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Why people quit – National survey results from Aplin


September 29, 2010
By Anthony Capkun

A recent Canada-wide survey conducted by David Aplin Recruiting believes it has revealed the motivations behind voluntary employee turnover. “There appears to be a serious disconnect between management and employees,” says Aplin, adding that 73% of employees agreed with the statement: “People leave managers not organizations”. Furthermore, only 18% of people managers and HR professionals indicated that voluntary turnover was not at all a problem in their organization.

The survey involved over 1750 respondents from across Canada. When employees were asked to indicate up to, but no more than, five factors that would cause them to start thinking seriously about leaving their organization, the Top 5 answers were:

1. Insufficient pay
2. Lack of trust in senior leaders
3. Lack of work-life balance
4. Unhealthy/undesirable culture
5. Uninteresting or unchallenging work

When managers of people and HR professionals were asked to fill out a
similar survey, 47% indicated that voluntary turnover is a problem for
their organizations, ranging from a problem in retaining their
most-valued employees to an out-of-control problem with extremely
adverse impact on business objectives.

“It’s time that organizational leaders recognize the real causes for
voluntary employee turnover and take action to overturn them,” concludes
Aplin.

The factors that managers considered to be the greatest contributors to voluntary employee turnover in their organizations were:

1. Insufficient pay
2. Lack of work-life balance
3. Unexpected job/career opportunity
4. Excessive workload
5. Lack of opportunity for training and development

“There is pent-up demand among Canada’s workforce for new opportunities
and changes in their professional lives,” said Jeff Aplin, COO of David
Aplin Recruiting. “This survey confirms that many people who have been
dissatisfied with their current employment through the recession are now
disengaging from their current organization and thinking more seriously
about making a move.”

However, Aplin sees opportunities for managers to respond by taking an
honest look at what they can do to influence the retention of their
most-valued people. “Leaders can control the ‘push’ factors of why
people leave. If managers build trust with their people, are honest and
sincere in showing leadership and, ultimately, add value, then they will
limit the door opening for the over 57% of employees at risk of
leaving.”

Correspondingly, for employers looking to attract new employees, the top five things employees are looking for today are:

1. New challenges, variety of interesting projects
2. Advancement opportunities
3. Meaningful work opportunities to make a difference
4. Performance-based bonuses, salary increases
5. Recognition, feedback

CLICK HERE for David Aplin Recruiting