The Truth Behind Quitting

For many employees that quit, the reason is not a higher salary. Oftentimes, employees quit because they are unsatisfied and unhappy with their manager. Research by professors of management at Oregon State and the University of Oklahoma shows how the way in which employees quit reveals a lot about the company and its management.

These are the seven different resignation styles often used by employees.

  1. By the Book: Just over 30% of the 500 managers and employees studied met with their boss to announce their decision, gave the required notice, and gave a reason.

  2. Perfunctory: About 29% of managers and 17% of employees went for an abbreviated version of #1 - the meetings were shorter and no reason was given.

  3. Grateful: Roughly 10% expressed gratitude to the employer and offered to help with the transition.

  4. In the Loop: These happen when an employee confides in their manager that they are thinking about leaving before tendering a formal resignation and was the strategy used by about 8% of this group.

  5. Avoidant: Nine percent of managers and 17% of employees resign in writing or tell HR or co-workers and let word filter back to the manager.

  6. Bridge Burning: About 10% act out (via social media, etc.) to try to harm the organization in some way.

  7. Impulsive: About twice as many employees (9%) as managers (4%) simply get fed up and walk.

If your company experiences a wave of unexpected resignations, rather than blaming the employees, consider the possibility that they may have had unpleasant experiences with the company culture, workload, or management. Explore ways to improve upon these factors. Then, consider the top five reasons employees don’t quit: clear expectations, recognition, training, mentorship, and open communication. Does your organization offer these components to your employees?