Why Employees Will Quit Before They Tell You They’re Unhappy

Why Employees Will Quit Before They Tell You They’re Unhappy

January 24, 2019 by Stella Petrou Concha

There’s no doubt staff turnover is costly – especially when you lose your best people. Employees generally choose to leave a job because they’re unhappy – and often, the reason comes down to poor management. No matter how well things seem on the surface, if your leadership style is lacking in key areas, chances are some members of your team are exploring their options.

If an employee has issues, it’s unlikely they’ll feel comfortable coming to you to explain why they’re unhappy. Instead, they’ll start looking for a new job. This means you need to work harder than ever to create a working environment that encourages loyalty and keeps your staff happy.

So how can you do this? In this article, we’ll share the common reasons employees are unhappy at work and explain how you can ensure your workplace is somewhere people want to be.

1. Lack of Appreciation of Unique Strengths

Recognising and utilising your employee’s unique strengths helps them be their best. When you fail to identify what your staff can bring to their role above and beyond the job description, they’ll often feel undervalued – and may seek a new role where their talents are appreciated. Taking the time to build a relationship with each member of your team helps you to spot their strengths and adapt their role to suit. This not only boosts your employee’s happiness and sense of worth, it also benefits your business.

2. Failure to Communicate and Listen Effectively

Communicating effectively with your employees is absolutely key to building trust, loyalty and job satisfaction. This involves keeping the lines open both ways. Whether you hold regular group meetings or one-on-one informal chats, make sure your staff feel like they are in the loop and being heard. Your team should be comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns and feel their input is valued and can influence their role and the wider business.

3. Uncaring, Unapproachable Manager

Every member of your team deserves to be treated well and an uncaring and unavailable manager will inevitably drive people out the door. Make yourself approachable and think of your staff as people, not just employees. By practising this daily, you’ll boost morale and lift team spirit – and as a result, increase loyalty and limit your staff turnover.

4. Micromanaged with No Room to Grow

When your staff feel like their role is being micromanaged from every angle by a controlling boss, they’ll feel uncomfortable. Managers who are ego-driven provide limited opportunities to their team to work autonomously and challenge themselves. This stifles growth and is a key reason why great people seek opportunities elsewhere.

5. Lack of Recognition and Reward

Acknowledging your staff when they go above and beyond takes little effort, but it makes a huge difference to the morale and motivation levels of your team. Letting your employees know when they’ve done a good job shows that you notice and appreciate their efforts. Discussing their achievements in a yearly review is a must, as is making sure their salary is reviewed and adjusted accordingly to reflect their contribution.

6. An Unrealistic Workload

Overworking your employees can lead to burnout, and this is a sure-fire way to push good people out the door. Check in with your team often to make sure workloads are manageable, and if not, find out why and rectify it. This may mean redistributing work among your team or hiring additional staff on a permanent or temporary basis to lighten the load.

7. Lack of Support and Professional Development

Employees who feel unsupported in their roles are often unhappy. Providing ongoing training and professional development opportunities to staff allows them to challenge themselves and bring new skills to their role, which is a win-win. Offering a clear path for advancement within the organisation is also important. When your team understand that you value their knowledge and loyalty and are willing to promote from inside the company, it provides plenty of motivation to stick around.

Act Now, Before It’s Too Late

These days, employees are much more comfortable changing jobs than they were in the past – especially if they’re unhappy. As a manager, it’s up to you to create a workplace where people want to be. This can be as simple as taking the time to understand, value and respect your employees, and recognising their contributions. However, if your management is lacking in these key areas, you’ll likely be dealing with more than your fair share of resignations.


Whether you’re an organisation looking for a manager who can lead from the front, or an individual seeking a role that matches your unique skillset, we can help! Get in touch with our experienced recruitment consultants today.

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