• Martha Duesterhoft

    Marta – I love that you’ve written about this and offer great tips and insights. Too often HR gets caught up in developing “programs” & neglect the basics of helping people managers focus on what makes the biggest difference with their employees.

  • http://www.vidcruiter.com/ VidCruiter

    I agree with Martha! Thank you for the article, Marta

  • Grant Short

    People join companies; People leave managers.

    • Marta Steele

      For me, a great boss and great team trumps everything.

  • Barbara Milhizer

    Well done, Marta. You present practical, low-cost solutions here that everyone should be implementing, not just HR.

  • Mel Kleiman

    It is only of importance if the 20% who plan to leave are the in the top 25%. It would be wonderful if the 20% who plan to leave are in the bottom 50%.

    • Brian

      Here is a perfect example why employees want to leave their companies…remember you hired these guys in the first place,,,what does that say about you

    • Marta Steele

      Mel, there certainly are employees who aren’t a good fit and would be better off somewhere else. But what strikes me about that 20% is that there are a lot of great and just fine employees in that number. The turnover costs alone — yikes!

  • Shelli

    Marta, thanks for the practical solutions that we all can do with very little HR support, cost or intervention. Treat people with respect – understand where they’re coming from and where they want to go – and appreciate their diversity.

  • http://www.good.co/blog Lisa – Good.Co

    Interesting article – and comments! Though, I think part of what the article is getting at, is that a certain number of this “bottom 50%” mentioned by another commenter may only be at the bottom due to lack of engagement. You might think it’s all well and good if these folks just get the heck out of your company, but if there are always half of your employees that you would describe as underperforming, it might be worth looking at what steps might be taken to increase engagement on the company’s side. Don’t get me wrong – engagement is a two-way street. There will always be nay-sayers and foot-draggers who haven’t yet realized that a significant portion of their own happiness rests on their own shoulders, and is largely based on their own perceptions of their own situations. You can’t control that, nor should you try. However, if you remind them that there were good reasons that they were hired, and that if they’re struggling with something, there is help available, you might find a reduction in the population of those at the bottom – and it won’t be because they up and quit.
    Cheers! Lisa Chatroop, Good.Co

    • Marta Steele

      Thanks for your comments, Lisa. Of the 20% leaving, some may be the employees that aren’t performing, some average performers, some top performers. Your perspective is an interesting one — looking at what’s in our control as managers and leaders. And there really is a lot within our control to keep employees engaged.

  • Wahu kenya

    I second Grant unappreciative managers are the last stroke and one hits the door

  • Jake

    This article is so true, about half of the people in my company have left due to no employment growth or any type of recognition.

    • Marta Steele

      I’ve seen this over and over, Jake. It makes me wonder if the top leaders “feel the pain” and understand what’s at the root of people leaving.

  • Mike Harvey

    I doubt that many of the 20% who’ve decided to move on are currently in the bottom 50% of their companies. Moving on demonstrates initiative and courage, traits not usually found in bottom performers.


    Article states the data finds that people leave based on all the above but “Not because employees want a higher salary”? FYI, if a current employer is willing to match a higher salary offer that pays more with better job security, then all of those above reasons can always be offset and justified with more $$$$. This article is misleading because if an employee is happy and satisfied with all the cited above reasons, but still not paid enough, then that person will pursue other organizations regardless of what their current position is. Money talks.

    • Marta Steele

      I agree that salary is an important factor for why people leave or stay.

      I’m sure there are examples of people who experience job dissatisfaction, no growth, little work-life balance, underemployment, stress, a bad boss, but stick around because of salary. But the data doesn’t support that.

      • Observer

        I agree all the things cited in your article are very important. But I also agree with Kevin and Kyle about the salary/wage is one of the biggest reasons why good employees looking to leave. As you say “But the data doesn’t support that”, it is because lots of people didn’t dare to tell the truth when asked or filled the survey because if they said so, they would be thought of as greedy and would be noticed by their employer.

        If your employer asked: “What would motivate you most to do your work?” And you answered: “Money” or more delicate, “High salary”. You would be disliked right away and in trouble. No employer wants to hear that.

        Imagine if your workload is about the same or much more to compare to somewhere else, and somewhere else pays better. Would you stay there if you could get the job somewhere else?

    • Kyle High

      I agree with Kevin too. After all, what do people work for? The first answer is money. If a company provides all the management support, appreciation, recognition, etc… but the pay is low, eventually employees will leave when they find a job somewhere else with higher pay. All those support, appreciation and recognition (certificates) are just words and papers. Nobody would want to work hard for less money (to compare with other company would offer) and lots of certificates to frame and hang them on the wall.

  • Jim Peterson

    The $ gives you a reason for all of the other stuff they do wrong. Bad boss overrides everything though!

    • Donna

      You are correct. That’s why I resigned. I loved my job, but hated my boss. She was a manipulating bully. She had no idea how I did my job. I was the top performer in the company and at the highest margin of profit. I left six months ago and they still haven’t found my replacement.

      • Mark

        How about you expose that company and bully on her anonymously so word can come about? There is the law of karma now.

  • Mark

    I notice that despite all professionalism and civility acknowledging everybody, is it an issue when one person isn’t joke around the same way by another person in the team who jokes around with everyone else?