Top Workplace Deal Breakers You Should Know About [INFOGRAPHIC]

August 19, 2014

We all know so many reasons why employee retention is important. Your employees already know the ins and outs of your company, your history, where to find information they need, what your company is all about, how to do their jobs. The list could go on and on. Each time an employee leaves, your company pays a price. And it’s a steep one—it’s been estimated that replacing an employee can cost your company up to that employee’s yearly salary.

So, wouldn’t it be nice if we knew why employees really leave? That way, we could start working to fix those problems and keeping our employees right where we want them—at your company.

Well, we wanted to know too. That’s why we at BambooHR decided to conduct a survey of over 1,000 current employees in the US to find out what annoys them and causes them to quit. You might think it all has to do with money, but it's not. Here are the results:

employee retention reason to leave job

What topped the list of why people leave jobs was the chance to advance their careers. 22% of employees who are not getting promoted at your company look elsewhere for opportunities to develop their careers.

When a position opens up, are you looking to hire from within before going outside your company?

The second most popular reason why people left their jobs was to find a better work-life balance – 14% of respondents confirmed that. They didn’t feel they could get the balance they needed at their current job. Maybe that’s something you could look into. Is it possible to give your people more flexibility when they work and where they work? You might be surprised how much people will give back to your company when they feel you’re respecting their desire to balance their lives with their work.

Surprisingly, only 10% of employees think they’re not being paid what they’re worth so much that they’ll quit their job.

People also found the following workplace situations deal breakers and admit they would start looking for a new job if they had to deal with them:

1. Their boss doesn’t trust/empower employees (1 in 4)

2. Management “passes the buck” when things don’t go as planned (1 in 5)

3. Not getting along with coworkers (1 in 6)

Gender Gaps

The survey data showed that 50% of men are managers, while only 30% of women are managers even though they have fewer jobs over their careers and stay at their jobs longer. But men are fired more often (10% of men, 4% of women).

Also, more women consider work-life issues workplace deal breakers. 23% of women consider it a deal breaker when “work is not flexible with regards to family responsibilities” while only 13% of men do. In addition, 29% of women said it was a deal breaker for them when they’re “expected to work/answer emails on sick days, vacations and/or after work hours,” while only 18% of men said the same.

Age Differences

Having a salary that is lower than expected is more annoying to younger people but becomes more acceptable as employees age. In fact, employees over age 60 stop caring much about money at all. Only 8% said they would quit because they thought the salary was unfair. However, lack of benefits progressively becomes more of a deal breaker as employees age.

80% of employees between the ages of 30-44 find it substantially more acceptable to have to work on weekends, vacations and after hours.

Education Matters

It shouldn’t surprise us that the more education a person has (particularly a bachelor’s and graduate degree), the more they want to be challenged and get assignments that will help them grow. In the same vein, the higher educated employees find it particularly annoying when they are not being empowered and trusted by the boss.

A Manager’s Perspective

Managers accepted much less flexibility with regard to family responsibilities and working after hours. 18% of managers versus 27% of non-managers said being “expected to work/answer emails on sick days, vacations and/or after work hours” was a deal breaker.

These survey results show that employees are not just in it for the money. They want a good experience. They want a job that fits into their lifestyle and meets their social needs. It’s important to be aware of and focus efforts on these issues so you’ll have increase your employee retention and reduce cost.

Ben Peterson is co-founder and CEO of BambooHR, the online HR software for small and medium-sized businesses that have outgrown using spreadsheets to manage their employee information.

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