Woman in business clothes looking out the window while holding a coffee cup.
From low pay to burnout, there are several reasons that make employees want to leave jobs. — Getty Images/Westend61

High employee churn is costly: Gallup estimates that replacing an employee costs anywhere from one-half to two times that person’s salary. Research has found that most employees quit due to the following reasons.

Low pay

Pew Research Center examined why employees left their jobs in 2021, and 63% left due to low pay. It’s hard to feel motivated to do well in a position where you don’t feel adequately compensated. And rising inflation and lifestyle changes may cause employees to need more money to support themselves.

No opportunities to advance

The Pew Research Center study found that low pay wasn’t the number one reason employees quit — it was actually tied with a lack of opportunities to advance. Other research has found that employees often quit due to a lack of career growth as well. For instance, studies conducted by the Harris Poll and Global Talent Monitor found that employees often leave due to a lack of career development.

[Read more: What to Do When an Employee Leaves]

Feeling disrespected

According to the Pew study, 57% of Americans quit their jobs in 2021 because they felt disrespected at work. And 35% of those surveyed highlighted this as a major reason for quitting.

Childcare issues

For parents who have children under the age of 18, childcare issues can also cause them to quit. The pandemic left schools and daycares closed for extended periods of time, which left working parents struggling to figure out how to balance work and parenting.

The childcare industry has also lost 8.4% of its workforce since 2020 and it hasn’t bounced back as quickly as other sectors, which puts an added strain on parents.

[Read more: How to Help Employees With Child Care]

Lack of flexibility

Similar to the point about childcare, many people are quitting their jobs due to an overall lack of flexibility. For instance, the Pew study found that 45% left because they felt they didn’t have enough flexibility to choose their working hours.

A desire to work remotely has been another sticking point for many employees. Gallup found that 37% of employees would switch to another job that allowed them to work remotely at least part-time.

Limeade surveyed 1,000 full-time employees who started a new job in 2021, and 40% left their previous jobs due to burnout. And 28% of employees left their jobs without securing another position due to burnout.

Poor benefits

For many employees, benefits are just as important as the salary they receive. Health, dental, and vision insurance remain the most important benefits, with SHRM finding that 88% of employees give these benefits consideration before accepting a new role.

But if you want your company to stand out, you have to offer more than that — mental health benefits, family leave, and telemedicine services are all things employees look for.

Company culture

Hays surveyed 2,000 employees looking for a new job and found that company culture was one of the main reasons. In fact, 71% were willing to accept a pay cut for the right cultural fit.

Hays CEO and managing director Dan Rodriguez said, “We hear every day from candidates looking for a company culture that fits with their core values. Strong leadership, open communication, work-life balance, and career development are only going to become more important for attraction and retention.”

Feeling burnt out

Burnout is a big problem for many workers, causing them to quit in record numbers. Limeade surveyed 1,000 full-time employees who started a new job in 2021, and 40% left their previous jobs due to burnout. And 28% of employees left their jobs without securing another position due to burnout.

Strained relationship with management

For many employees, the job or the company isn’t the problem — it’s the person managing them. A Gallup study found that one in two employees have left a position to get away from a bad manager. An employee’s relationship with their manager can significantly affect their productivity and overall engagement.

[Read more: How to Tell If Your Employees Are Really Engaged]

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