Even in this economic downturn, possibility of employee resigning from your firm or your team may be a reality.
Often the reason cited is "more salary". In my opinion, "Salary" may be on of the reason but not the most important reason for employee to quit a job.
As a manager of course you probably are wondering why even well paid employees leave the company. It is easier to pin the blame of lack of "Paying capacity" or that competition pays better but it is often a thing to hide behind. I have met
employees who have left the companies that paid well to join companies who have given them better roles at same or sometimes lesser salaries. Probably it is easier to explain to senior management that money is the root of this evil :) but then I pity the management that takes such explanation at face value. It is important to scratch the surface and look for real reasons.I have outlined a few of them which in my opinion are important.
#1: Not enough challenges
A highly performing employee looks for a challenging role. Bigger organizations often have trouble providing challenging roles unless the employee is in cutting edge technology area. The present role thus fails to motivate the employee further.
In an smaller company, often the roles are challenging and thus it is lesser of a reason to quit.
#2 : Passed-over for promotion
A performing employee may be a strong candidate for promotion. If because of some reason she is passed over for it, she is set up for resignation.
Often faulty incorrect performance appraisals lead ( for e.g. manager not being able to create right case to the senior management) to growing frustration which eventually leads to resignation .
#3 : Not enough opportunities to grow
In a few organizations I worked for there was a predefined role and you were stuck in there as "Experts". Often new technologies passed me over because the organization did not want me to move out of my role. Even though I was fond of learning new things, I could not .
An employee may feel frustrated if he is placed in such a situation
Due to globalization, there is a huge pressure on employees to perform. This is exactly opposite of them asking for more responsibilities themselves. Excess work causes longer office hours and higher stress. Employee's health may be affected. A friend of mine had to undergo operation to remove the back pain that he suffered on account of overwork.
Making your employees overwork is unhealthy in the long term and thus could be a big cause for resignation.
#5 : Unfriendly workplace
Work places that are full of politics are terrible on a performing employee. Often performers are put under lesser experienced people. They immediately suffer in productivity.
In certain places, work is measured more by how much part of particular group you are. An employee has to watch his back in order not to become part of office politics. If not checked , this unfettered politics may harm the morale of the employee.
#6: Not enough respect
Performing employees thrive in companies where they are valued. They derive happiness out of helping other, creating value for the company. However if they find that their contributions are not valued much , they might leave for where they are (valued).
#7: Uncertainty of employment
In the era of globalization, job certainty has almost disappeared. Work may move to cheaper locations in a matter of days. If the employees perceive that they are going to lose their job soon, they might move to areas or companies that are considered safer.
It still pays to develop a workplace where employees are secure about their jobs.
#8 : Inadequate compensation
It really is not a very big problem unless the compensation is extremely low. Salary may lose significance after it reaches a point( unless employee works only to get it increased). An employee might be more interested in getting respect from peers and having a professional standing rather than just stuffing notes in his account.
Compensation is not very high on agenda ,unless it is really low.
These are the reasons that I feel are important. I am sure you have your own. Why don't you share them with us?