Why do your best employees leave?

Why do your best employees leave?

During many years working in HR industry, searching, interviewing and selecting excellent candidates, I concluded that many candidates who won the selecting process have one thing in common, they are not just happy getting a new job but they are happy quitting the previous one as well. As we always choose the best of the best, the observation I mentioned prompted me to find out the reason of candidates’ dissatisfaction with job they have just left. During several casual chats, after candidates already started working at new companies, despite their true motivation for the new role, they also frequently admit that they escaped from bad surroundings.

“People don’t leave jobs, they leave toxic work culture” is a frequent saying we hear today and as pointed out many times by Dr. Amida Aitsi Selmy, the Founder and Managing Director of Next Generation Coaching & Consulting Ltd with mission to help companies and individuals to understand how to work best and lead in the 21st century.

The phrase “care for employees” is so washed off today that even candidates start to doubt when employers mention it as benefit as this should be a regular part of the working culture.

I walk my talk all the way when it comes to caring for employees and my clients can see the trend of long-term employment within my company in Serbia, which proves that respect for people pays off in all three directions: With employees, with employer and finally with our partnering clients who we service for decades.

But what are the signs that might pinpoint for your best employees to think of changing their jobs?

Core Values

When companies core values are just written and not implemented in practice, this is what might implicate in being deceived and losing trust with your employer because what else to trust if the core values are misplaced?


The myth that overworking is a badge of honour and that it is expected to be something very common, is something that may work only on short term. Some time ago, The World Health Organization approved “Burn out” as a health diagnosis and brought up the preventive measures for its recognition and reduction. The only thing that employer actually gets for overworking employees is higher costs by having unsatisfied employees and excessive absenteeism.

Poor leadership

Autocratic leaders, mismanagement, unhealthy competition, toxic environments, blaming and punishing employees to wash away from unachieved results is the worst that any employee can get.

Being overlooked

Most employees when treated well will add a milestone to the job they do. They become innovative and creative, they see some steps which could make progress or make differences between rivals in market, simply, they are visionaries, people of future. If those people don’t have any chance to present their ideas and to upgrade themselves, the bulb “it’s time to go” is on.

People who experienced toxic surroundings in working place as reasons for bad feelings also put on to the list: favouritism, gossips, bullying, social, cultural or gender differences, but all of this, I think, should be brought from home and it is hardly changeable.

Can this disease be cured?

One thing is sure – toxic work culture is not the result of just one cause, it is the end result of many factors in synergy. Most frequently, this situation is a combination of two major causes – poor leadership and high handedness. The medications are: authenticity, respect, integrity, empathy and trust.

Toxicity in the workplace is costly. Unhappy or disengaged employees cost companies billions of dollars each year in lost revenues, settlements and other damages. I can conclude that it is better for companies to invest money to prevent such a bad outcome. When the problem is identified, you should target the root causes that should be removed, then, make a good plan, develop it and follow through together with your employees. It can be one or more trainings with the goal to identify people who are the root of this toxic situation. The point is, to show employees, that you care about them and their workplace environment. Don’t forget, employees are greatest asset but it all depends on how you treat them.

At the end one more true statement of Dr Aitsi Selmy: “The biggest concern for any organization should be when their most passionate people become quiet.” We all should observe and take care never to forget this. Working in good surroundings is more than 50% of health, and employees more than ever today want to be healthier!

Article written by Rašo Pazarkić, CFR Global Executive Search Serbia

Photo source: Freepik


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