11 Reasons Employees Look For a New Role

Despite an uncertain economy, employees are happy to abandon their roles if it means embracing a better work experience. According to a Gallop workplace survey presented in mid-2023 over 96% of workers are looking for a new job.

In the UK the CIPD confirmed that over 6.5 million workers plan to leave their current roles in search of better jobs.

In a skills-short landscape, where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find talent for your team, knowing how to boost your chances of retaining staff is crucial.

The first step to fixing high levels of talent turnover is understanding why employees choose to leave their roles in the first place. Today, we’re going to look at the 11 most common reasons employees search for a new role – and what you can do about it.

1. Lack of Career Growth Opportunities

Every employee, no matter their industry, wants to see opportunities for growth in their career. This could mean everything from chances to move into higher-paying roles, to opportunities to take on more responsibilities at work. Unfortunately, only 48% of employees in 2023 said they felt a path for advancement was available with their current employer.

Creating clear and realistic succession plans to show employees there’s room to develop in your organisation is the best way to help them visualise a future with your company.

2. Inadequate Compensation and Benefits

Today’s employees want and expect to be paid what they’re worth. Many employees know they can increase their income even higher than the rate of inflation too.

This means if you’re not paying team members what they’re worth, or enhancing the deal with the right benefits, such as remote or flexible working and paid time off, they’re likely to look elsewhere. Make sure you regularly assess the hiring landscape to determine a fair compensation package for your teams.

3. Unhealthy Work-Life Balance

Poor work-life balance has grown increasingly common since the pandemic. Remote and hybrid work is making it harder for employees to see the gap between their professional and personal worlds. However, team members are also less willing than ever to tolerate a consistently poor work-life balance for long.

To minimise turnover and prevent burnout, employers and business leaders need to encourage team members to care for themselves, take time off and disconnect from the workplace whenever necessary.

4. Toxic Workplace Culture

A problematic workplace culture doesn’t only dissuade employees from joining your team, it can also prompt existing team members to search for new roles, or even disengage from their work. One study found that employees who feel excluded at work are at a 50% higher risk of turnover.

Focus on building an inclusive, respectful and collaborative culture, where harassment, discrimination and unfair treatment are effectively addressed and eliminated.

5. Limited Learning and Development

As employees want to progress in their roles, they also want to ensure they have chances to develop new skills and abilities. Around 94% of team members say they would stay with a business for longer if it offered the opportunity to develop.

Investing in learning and development programs for your employees is an excellent way to increase engagement and reduce turnover. What’s more, it ensures you can upskill staff members with the skills they need to thrive in a changing workplace.

6. Poor Management and Leadership

Excellent leadership has long played a key role in employee retention. Employees often seek out new positions when they feel they aren’t getting the right managerial support. In fact, one Gallup study found 75% of workers who voluntarily leave their role do so because of a poor manager.

Learning which leadership and management styles work for your employees and teaching your leaders how to implement them can help to minimise turnover.

7. Better Work-Life Fit

Employees frequently struggle to fit their careers around busy personal lives and commitments. However, since the pandemic and the rise of remote and hybrid work, many team members have learned that they can always leave their jobs to find a better fit.

Working with your employees to adapt to their needs can help to reduce turnover. For instance, you could offer employees four-day work weeks, flexible schedules, or even opportunities to work from home when necessary.

8. Lack of Appreciation and Recognition

Every employee wants to feel appreciated. If you’re not recognising your team members for the work they do regularly, then they’re likely to search for a new role. One report found that employees who only receive recognition a few times a year are 39% more likely to leave within the next twelve months.

Implement a comprehensive recognition strategy that encourages business leaders to share feedback and insights with team members on a regular basis. Even a simple “thank you” for a job well done message from a team leader can work wonders.

9. Disconnection from Company Values

In today’s world, employees are looking for more meaning from their jobs. They want to feel as though they’re having a positive impact on their industry and they’re keen to work with companies that share their values. In fact, 87% of millennials in 2023 said they would leave a job to look for an employer that has the same values.

Ensuring you understand the values your employees hold and making it easy for them to understand the mission and vision of your business is crucial to talent retention.

10. Limited Job Security

In several articles shared on Forbes, Studies show employees around the world are facing a job security crisis. Though the right talent remains crucial to the performance of any company, economic uncertainties are making job cuts more common. This leads to stress and burnout for staff.

While it might be impossible to guarantee long-term employment for your staff members, being transparent about layoffs, downsizing and continuity options is crucial.

11. Burnout

Burnout is still on the rise in 2023, with around 43% of the workforce now suffering with common symptoms. Not only does burnout harm productivity and performance in the workplace, but it also makes employees 3.4 times more likely to leave their role.

Business leaders need to pay attention to the signs and symptoms of burnout and ensure they’re taking measures to overcome the problem whenever possible. This could mean offering therapy, guidance and support for mental and physical wellbeing.

Talent turnover is still on the rise throughout many sectors. Ever since the Great Resignation began, employees have become less concerned about holding onto the same job for long periods of time. This makes it harder for businesses to ensure high levels of employee retention.

While it’s impossible to guarantee your staff will never leave your business in search of better perks or benefits, understanding the reasons employees leave is a good first step. When you know what prompts turnover in your company, you can take measures to avoid it.

Neil Scarborough

Managing Director

At The Recruiting Office, we have been helping firms with their talent acquisition, and a wide range of job seekers find their ideal roles for over a decade and have successfully placed hundreds of top tier candidates.

If you want to find out how we can help you – call us on 01603 964816 or email neil@therecruitingoffice.co.uk

Further reading:

A Guide to Career Planning and Personal Growth

How to Resign From Your Role, Without Burning Bridges