Top reasons employees quit and leave their job

by Ashvini on September 16, 2011 · 19 comments

in Managing Team effectively

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

#4: Burnouts

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?

About The Author


Mark May 18, 2014 at 8:30 pm


It’s unfortunate any time valued employees/associates feel they are forced from their current place of employment, for any number of reasons and or circumstances that are beyond their control.

You have done an excellent job, opening peoples eyes to just some of these types of (sadly) always occurring situations. And it’s too bad!

Because for the most part, most employees are honest, hard working individuals that simply want to be treated fairly, while they attempt to earn a decent living and help provide for their families!

Thank you,however, for honestly pointing out, just a few of the potential obstacles, they may (at some point) have to face!!

Hina August 11, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Could anyone tell me how one manager can solve this all problem of resignation?

Veronica Cervera October 16, 2011 at 5:38 am

There has been a study about why people quit their jobs. Surprisingly, not one of the respondents provide any salary related reason. In general, people are inherently generous people. We all want a sense of contribution and a sense of teamwork. No person has ever lasted in a job without these two.

Eric September 30, 2011 at 10:39 am

These are the reasons I recently resigned (about 4 months ago). I left knowing I was entering an uncertain market place as a contractor, but the short term contract I got vindicated my decision: I was appreciated more in 5 weeks than at any time of the last 3 years in my prior role:

Reason for resignation #1 : Not enough challenges

Reason for resignation #6: Not enough respect

MANICKAM VIJAYABANU September 23, 2011 at 11:23 am

Hi Ashvini,

Thanks for the terrific article. Almost you have break down all the corners and analyzed very well. I see people as two category for this scenario. One would be, who can not endure for any of the above said reasons and start looking next. Surely not a bad deal since professional career is important.
The next type would be, analyze the situation, identify the hard corners and slowly show their importance as a role at project or business and bring attention to higher management by diplomatic way. I am sure, there are such occurrences at few companies.

In generally a manager or senior should similar like your friend. Who should well aware about his team and team member frequency. If we back track the root cause analysis, we can clearly point out the inefficiency of higher managers or the ignorance about their business ethics. I believe, in your previous article – “Good managers encourage individuality in a team” you have well drafted about such incidents.

Thanks for sharing the wonderful article

Adrienne September 20, 2011 at 10:36 pm

What an extensive list and I see several reasons on this list as to why I’ve left positions in the past.

Personally, I enjoyed working with smaller companies during my corporate career mainly because I wasn’t just a number. For my chosen profession though, I couldn’t go any higher because I was at the highest level for what I did. But not being appreciated or given way too much work while others slacked off was a huge pet peeve of mine. There weren’t as many times that I worked with people who were just down right unpleasant but they were there as well.

The main reason I would end up leaving was because of something happening with the company itself such as bankruptcy, downsizing, closing their doors, management changes or the last time was my boss retired. Money was never an issue because I was always compensated for a job well done.

Great list though Ashvini, you covered them all that I can see.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena September 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Hi Adrienne,

I like the way your personal experiences provide for excellent proof to my arguments :).
Working in small companies is a plus most of the time because they care( or need to care) about their people more than in the bigger companies. However I have been on the opposite side and experienced these things many times. Some were even career threatening. I had to move a lot to sometimes get the right position, sometimes to get the right work. I believe that had the companies listened to what I said in exit, they would have not seen a lot of resignations later on as well.
I also agree that money is not a big enough factor for change of job, unless it is really low .

Thanks for commenting once again :) . I really appreciate.

