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Career Development is the #1 Reason for Leaving for 10 Straight Years

For the tenth consecutive year, Career Development is the number one reason listed why employees quit their jobs. The 2020 Retention Report once again shows the lack of Career Development opportunities is the most popular reason for leaving.

Based on our research one out of every five employees who chose to accept a new job with a different employer in 2019 was because of Career Development concerns. Not only has it been the most popular reason for leaving for ten straight years, but we have also seen it increase by 17% since 2013.

When we break it down ever further, besides those workers who retired, Career Development is the number one reason for leaving no matter the age, sex or length of tenure of the employee.

It should be clear to organizations that their employees’ desire to grow and advance their career is of the utmost importance, but the decade long streak paints a different picture.

Employees leave because they want to learn, grow and be challenged in their roles at work. If not challenged, they will find a job where they will be. When we probed further by asking what they meant by Career Development, some of the verbatim responses we received were:

  • “I had no growth opportunities available and that was discouraging. I was trying to get into a different department and was told I needed experience first.”
  • “I didn’t feel like I was learning or growing at the company.”
  • “I left to take a position elsewhere that offered me more growth opportunities.”

Humans in general want to learn, develop and grow intellectually. What does your organization offer in terms of development and learning opportunities? Do you know Career Development opportunities are not compromising retention at your organization?

Employees are aware of the need to control their careers, whether that control is with you or with a different employer. Our current job market proves employees control their destiny and as career opportunities continue to increase, companies need to assess the needs, preferences, expectations and goals of their employees. Those companies who do not will miss out on opportunities to retain the skilled workers they already have.