Why People Leave Their Jobs (It’s Not What You Think)

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Why People Leave Their Jobs

Why do most people leave their jobs? If you’ve been asked this question before, then you might have heard a few different answers, such as more money or because of their boss. Both of these answers, even though talked about equally are usually not the case. This week’s book of the week by Gary Chapman and Paul White have found research that points to the real answers.

“In fact, research compiled over a four-year time span by one of the leading third-party exit interviewing firms in the United States found the following results from thousands of interviews:

Belief: Most managers (89%) believe employees leave for more money, while only 11% of managers believe employees leave for other reasons.

Fact: In reality, only 12% of employees reported leaving for more money, while 88% of employees state they leave for reasons other than money.

In fact, the reasons most often cited by departing employees were more psychological in nature—including not feeling trusted or valued.”¹

And when it comes to money as an incentive, “A McKinsey consulting group study found that monetary rewards are less motivating to employees than nonmonetary incentives. Praise from the employee’s manager, attention from leaders, and the opportunity to lead projects were more motivating and rewarding than financial incentives such as an increase in base salary, bonuses, or stock options.”¹ It’s not that money doesn’t motivate people. It just doesn’t motivate them as much as other things, for the most part.  Infact, when you don’t give praise, according to our book of the week, “Leaders who give little praise to their team members actually undercut the perceived value of the salaries they are paying.”²

Why People Leave Their Jobs

Photo Credit: James Maher. Used by Permission.

The Right Way to Recognize Your Team

It’s also important to show appreciation in the right way. “A national study by the Canadian government concluded: ‘No matter which type of recognition program organizations have in place, if employees are not being recognized in a way that is valued by them, the recognition is less meaningful.'”³ If you are going to put forth the effort to show appreciation you want to make sure that you are being heard. “In a national Globoforce employee recognition survey across multiple companies, 51% of managers say they do a good job of showing recognition for a job well done. But only 17% of the employees who work for those managers say the manager shows recognition for work well done.”

Basically, it’s not that employees are ungrateful for the thanks or praise, it’s just you could be speaking a different language than what they recognize as true appreciation. That’s why some employees don’t feel appreciated. But when they hear what you are saying, “The bottom line: authentic appreciation brings positive results to your organization and mitigates the negative consequences that result when employees don’t feel valued.”4

Later this week we’ll talk more in depth into the 5 types of appreciation and how you can show your team that you are grateful for them!

Join us in an amazing journey of transformation SUBSCRIBE HERE, because we love leaders like you!  

Sarah Jackson

Vigilant Poster Girl

Every week I talk about a book that we’re reading on leadership and self-development. You can follow along by going to the Book of the Week page at the top. And order a book (either kindle, audible, or paperback) by clicking on the photo of that book. When you do that, it also helps fund this site. 


  1. Chapman, Gary. The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace (p. 35). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
  2. Chapman, Gary. The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace (p. 34). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
  3. Chapman, Gary. The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace (p. 38). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
  4. Chapman, Gary. The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace (p. 39). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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