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5 reasons why employees resign - and how to stop them

The reasons why an employee wants to resign may be commonplace or obvious, like wanting to pursue other opportunities or feeling undervalued. But before an employee takes the plunge, employers are usually already aware.

About 85% of employers in Asia claim they can tell when someone on their staff is about to leave, according to our recent exit process survey. They believe they can foresee when an employee is contemplating leaving if he or she is distracted, disengaged, less efficient and often absent.

Keeping a conscious lookout for the tell-tale signs of an employee leaving is vital for three reasons. First, it helps you address the problem at an early stage and hopefully change the employee’s mind. Second, it gives you the chance to manage the resigning employee’s negativity from affecting the other employees, which could drag down morale and reduce overall productivity. And finally, it allows you to have more time to put a recruitment strategy in place.

So why do professionals leave and what can you do to prevent an employee from resigning?

1. Limited growth at the company

Professionals have a strong desire to grow at a company, and a lack of growth opportunities is one of two top reasons why employees leave a job. Recognising hard work and acknowledging employees for a job well done, in addition to setting a clear career path in place can make employees feel like they have a long-term future at the organisation.

2. Feeling underpaid

Salary is another top reason. Employees can easily find out what their peers in other companies are earning, which makes them acutely aware of their market value. Offering competitive salaries and other benefits can thus motivate them to stay. Keep in mind though that not every resignation is financial in nature, and that uncovering other underlying factors may be necessary to retain an employee.

3. No longer challenged

Good employees don’t want mindless work; they want to be engaged with their work and feel like they are continuously learning. Creating fresh challenges and setting new goals helps employees feel useful and keeps them interested.

4. Feeling undervalued

Employees want recognition for their work. When a company ignores an employee’s accomplishments, they may seek value elsewhere, such as with a new job. Implement a system that validates good workers so that your employees feel like an integral part of the company.

5. Corporate culture no longer fits

This may be the most difficult cause to fix. While other reasons centre on the individual, this is often a company-wide issue. However, promoting open communication in the workplace among managers and employees can bolster retention rates. Providing opportunities to network outside of the office also fosters a sense of camaraderie and loyalty. 

Ultimately, while employers would typically prefer to retain a valuable employee than hire someone new, it need not be frustrating to lose someone. Many employers believe there is cause for optimism once professionals have resigned: 87% viewed resignations as a good opportunity to add new talent to the business. 

Employee departures can also be a chance to gain a better understanding of what can be improved in your organisation through feedback that arises from the exit process. 

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