Why People Quit

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

There are many reasons why people quit. Here are a few of the biggies. Correct your behavior if any of them resonate with you.

Job Fairs: Avoid the Cattle Call

I want to speak to you today as an employer, hiring manager and HR professional about why people quit. So let’s get the obvious one out of the way– money. You’re not paying enough and the market is willing to pay them more. Then, you may or may not want to deal with . . . Every firm has a budget, I respect that. But I’m going to speak from the place of the individual who has stayed in jobs to long.

I worked for one organization. At that time, I’m a sales guy. Sometimes organizations run sales contests. I won a contest at a firm and the owner didn’t pay on the arrangement and then was surprised when I left. I can’t I trust this guy anymore.

Another organization I stayed at too long was a firm that kept reducing my resources. For some sales people, it’s the territory gets cut smaller and smaller. For me, it was lack of access to resources, and being demanded to do even greater sales, even though the database was unusable and I now had fewer tools to work with. Insane behavior. Of course, I left.

The typical employee kind of looks through certain lenses. Ultimately, they get to the point where they don’t like their boss. They don’t feel empowered in their organization. They don’t feel recognized at the firm and their internal politics that they believe, interfere with their ability to be successful. Now, sometimes, the “not liking their boss” is a funny statistic because it’s the kind of thing where their boss is holding them accountable for things on a regular basis and they don’t like being held accountable. So, they don’t like their boss.

But the lack of empowerment is an interesting one. You see, as a coach, one of the things I want to encourage people to do is go for results and how they get those results, as long as they’re legal and deal with effectively with the corporate culture of the organization, it’s not important to micromanage. So, better just simply say, “This is your charter. I’m going to meet with you every few days to see how you’re going with it and get out there and do it. Tell me what you need, the kind of budget you need to do it with. Let me go out there, go out there and go do it.”

Instead, firms get caught up in the minutia and those people feel they have the assignment, but they don’t have any control or responsibility for it. They’re not really empowered by their management. There’s also sometimes politics in a firm where different groups are fighting turf battles. The clarity hasn’t come from up high about who’s in charge. The impact is there’s so much friction going on, so much fighting going on . . . That’s the friction. This is the fighting that, at the end of the day, you know, the leadership hasn’t done enough to clean things up and that has to be management’s responsibility.

Lastly, I used an illustration earlier, is the notion of being trustworthy. People don’t trust their management. They don’t trust the leadership.  In my case where someone runs a contest and then refuses to pay, even though I won it properly and fairly, you know, that’s an insane situation. There are other little things like, you’re supposed to meet with someone at a particular date and time, you’ve confirmed the appointment and they don’t show up. That kind of stuff happens way too often. Or “I’ll get back to you” and never do it.

When the employee comes to their manager and asks about a time, “We’ll get to a certain point,” and they feel dismissed. There are many, many different ways that people get turned off, including lack of advancement opportunity. There is little to learn.

Lord knows, in the search business, after a while, there’s very few things that they try and teach and I’m sure that’s true in other professions as well, that. No additional classes except that the person’s going to pay out of their own pocket. Management treats the individual as though your salary is part of the training budget.

Come on, folks. So there are many reasons why people quit. I’ve tried to highlight a few in some ways that you can deal with them because, with the economy currently strong, you’re going to be losing people, you are losing people, and the cost of replacement is high. Why do you put yourself in this position as a hiring manager, as a manager, as a leader of an organization. Your responsibility is to attract and retain exceptional talent and your behavior’s often critical to your ability to do that.

Don’t blame the employee. It’s time to look in the mirror.

How Far Can You Go?


People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ careers easier. Those things can involve job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues. 

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2900 episodes.

Jeff Altman

You will find great info to help with your job search at my new site, ⁠⁠JobSearch.Community⁠⁠ Besides the video courses, books and guides, I answer questions from members daily about their job search. Leave job search questions and I will respond daily. Become an Insider+ member and you get everything you’d get as an Insider PLUS you can get me on Zoom calls to get questions answered. Become an Insider Premium member and we do individual and group coaching.

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