What Makes Someone Quit Their Job?

It may seem like few people would risk quitting their job during a pandemic, but there are plenty who actually would – if they were unhappy enough. Here, we explore what makes someone quit their job.

In the current climate, many employers consider their staff lucky to have a job at all – and while that’s certainly true, employment alone is not enough to keep a workforce happy, productive and engaged.

So what makes a valuable member of staff hand in their notice? The reasons may be complex and varied, but there are often commonalities between employees who choose to jump ship.

These could vary from clashes with colleagues to poor engagement, but usually it’s something much more significant. Here are the seven main reasons why people hand in their notice:



By far, the number one reason people quit is because their workload is unmanageable. Whether they’re a top performer considered more capable by their superiors, or they’re covering two roles as a result of redundancies, burnout is a signal most people can’t ignore.

As an employer, being conscious of work-life balance, encouraging regular breaks and ensuring each member of staff is comfortable with their current workload is crucial.



We all need to feel valued for the effort we put into our work, so it’s no surprise that undervalued employees rarely hang around. Feeling unappreciated or unacknowledged, or having their ideas consistently ignored, are also key reasons why staff decide to leave a job.

It’s important to thank staff regularly for their commitment and time, and to offer praise when they do a really good job. Here are some other ways to make sure your team feel appreciated.



Whether willingly or reluctantly, most employers have had to restructure their operations so that staff can work remotely. We don’t know how long that will continue, but we do know that working from home presents a number of challenges  – whether it’s managing childcare and home schooling, or caring for a spouse or relative.

Employers who impose rigid hours and conditions that don’t take these new challenges into consideration place an extra strain on staff as they juggle conflicting demands.



We’ve probably all experienced being micro-managed at some point. Managers who are unable to give staff an appropriate level of autonomy and responsibility, or who insist on being copied into every email, are the main culprits – but sometimes micro-management is more subtle than that.

Staff need to feel they have a level of independence and responsibility, otherwise they feel stifled, undervalued, unfulfilled and incapable.



A Global Workforce Study in 2016 found that less than half (49%) of the UK employees actually trusted or had confidence in their organisation’s management.

It may be that they don’t trust their leadership team to successfully steer the company through tough times, or it could be that they don’t feel their superiors have the necessary people management skills. But lack of faith in management often translates into disenchanted staff who seek a new role elsewhere.



Lots of things can create a toxic working environment, even online. A pervasive fear of failure, constant confusion about a company’s operations or direction, high staff turnover, a management who promise but don’t deliver or a widespread culture of working overtime are all red flags to staff.

On the other hand, employers who take responsibility, listen to their team and follow through on promises build a culture of trust and communication that makes staff feel valued and secure.



When there’s no clear path for staff to develop, they’ll very likely look elsewhere. Career progression is a driving force for most employees. Therefore, organisations should always ensure they provide continued professional development and upskilling opportunities, or at least a clear structure for rising through the ranks.


A&D Recruitment are specialists in recruitment for the renewable energy and building services industries. For more tips on maintaining a happy and engaged workforce, visit our blog section or contact us today for a friendly, informal chat about how A&D Recruitment could help you fill your next vacancy.

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