Copyright TIGERS Success Series

By Dianne Crampton

How many times during your work week do you hear someone say, “Just as soon as I find another job, I’m Outta Here!” Well, these employees are no longer waiting for the ideal job to “open up” in this oh-so tepid economy. They are sticking it to their employers and leaving their positions to find jobs where they can spread their wings, earn respect from team leaders, and leave the workplace chaos behind!

These individuals are leaving organizations in droves after working in repressive environments of employers who have lived by the motto: “If you don’t like it, there’s the door” for way too long.

According to a government Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT), 51% of all recent job separations were due to workers voluntarily leaving their jobs…in other words, quitting. This is the first time since September 2008 that employees leaving their jobs were in the majority over those individuals who were involuntarily laid off over the past tumultuous 3 ½ years. There still remain barriers to strong job creation such as a weak housing market (where home owning employees aren’t as upward and mobile as they would like to be) and employers not able or willing to hire new staff ….just drive the employees they do have into the ground. However, indications are looking up for individuals ready to take that leap of faith that the job market is indeed improving after a long hiatus.

Why the rise in employees quitting their jobs?

Understand that employees don’t walk out on companies; they walk out on poor management and work environments lacking respect. Lack of communication, excessive micro managing, office politics and dog-eat-dog work environments are just a few of the reasons employees leave an organization — especially top performing employees who no longer feel challenged or valued as a team member. Highly productive people may actually run through the door at the chance to take a new position filled with growth opportunities– even if the starting pay isn’t as high as their current position.

Here are other reasons employees are leaving their jobs for more fulfilling careers and a cooperative team environment:

  • Nag, nag, nag, and nag some more…. Employees are tired of being brow beaten. When the only focus of the organization is to achieve goals no matter the cost, employee satisfaction and work ethics hit the skids. Positive attributes like risk taking, innovation, and collaboration will come to a screeching halt because no one enjoys being crucified in the workplace limelight.  Sure…employees will make mistakes from time to time, but when management only focuses on weak points instead of accomplishments…employees walk.
  •  Managers think a paycheck is good enough We all have bills to pay, but the almighty dollar can only remain a motivating factor for so long. If individuals don’t feel they are contributing to the success of the organization or receive any job satisfaction from their duties, they soon become bored, unchallenged, and ultimately disengaged in their job duties. Many organizations have actually announced to employees, “at least you still have a job” after slashing their salaries and throwing raises out the window.
  • Managers won’t get down and dirty – When deadlines are looming and your team is already putting in 10 -12 hour days, pitch in! Get out of your executive high-back chair, roll up your sleeves, and work right alongside these dedicated employees. It will do wonders for morale and employees will bend over backwards for managers who show their team respect and empathy.

As the economy warms up, organizations are starting to see employees hand them their own version of a pink slip.  Organizational leaders and HR heads need to take a step back to realign their employee retention methods and policies to keep hard working employees. Recent statistics clearly show that employees are willing to quit their current jobs to find a new position even within a tight job market. The “I’m Outta Here” movement will continue to gain momentum if organizations fail to recognize the inevitable exodus of miserable employees.

If your organization is committed to retaining valuable employees, ask about TIGERS web-based training  session on May 23 for HR personnel, project managers, and internal trainers. Squash the “I’m Outta Here!” movement within your organization and learn how to become a preferred employer.

TIGERS® Success Series, Inc. is a team development consultancy that has served leaders and their teams since 1989. TIGERS® helps leaders build teams of employees that are committed and engaged in the success of the organization and who love working together.