When your best employee quits, they may outwardly give practical reasons. More pay! Bigger responsibilities! Cool perks! But the decision is also likely to be driven by bad personal experiences. In a newly released Randstad US survey of 763 adults, bad bosses, unhealthy office politics, and feeling unvalued and disrespected were top reasons given of why employees quit, or were currently considering it.
Many employees quit bosses more than jobs
Yes, many employees quit for pragmatic reasons like money. The vast majority of respondents — 82% — said they expected pay raises every year to stay with their current employers. But healthy and happy relationships with managers can get an employee to stay even when salaries are low, suggesting that these relationships can be the ultimate dealbreaker. Fifty-eight percent of workers said that they would stay at their job with a lower salary if they could work with a “great boss.”
When your relationship with your boss sours, so does the idea of waking up each day to work for them. Sixty percent of respondents have left jobs, or are actively considering leaving, because they do not like their direct supervisors.
A bad office environment can also drive employees out the door. When employees do not feel like they belong at work, 38% of them start thinking of an exit plan. Bad office politics caused more than half of respondents to quit a job, or consider quitting. Feelings about colleagues can get tangled with feelings about jobs. When you experience rudeness on a daily basis, your perspective on the job also shifts. One study found that victims of workplace rudeness reported feeling like their jobs were threatened and that they were alone.
When employees do stay at their jobs year after year, it is not necessarily because they love the job. It may be because they are choosing the security of the job over the fear of the unknown. The security of a paycheck with comfortable benefits can get an unhappy employee to stay. Fifty-four percent of employees said they felt pressure to stay at a job because they were the primary financial provider. More than half of participants said they would stay because they did not want to start with less time off at their next job.
But amongst these employees that stay, there is also likely an undercurrent of anxiety over job hunting. Seventy-one percent of respondents admitted that they are staying in their current jobs because it was easier than searching for a new one.
When we feel respected and valued by our colleagues, they can make us want to stay at a job, even when there are more practical reasons to quit. But when they make our days nightmares, we are more driven to overcome the inertia of staying, so that we can find a way out.