Why Talented Employees Are Leaving You in 2014

According to a recent study by CareerBuilder, 1 out of every 5 workers is planning to leave their job in 2014.

That’s a lot of disengaged employees.

After digging into the data, you find it’s not because these workers want a higher salary.

Even though salary is important and makes up a large percentage (66%) of why people said they are dissatisfied with their current job, respondents were just as likely to attribute dissatisfaction to not feeling valued (65%).

When you look at the factors that make people want to leave their job, we should be focused less at big expensive enterprise-wide programs and more at the quality of interactions and communication between managers, supervisors, employees and teams.

Recognition and appreciation and thanking someone for their contribution is not a million dollar HR program.

In addition to general dissatisfaction, here are the other most frequently sited reasons for leaving a job 2014:

dissatisfactionno growthwork life balanceunderemploymentstressbad boss
















You can’t give everyone a 50% salary raise but there are many inexpensive ways to mitigate the risk of people leaving:

  • Recognize. Appreciate. Thank people for their work.
  • Ask people what’s important to them. Sally may value autonomy and a promotion but Scott would love nothing more than to start his day at 9:00 instead of 8:00.
  • Help people see what their career progression could look like. What skills do they need to develop? What lateral job moves are possible?
  • Communicate what’s ahead. How does their work fit into the direction or goals of the business?
  • Understand where and why people are stressed or overloaded. Stress may be the nature of the job but sometimes walking someone through where to delegate or how to  re-prioritize can make a significant difference in how they approach their work.
  • Take a hard look at your managers and supervisors. Great pay, interesting work and a clear career path holds little meaning when you have a horrible boss to deal with every day. 

20% of your employees say they plan to leave their job this year.

Are you giving them a good reason to stay?


Marta Steele is a Partner at PeopleResults. Connect on Twitter @MartaSteele, or through email at msteele@www.people-results.com.