Why Talented Employees Quit Their Jobs

talented employees

Why Talented Employees Quit Their Jobs

Employers – here’s a startling statistic: Only 15%[1] (of the 18,000 respondents) of employees in the Australian workforce are satisfied with their current jobs. That means many a great employee could soon be leaving you!

It’s often said that great talent make great organisations! Behind every organisational success, there is often a dedicated individual or a talented group of people that have helped make those accomplishments possible. Take away their best talent, and companies usually stagnate and are overrun by the competition.

Being able to read between the lines of a resignation note is crucial if you wish to retain other talented employees within your organisation.

Here are some reasons why they too could up and quit:

Hitting a ceiling

Whether it’s the proverbial glass ceiling, or whether it’s an artificially created barrier that an employee feels he or she just can’t break through; most great employees will simply give up after a while and walk away. Good talent tends to gravitate to organisations where they have opportunity to grow and thrive.


Many a great employee is often lost because they feel their efforts are unappreciated by their bosses. In some cases, even though senior management may truly appreciate what an asset the employee is, they may not be taking the time to show their gratitude. Under or un-appreciated employees will usually not say that’s the reason they are leaving; but they’ll walk out as soon as a better opportunity comes along!

Poor leadership

Even the best employees aspire for a role model – someone they look up to and will be loyal to. However, organisations with poor leadership tend to make great talent want to distance themselves from the company. Good leaders tend to inculcate great followers!

Poor vision

Even with excellent leadership, some companies don’t have a vision for the future that would inspire great employees to stick around. The challenge with corporate vision is that, you don’t only need to have it – you need everyone else to see it! If you can’t articulate your vision for THEIR future, great talent will leave you in droves!

Lack of engagement

A Gallup poll[2] survey of over 7,200 employees found that half of them quit because there was no engagement between employees and bosses. The best employees don’t just want to be told what to do, how and when to do it; they appreciate being given insight into the background of why they do what they do. Frequent meetings and regular communication with staff is the key to motivating great talent to stay with the company.


Exit interview statistics[3] show that many employees (65%) will leave a company that won’t accommodate practices like telecommuting; while others (67%) quit because of too rigid working hours. The old days of being productive at an office from 9:00AM to 5:00PM are gone! More employees are looking for work-life balance today, than ever. Great talent craves flexibility – within reason – on where they work and when. Being flexible won’t just encourage your best employees to stay with you longer; but it will also get them to be more productive.

Fair compensation

No analysis, of why the best talent leave an organisation, would be complete without talking about compensation.  There is statistical evidence that a large number[4] of employees quit because of poor pay and benefits. Offering staff competitive compensation packages is more likely to get your best employees to support you over a longer term.


As an employer, you can make life better for yourself and your employees by creating an environment where they can grow and feel appreciated. While there may be some short-term “pain” (expenses, time investments, learning curve) involved, the long-term benefits for your company far outweigh the growing pains.

As an employee, if any of the above reasons for leaving your current job appeals to you, then it is incumbent upon you to prepare yourself to take back control of your life. You can do so by gaining the skills and knowledge you may need to move onto your next position – whether that is with your existing employer, or somewhere else. Up-skilling yourself with a general degree, whether it is in Business, Accounting, Finance or any other discipline, is the best way for you to get into a career you enjoy and better your life.

[1] http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/trends/this-is-why-your-staff-want-to-resign-20150122-12vlya.html
[2] http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2015/04/02/what-do-workers-want-from-the-boss/?mod=e2tw
[3] http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/05/pf/why-workers-quit/
[4] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/compensation/pages/salary-employees-quit.aspx