As we kick off the New Year, many of us are setting professional goals for the year ahead. For those currently employed, this may even mean looking for a new career. While appreciative for their job, they may come to find, for one reason or another, that their role is just not the right fit at this time.
Based on our experience, we’ve compiled a list of those top reasons employees leave their jobs and how they can overcome these challenges…or move on to their next role.
1. Management Issues
It is common for employees to leave a position when they feel as if they don’t have a good working relationship with their direct manager. Whether there is a perceived favoritism in the office or you don’t feel empowered to ask questions or receive the support you need, it’s important to tackle this before it becomes an issue.
Challenge yourself to meet one-on-one with your manager and consider asking questions like:
Here's what I heard you say, is that what you meant?
How can you help me overcome this setback so I have the opportunity to learn and grow?
Can you help me understand how I can contribute to the success of this project?
With all of your experience, can you help me with some feedback?
Asking these questions may not only strengthen the manager and employee bond, but it can help clarify your manager’s goals.
It’s also important to remember that if you do end up leaving your current role due to management issues, it could be detrimental when explaining this to a potential new employer. Confronting an issue or gaining support from others can help you overcome this setback.
2. Job expectations
When situations change or expectations get out of synch in the workplace, frustrations may rise or employees may become unproductive. Validating expectations with management is a great tool to either keep you on track or motivate you to set new expectations. Show initiative by asking questions like:
Here's what we've discussed to date, are we still on track?
I've accomplished all of my immediate goals, do you have additional responsibilities I can take on?
I've noticed the opportunity to improve one of our processes. Can I put together a plan to tackle this situation?
Can you help me understand how I can exceed the expectations for this particular task?
3. Excessive Hours
There may be times when you’re asked to work longer hours due to special projects or pressing deadlines. While these things are usually out of your control, it may help to ask your manager whether this is a permanent change or merely an adjustment for a short period of time.
Additionally, over time your work/life balance needs may change. When this happens, adjustments may need to be made in both your personal and professional life. For example, if you want a newer car, you may need to work more to earn more money. If you want to spend more time at home with a newborn child, you might ask for an assignment that doesn't require you to be in the office as much. Whatever the issue, communication can help you and your manager understand what goals and decisions allow both parties to be successful.
Before looking for a new position, realize that those who overcome adversity are typically the ones who are recognized for their participation and rewarded with increased responsibility, compensation or recognition.
While you may be able to relate to the above reasons, there are still three more that rank high in causing employees to quit. Stay tuned for New Year, New Career Part II, in which we will discuss how recognition, compensation/benefits, and opportunities for growth play a part in an employee's decision to stay or leave.