which is quickly thwarted by a management that is stale and lacks vision. When your enthusiasm is constantly diminished, you not only avoid taking risks and trying new things, you become jaded and are further enticed to quit and find something new.

7. Promoting the wrong people

Some workplaces develop a culture of rewarding the wrong people. There’s a saying that good bosses will hire people that are smarter than them. This is never the case when a boss has a big ego and feels threatened by anyone who shows intelligence and ability. What tends to happen is that people are promoted for their ability to be invisible and submissive rather than innovative and competitive. This protects the power structure rather than developing a system that has efficiency, capability, and professionalism as its goal.

8. Hierarchy instead of autonomy

When the hierarchy is more important than the value of each and every person contributing to a pursuit, a workplace not only loses excellent opportunities for wisdom and sound judgement, but also crushes self reliance and vital decision-making skills in its workers.

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Strong leadership in a workplace should empower its staff to be self reliant and conscientious for the greater good of the business. Power struggles and mind games only work against the common goal and contribute to a toxic workplace. Staff will quit by the dozens when they are infantilized and feel that they can’t be trusted to make even the most basic choices by themselves, having to get permission for every move they make. It is lazy and uneducated leadership that forces good workers to quit dysfunctional workplaces.

Featured photo credit: Healthy Society via facebook.com

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on April 17, 2019

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

2. Flexibility

Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

3. Being a Team Player

Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

4. Positive Mental Attitude

There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

5. A Strong Work Ethic

People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

  • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
  • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
  • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
  • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

6. Public Speaking

Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

7. Integrity

From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

  • Always doing what you say you will do
  • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

…even when no one is around to check up on you.

There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

8. Managing Your Time

Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

9. Assertiveness

In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

  • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
  • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
  • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
  • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

How do you use this information for yourself?

It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

10. Creative Thinking

LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Final Thoughts

The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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