Over 50 million employees voluntarily quit their jobs in 2022. It’s in continuation of what we formally know as The Great Resignation phenomenon that started during the Covid19 pandemic. Many employers believe that a lack of competitive salaries makes people quit. Therefore, companies introduce additional perks and benefits as an employee retention tactic. Though significant, compensation alone is not the reason why people are quitting in such a massive number.

So, what is?

According to a recent study of over 2200 employees, 62% cited a toxic work culture as the top reason for quitting. Interestingly, low salaries, poor management, and a lack of work-life balance followed closely. Additionally, burnout, inflexible work schedule, limited development opportunities, etc. are among other reasons.

However, employees seldom highlight these reasons in exit interviews, the main tool for employers to seek insights into leaving employees. From an employee’s perspective, talking about unhealthy culture, lack of manager feedback, guidance, appreciation, etc., is uncomfortable. Employees fear that doing so will offend the supervisor, burn bridges, and leave a negative impression of themselves on their way out. Therefore, they choose to focus on a lower salary as their main reason to quit. No one takes it personally, there are no counterarguments, and the discussion gets over quickly.

Reasons People Quit, Other Than Salary

Let’s look at a few reasons other than the compensation that make people leave their jobs:

1. Lack of Meaningful Work

Employees now look for meaning and purpose in their work. Meaning, doing something that connects with their values and makes a real impact to the bigger picture. For many people meaningful work is what brings them joy and genuine fulfillment from their job.

Mundane tasks, robotic actions, and lack of purpose trigger disengagement, burnout, and job dissatisfaction. Eventually, when employees are unable to seek real meaning in their work they decide to leave.

2. Lack of Belonging

You truly belong at work when you can be your authentic self without the fear of judgement and undue criticism. The comfort of sharing your opinions, voicing your concerns, and being vulnerable at work comes when you experience belonging.

The lack of belonging in the workplace is an important reason why employees choose to leave. It makes people feel insecure about their place in the company. Moreso, it takes away their freedom to be themselves. Employee performance and commitment take a plunge because of this insecurity and fear.

3. Disrespectful Manager

The saying ‘people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses’ is self-explanatory when we talk about disrespectful managers. An employee will happily put up with work demands when led by a supportive manager. However, even dedicated employees won’t stay for long if their leader is biased, unhelpful, and unavailable.

Poor leadership skills, weak decision-making, communication gap, lack of trust, and micromanagement, are all signs of a disrespectful manager. Such managerial behaviors are a major cause of employee burnout, stress, fatigue, and turnover.

4. Poor Work and Life Balance

The pandemic made us realize the significance of health and well-being. So much so that employees now prefer jobs that guarantee a healthy work and life balance. People no longer want to stay or remain available post official hours. Similarly, working weekends and sacrificing paid time off for work are now things of the past.

Final Thoughts

Salary is widely considered as the only reason for employee resignations. However, employees only mention salary in exit interviews to avoid conflict and a bad reputation. As a matter of fact, a toxic work culture, poor management, lack of meaningful work, etc., are other major factors why people quit other than compensation.

How can métier help you?

Is employee turnover one of your major concerns? How about a custom employee retention strategy for a solution?

Connect with our experts at métier and let us design a retention plan for you that works.

Reach out to hr@metierme.net for a consultation today.