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Employers Turning to Data to Understand Employee Resignations

Date Published: August 26, 2022 | Last Updated:September 15, 2023 | By Accurate Background
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As employers face what has been called The Great Resignation and the Turnover Tsunami, they are searching for answers to why employees are leaving their jobs en masse—and seeking answers to what they can do about this mass exodus.

Most, according to our research, are turning to data to help them better understand why employees leave. In fact, when we asked, “Does your organization collect information on why employees leave their jobs?,” 84% said they do.

Sources of Information on Employee Resignations

Exit interviews top the list of sources of information employers are using to help them understand why employees are leaving—87% of our respondents said they’re using this tool as a way of better understanding the drivers of employee resignations.

In addition to exit interviews, other sources of data on employee resignations come from discussions with HR (50%) or managers (40%). These additional sources of information are important, employers say, because they realize that the data they gather through exit interviews can be flawed—employees may be hesitant to share their real reasons for leaving for fear it may impact future employment opportunities and they want to remain on good terms with the company even though they’re leaving.

Some employers also are using surveys to gather data on reasons for resignations—20% of respondents say they are using surveys, with larger organizations about twice as likely to use surveys.

What they’re finding through these sources may be surprising.

Compensation Tops the List

Contrary to popular wisdom pre-pandemic indicating that salary was not the greatest driver of employee satisfaction, employees today say that the number one reason prompting them to leave their organizations is the opportunity to get a higher salary elsewhere (75%).

In our survey we make a distinction between “pull” and “push” factors. Pull factors are factors outside the organization that cause employees to leave. Push factors are factors inside the organization that cause them to leave.

  • Salary (75%) and more opportunities for career growth (54%) are the top pull factors.
  • Lack of flexibility (37%) and not feeling valued by managers (24%) are the top push factors.

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Recall that hourly workers are most at risk of leaving organizations according to our first major finding. Our second major finding suggests that opportunities for career growth could be a factor that could encourage them to stay.

Another interesting finding—once they leave some employees are deciding not to come back to the workforce.

Reasons Employees Are Choosing Not to Return to Work

The pandemic has caused significant disruption for both organizations and the individuals within them. As many employees were sent home to work, or furloughed, they began reflecting on what they really want from life—and their jobs.

Many are feeling it’s simply not worth it to return to work. Family impacts are most significant—45% say spending more time with their families and 44% point to the lack of affordable or dependable child or eldercare as factors causing them to leave the workplace altogether.

But some employees are choosing not working for someone else and, instead, deciding to start their own businesses—about one-fifth of our respondents (22%) indicating that this was the case.

In our next post we take a look at our third major finding: organizations are turning to flexible work and competitive compensation to help stem the tide of employee resignations.

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