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7 Most Common Reasons Why Employees Quit

01 March 2016, par Équipe Thorens Chasseurs de têtes

Retention of labor is a major current issue. In order to increase your chances of keeping your best employees, you should understand the reasons behind them leaving.

Many organizations offer compensation structures to attract, retain and motivate key employees. However, can we say that it is really the most effective and profitable strategy today?


The 7 Most Common Reasons Employees Quit

According to Leigh Branham (2005), seven main reasons explain why employees leave organizations:

  • The job (or its location) is not what the person expected. There is a gap between the first impression of the candidate and the reality;
  • There is a bad match between the position and the candidate;
  • Employees don’t receive enough support and feedback from superiors;
  • There are not enough opportunities for growth and advancement;
  • Employees feels undervalued and unrecognized;
  • There is too much stress related to work overload and work-life imbalance;
  • There is a loss of trust and belief in the company’s leader.


What About the Salary?

These reasons seems to be lacking of any salary component. Yes, money is important for employees, but there is no direct correlation between salary and motivation to stay in employment.

Types of Motivation

Motivation in individuals can take two forms: the intrinsic motivation which is related to working for personal interest and pleasure, and extrinsic motivation which is driven by working for external factors, such as salary. Individuals motivated by external factors will have a negative impact on the company like being distracted, burnout, competition and higher health costs.

Organizational Justice

Of course, if the employee experiences unfair salary treatment in comparison with his internal and external environment, it will affect his commitment and motivate him to leave. At the very least, employee’s salary must be treated fairly. This refers to the concept of the Perception of Organizational Justice, which we will discuss in a future note.

Retention Strategies

To have a real impact on the retention of its employees, strategies promoting quality of life at work and mobilization are a good starting point because there is a very strong link between the index of mobilization of staff, the satisfaction at work, the loyalty and success of a team.

The most effective strategies will be those that will act on the autonomous motivation of the individual and on his perception of justice within the organization. The integrity, quality and structure of management processes, as well as the positive leadership exercised by the supervisors, will be the keys to the implementation of such strategies


Need personalized advice to help you retain your employees? Contact Us.



  • Branham, Leigh (2005). «The 7 hidden reasons employees leave», Soundview executive book summaries, vol.27, no.6, part 2.
  • Forest, Jacques et al. (2012). «Pourquoi l’argent motive peu  ou mal », Effectif : le magazine de l’Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines et en relations industrielles agréés du Québec, vol. 15, no. 3, p. 20-23.
  • Petit, Alain (2010). «La mobilisation, c’est gagnant!», Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, La Presse, saison 2009-2010