There is often an open discussion about the importance of recruiting, and there are a lot of advice, tips, blog posts, and opinions on the internet on how to succeed in recruitment. However, often there is too little focus on how to get good employees engaged so that they also stay in the company and don’t go off searching for new challenges in another company in a year or two.

The employees that are being challenged professionally are more committed, valued, and rewarded (emotionally, mentally, and financially), so they rarely leave the company and, most importantly, they perform their job with very good results. However, if even just one of these aspects mentioned above does not occur, it is then only a matter of time before a person’s name can be found on another company’s website.

The following is a list of the five most common reasons why a good employee resigns:

The work lacks purpose

Very often, when people are asked what kind of job they would like to have, we rarely hear any answers related to aspects like money, a great professional title, or some particular company that everyone knows.

The answers are actually touching topics orientated more at work having some deeper purpose, preferably in a way that allows the person to be in charge to see that they can have an impact with their own work input. If this is not the case, it is only a matter of time before the person in question will find herself/himself a new professional challenge somewhere else.

No chance to make a difference/impact

The great side of excellent employees is that, in general, they want to influence and do things better. So, suppose a person is not given the opportunity to make their own voice heard, make suggestions for improvement, be involved in the development of the processes and the company. In that case, it won’t be long until the person starts looking for more open-minded companies to join.

The Boss

The old saying goes something like this: “Employees don’t quit working for companies. They quit working for their bosses”. I don’t think this could be expressed any better. Unfortunately, there are and always will be a lot of people in the position of supervisor, manager, or director, who should never end up there and who, through their own actions, have a very negative impact on the company’s employee turnover.

This is something I really emphasize a lot when I am asked for tips and help with the job search process, and I urge the job seeker to always find out as much as possible about the future supervisor before putting his/her name in a new employment contract.

No chance of advancing

As part of the headhunting process, I am in touch with potential candidates countless times, which then often turn into face-to-face meetings, well, lately, more video calls, frankly. When this is the case, I then ask them: “what got you interested in the position?”. It quickly becomes clear that most candidates that are sitting in front of me at that moment have stopped being able to proceed in her/his professional path. Therefore, the best option for them is to look for new challenges somewhere else, and this kind of person won’t think twice when responding positively to the headhunter’s appointment proposal.

Their work is not valued

This point is, of course, related to the previous one of why so many employees leave due to negative relationships with their supervisors, superiors, etc. A clear example of this frustrating situation, which is more common than you would imagine, is when a supervisor takes full credit for the employee’s work.

However, the lack of appreciation may also mean that a person does not feel that she/he is receiving adequate compensation for their work that she/he undertakes and may therefore conclude that it is better to pursue one’s own career elsewhere.

It should also be mentioned that the above listing is not an absolute truth, but it is based on my own personal experience of over ten years of encounters with people in different situations. Other common reasons for a good person’s sudden resignation may include too much workload, toxic co-workers, a negative work atmosphere, a company that has already seen its best days, lack of flexibility (e.g., regarding holidays or telecommuting), and breaking promises (e.g., regarding benefits or career growth and opportunities).

Teemu Ruuska


InHunt World

This blog has been originally posted in Finnish on

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