Aswani September 20, 2011 at 9:00 am

Ashvini, very well summed up reasons. Well, I had resigned from my first job in 2008 and it was a terrible experience for me. The reasons why I had resigned – dirty politics, stressful environment and some related internal issues. And now, I see myself quite fortunate here in my next job but anyways, you never know. Here also, I have been facing some issues but not as stressful as what I had faced during my first job. I haven’t yet decided to give up as I believe it would be silly at present. Also, I am not in a hurry either ;)

Three things I would like to write here –
Corporate culture is mostly the same anywhere no matter how big or small it is.
Never resign from your present job until and unless you have a confirmed next job in your hands.
Learning to compromise is one of the better ways to keep yourself safe in any job but it shouldn’t be your priority..!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena September 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Hi Aswani,
Thanks for your perspective on the topic.
I think office politics often plays a really dirty role in determining why employees leave. I have once been out of job before I got another for a really short time. If you write your CV well,your chance of landing a good job next improve a lot.
Glad that you found the post useful :)
Best regards,

Bryce Christiansen September 20, 2011 at 3:05 am

Great post. Another reason I’ve seen is not having a sense of purpose. I know several people who work long hours not because they have to but because of how connected their sense of purpose is to the work they do.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena September 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Hi Bryce,

Hope you are doing great.
I think having a sense of purpose is absolutely essential. Employees who know and like what they are doing always come out as winners :)

Best regards,

Suresh peters@SoftwareBuzzer September 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Ashvini, you have shared a very common reasons for job quit :) Really loved it. One more thing you missed bro. Its called “job satisfaction” , we get job satisfaction we we do our job that we loved. there are some rare people who goes behind passion. For those job satisfaction is more important. When people love the jobs they do , seriously they can do miracles, since there is love and passion in it . Magic surely happens.

The best Example is Me :D
Since I got campus placements in my college life , but i not attended even one. Since i am not interested in MNC because I love exploring internet, blogging and more. Since the life of a blogger is very awesome , learning daily new things applying new strategies daily , and many more. Where as If i joined as jobs. the life will be Getting up in morning, Running to office :P and day ends.. and coming home and sleep so on days will be passed and also life will be damm boring. :) Now my life is awesome..i can do what i can at any time , I have freedom, No need to ask permissions.

So Job satisfaction also plays an important role.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena September 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Hey Suresh,

Thanks for your awesome comment and excellent example. I am sure job satisfaction is so obvious that we know it has to be there :). The reason companies cannot provide what you want to do is because of mismatched goals. I think companies can go ahead and utilize your talents but probably it does not fit their revenue model or they are not visionary enough to see the possibilities. If there is indeed a large mismatch between goals that you have and those that your company has, it is better to do something on your own.
Job does get boring with time and it is difficult to change job roles . I agree with you on this.
I think it is not the job satisfaction , what you refer to is “Intrapreneuship”. That is still not very popular in most of the companies.
Have a great day.

sureshpeters@softwarebuzzer September 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm

yes, one of the reason i choose this one because, I Know that fuel price in future will go up surely , then all cost of living will be surely reaches to sky :P soo with the same salary i get, cant able to buy iphone . Then i ll surely get into disappointment. and finally my life get sucks….Hope i done brave path..and lets see in future..

Ashvini Kumar Saxena September 21, 2011 at 11:31 am

You have taken a good path. Don’t worry. everything will be fine. But only one point I want to tell you is that “Android” is much better than “iphone” so start using it :).
You are a brave man. Best of luck

Raj @ Blogging Tips & Tricks September 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Besides these, no focus on work and lack of recognition will also act as one of the top reasons why employees quit an organization..

Ashvini Kumar Saxena September 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Hi Raj,
You have pointed out some important reasons. I appreciate your coming here and commenting.

Thank you very much.

Rohit Batra September 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Interesting Article Ashvini.. Must read for top Managers of HRD of every company.. but people have a different perspective of thinking when anyone leaves a job they say that he needs more salary(money).. every-time money isn’t important some times work environment and future growth has to be also considered..

Ashvini Kumar Saxena September 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Hi Rohit,
Glad that you liked the topic . I liked your comment as well. Hiding behind low money argument is easy because then there is no soul searching needed. I think senior management really need to go beyond the usual reasons for exit. THey would be surprised by what they will find.

Thanks buddy for your comments :) Keep coming back

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