I never considered titling this article The Top 5 Reasons Employees Quit Their Companies or The Top 5 Reasons Employees Quit Their Jobs. Those expressions are often used and technically true, but they are not really true in the most frequent sense.

Dear Boss I QuitMake no mistake, people quit people before they quit companies. The latter is simply an inevitable reality that occurs because of the former. I know this because based on my personal experience interviewing almost 11,000 prospective employees, over 80% of them cited their boss as one of the top three reasons they would leave their job!

My company, milewalk, captures every imaginable statistic related to employees, employers, job searching, recruiting, and so forth. Based on detailed data from more than 10,000 interviews, we have captured the top five reasons employees quit or want to quit. Here they are:

5. They don’t believe in the company, the management team, or its product.This is more pervasive than employers imagine. Employees want to stand behind a good product or service. If they don’t feel the company is supplying the world with one or has a management team that can’t make it a strong brand, they’ll leave. There are other tangential issues here as well such as the integrity of the management team. It is bad enough not to be competent or skilled at elevating your company and it’s even worse if you’re not doing it ethically.

4. The don’t feel they’re learning. Regardless of how much compensation someone earns, an individual will be dissatisfied if he or she is not learning. Employees genuinely want their careers to evolve with time and they also want to be challenged. Great companies continually stretch their employees. If they can’t do that via position changes, new responsibilities, or promotions, they should at least ensure all employees receive good training in new areas.

3. They think the corporate culture stinks. My company has a recruiting methodology based on predictive and historical analytics that indicates Cultural Fit is the single greatest indicator of employee-retention success. It’s one thing to hire an individual who doesn’t fit your culture, but it’s a much greater sin to have an entirely bad culture.

2. They don’t feel appreciated. Sometimes I give my dogs treats when they do something great. Other times I simply pet them. They seem to like both and know that they did well whenever either happens. People are no different! You don’t always need to show appreciation with more compensation or promotions. Sometimes verbal recognition or other acknowledgements work well. However you choose to do it, at least make sure you do it!

1. They think their boss is awful. Lack of respect, courtesy, or appreciation combined with no trust, granted autonomy or anything else that every human being that walks this planet wants is a recipe for a short-lived relationship. An absentee relationship is no better. People don’t need to be friends with their bosses, but they do want to have a healthy working relationship and learn from their bosses. It should be no surprise that this is the leader in reasons why employees leave.

To stay ahead of the resignation curve, check out The Top 12 Happiness Factors for Employees!