Employees reveal top reasons for leaving in scientific study from Work Institute

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FRANKLIN, Tenn., April 26, 2017 – According to the 2017 Employee Retention Report published by Work Institute, a leader in workforce intelligence, research and consulting, over 75% of the reasons employees leave their jobs could have been prevented by their employer. The report, released today, reveals the truth about the employee marketplace, separates fact from fiction when it comes to why employees leave their jobs and identifies what motivates employees to stay.

“Employers are missing the mark on improving retention for two main reasons,” explains Work Institute president Danny Nelms. “First, employers are not taking steps to understand their unique workforce; and second, they are not using exit interview methodologies that are dependable in revealing the real reasons employees leave.”

Work Institute analyzed more than 240,000 exit interviews, accumulated over the past seven years, using their proprietary, best-practice employee research methodology. This database allowed Work Institute to establish their classification system which accounts for 98.5% of all reasons why employees leave their jobs and quantify findings accurately and efficiently in large volume.

“This study surprisingly shows that fewer than 8% of organizations share the most common reasons employees leave,” says Dr. Lindsay Sears, industrial-organizational psychologist and associate vice-president of research and analytics at Work Institute. “Organizations must take steps to ask their workforce for feedback using reliable methodologies.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 46% increase in voluntary separations since 2010, suggesting that business leaders are continuing to lose employees by developing retention strategies using traditional practices and industry benchmarks.

In this first-of-its-kind study, Work Institute identifies why turnover is a big source of cost for organizations and sheds light on the influences driving engagement and retention. The 2017 Retention Report is based on causational data rather than conclusions drawn from correlations as other reports suggest. Work Institute drills down to the root causes and uniquely converts qualitative responses into quantitative, actionable data.

Work Institute analyzed over 34,000 exit interviews conducted in 2016 to uncover the top five reasons employees said they left their jobs. The top reasons include: career development (22%), work-life balance (12%), management behavior (11%), compensation and benefits (9%), and well-being (9%).

“Although these are the top reasons employees told us they left their jobs, it’s critical to understand that the reasons employees leave your organization are most likely different based upon our research,” clarifies Nelms.

Additional insights from the 2017 Retention Report include:

  • Macroeconomic data shows that employees are in control, evidenced by Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 reports of 35,746,000 total separations, as well as a 4.7% unemployment rate and a report of 5.3 million open jobs, both in February 2017.
  • The average cost of turnover in the U.S. is $15,000 per employee, resulting in an annual turnover cost to employers of $536 billion.
  • Over one-third (34%) of turnover comes from employees within their first year of employment, but studies show that first year employees leave for different reasons than other employees.

 To download Work Institute’s 2017 Retention Report, visit www.WorkInstitute.com/retentionreport.


About Work Institute

Work Institute is a leading authority in workforce intelligence, utilizing evidence-based research methods to capture the employee voice and deliver deep insights that uncover “the why” behind employee thoughts, feelings and behaviors to confidently build and implement successful workplace transformation strategies. Key products and solutions include: exit interviews, stay interviews, engagement studies, onboarding studies, recruitment studies, and custom consulting. Partnering with multiple Fortune 500 clients as well as organizations of all sizes, Work Institute helps companies that seek to purposefully improve retention and engagement. For more information about Work Institute, please visit www.workinstitute.com.



Carolyn Bork



Categories: | Tags: Employee Retention, Employee Turnover, Employee Exit Interviews | View Count: (3812) | Return

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