The top 3 reasons why employees quit

The top 3 reasons why employees quit

A new report studied the factors that predict whether an employee will stay with their current employer or quit.

IT workers stay in their jobs for an average of 16.8 months

In fact, a typical American changes jobs about 12 times by the age of 48, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But why? 

Jobs site Glassdoor studied more than 5,000 resumes for a new report that examines the factors that predict whether an employee will stay with their current employer or leave when moving on to the next role in their career path.  

Here’s what they found motivates employees to quit. 

Poor company culture

Companies with highly rated corporate cultures were better at retaining employees than those that were rated lower, Glassdoor says. These factors include the company’s overall ratings on the site, and how it ranks for career opportunities, corporate culture and company values. 

“It should come as little surprise that employers who offer attractive culture and values and provide clear upward career paths for employees are more likely to retain workers who are looking for the next job in their careers,” the report says.


Money talks: A 10% increase in base pay raised the likelihood by 1.5% that the average employee would stay inside the company when moving to their next role, even after statistically controlling for factors like job title, industry, company size and location. The report notes that this is statistically significant.

While it’s important to provide upward career paths to workers, Glassdoor says, even symbolic job title promotions alone without higher pay may not be an effective way of improving retention. Instead, maintaining competitive base pay appears to be an important factor in predicting lower employee turnover.

Stagnant careers 

Finally, job title stagnation motivates employees to quit. On average, Glassdoor found that staying in a given role for an additional 10 months is associated with a 1 percent higher chance that the typical employee will leave the company for their next job. (Glassdoor says this is statistically significant.)

“[This] suggests that employees who languish in a job too long are likely discouraged about career prospects in the company, making them more likely to look elsewhere for their next role,” the report says. “Alternatively, it suggests that employees who are a poor fit for the organization to begin with, and who will ultimately leave the company to find a better-fitting employer elsewhere, are more likely to stagnate in a given role.”

Surprisingly, Glassdoor found a handful of factors had no impact on turnover. These include work-life balance, senior leadership, and compensation and benefits ratings. While these factors matter for overall employee satisfaction, the company says, they didn’t appear to play a key role in a typical employee’s decision of whether to stay or leave.

We want to hear from you: What has motivated you to quit your job?

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