Top Four Reasons Why Good Employees Quit & How to Fix Those Leaks

Nov 5, 2019

When you approach the task of fixing a leaky pipe, you first need to know where the leak originates and what’s causing it. Understanding the core of the issue allows you to take definitive action towards correcting it. Skip the investigative phase, disregard the root of the problem, and you’ll be running around as your house fills with water. No one wants that in their home, let alone their place of work.
  
So, imagine your organization’s talent pool as a leaky pipe. Regardless of its culture, every organization experiences turnover. And when it happens, that turnover costs time, money, and productivity. Although you might not be able to stop capable employees from leaving your organization indefinitely (after all, people retire… seriously, they do. You’ll get there too), you can prevent high turnover by locating the source of the issue.
But where do you start replacing leaky pipes in your talent management system without breaking the bank? Again, start by understanding the source of the leak. If you know why people leave, you can act to prevent it.
 
So, why do people leave? Here are four reasons why.
 

Reason #1: Poor Job Fit

Simply put, poor Job Fit occurs when companies match employees to roles where they’re unlikely to succeed in or engage with. How people think and work needs to match the requirements of a role for an individual to perform that role successfully and engage with their work.

To perform a job successfully, an individual’s cognitive ability, behavioral skills, and motivational interests need to closely match what the job requires across these same areas.

When an employee’s personal characteristics match the characteristics of the job, that often translates into a productive, engaged, and satisfied worker. On the other hand, when someone doesn’t fit a job, their productivity and engagement suffer and the likelihood of them leaving increases.

Match the right person to the right role and you get an employee who stays around longer and is less likely to quit. In the end, that means saving time, money, and peace of mind.
 

Reason #2: Poor Managerial Fit

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Often, people don’t necessarily leave their jobs. They leave managers who fail to support them. Poor management, of course, can cause several metaphorical pipes to leak.

For starters, a major leak occurs when organizations fail to match the right individual to the right managerial position or when the personalities of employees don’t mesh with their managers. When the personality traits of managers and those they manage differ and management can’t figure out how those differences complement each other, an organization’s wellbeing suffers. Leaks also occur when managers lack the ability to onboard, coach, build career paths, and nurture the success of the people on their teams.

When they struggle to establish clear expectations or miss opportunities to leverage the skills of those they manage, managers run the risk of increasing turnover and disengagement. If organizations fail to match the right person to the right management position and neglect to train and support even the well-placed managers, leadership issues persist and under-supported talent drips out of the institution’s workforce.

That’s where PXT Select™ can help by measuring people's cognitive ability, behavioral traits, and interests before placing an individual in a management position. Through these measurements, PXT Select enables organizations to match the right person with a managerial role they’re likely to succeed in.

To help managers bring out the best in their people, PXT Select offers a suite of reports to assist managers in onboarding, nurturing, and developing those they manage. As an example, PXT Select can assist managers with personal data that helps them engage in productive expectation-setting conversations with the individuals they’re responsible for.

The bottom line is, when managers fit their role and feel supported in what they do, the effects ripple throughout the organization, the pipes aren’t so leaky, and the possibility for long-term success increases. It all starts with having the right tool and the right person using that tool.   
 

Reason # 3: Poor Team Fit

To consistently perform at the highest levels, organizations need everyone on the team to pull their weight and contribute to a larger vision. When this occurs, each individual benefits personally and collectively. However, even high-performing teams encounter challenges, such as conflict, lack of alignment, and personality clashes.

Just because everyone on the team is a great fit for their job doesn’t mean they fit together well as a team. By using assessment data that measures personal characteristics, managers can bring in people who can do their jobs effectively and who can work with their team in a positive and productive way.

What might that look like in a professional setting? By providing information that helps them recognize the presence of too many assertive people on a team, PXT Select increases managers’ awareness of traits that might otherwise create an over-competitive team culture. That same information could also allow managers to detect a lack of agreeable team members, helping managers avoid potential tension and lack of harmony.

While matching one individual to a singular role has its own set of challenges, matching a whole team of individuals to each other and to the work itself means a whole other set of complications to consider. Having the data to inform and discern those decisions can make all the difference between success and struggle.
 

Reason #4: Lack of Career Opportunity

Top performers enjoy a good challenge. They thrive on solving problems. They seek out the occasion to over-deliver, and they prefer to keep the door open to both personal and professional advancement. People who enjoy exceeding expectations often find motivation in the chance to prepare for their next role, project, or promotion. But when organizations fail to provide talented employees with opportunities for development and career mobility, those employees often leave.  

Placing gifted workers where they’re most likely to succeed now and in the future allows organizations to engage and retain their workforce fully. To successfully manage their talent pipeline and build a strategic succession plan, organizational leaders require reliable data to determine which person is best suited for each role.

For example, someone who excels as a Marketing Communications Manager might not have the characteristics to find success one level up as a Marketing Communications Director. That role might require different cognitive, behavioral, or motivational interests than what the individual in question can bring to the table, even if they found earlier success in their role as a Manager.

Rather than making an educated guess during a talent management decision, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best, why not identify a proper fit in advance? That’s another area where PXT Select offers a solution by providing the information you need to place the right employee into the right role.
 

Here's the Bottom Line

Are there other reasons an employee might leave an organization besides those we listed? Of course. Maybe their spouse gets relocated. Maybe they decide to go back to school or start that small bakery on the coast of California they’ve always dreamed about. Or, maybe they decide to move to Portland because it seems like the thing people do these days when they need a fresh start. Regardless, employees will leave your company for many good reasons—many of which are not your fault.

But for all the reasons out of your control, many aspects of your organization do remain in your control that might potentially compel someone to leave. We listed four. Without a doubt, there are many more out there. Don’t let the reasons we listed (and those left unlisted) catch you off guard.

As we mentioned already, you can take action to prevent employees from leaving. The tool is in your hands or, rather, the toolbox is in your hands. Let PXT Select give you the information and resources you need to reduce employee turnover and fix the leaky pipes in your talent pool. Your bottom line will thank you for it, and your company’s talent pool will never be as leaky again.
 
Ready to fix those leaks? Talk to us. We’re happy to chat.
 

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