Monday, February 7, 2011

Why do employees quit?

Author: Balaji is on 'The HR Store' with his second guest post. (You can read his first guest post here). In this post, he brings his global/multi-geographical managerial experience to answer:

Why do employees quit?

Read on to know the major reasons...

There are tons of articles written and tons more on what to do if you think its time to leave your job! Owing to my experience of working with people at various leadership roles and having a fairly large and diverse set of teams over the years, here are the reasons I've uncovered as to why some one would want to leave a job. And a small quirk on what to do in those situations..... not in any particular order... the order of these points seem to be different for different folks... it is the idealogy of what is more important to you at that point in time when you took the decision!

I'm not really excited to come to the office on a Monday morning and am desperately waiting for the weekend

Try and spend some time to figure out what is the real reason for your lack of motivation. Did something your supervisor said tick you off? Or did the PYT opposite cube reject your advances? Really. That’s reason enough for someone to quit! It’s happened.
What ever be the reason, be mature about it and realize that a similar situation can arise in your new work environment as well! If you are able to tackle it now, then you will be clear in your actual intent of searching for a new job!

The company I work for is not known in the industry!
One of the companies I worked for in the initial segment of my career had an impressive clientele and interesting projects to work on. The company was not well-known; it was a startup. These kinds of companies, according to me, are the best places to begin your career! The startup companies in their intent to establish themselves might not be willing to pay well enough for talent, but are more than willing to elevate/promote someone internally at a later time. Also, start-ups let you unleash your creativity in the craziest of ways and really get away with it, in the name of experimentation and learning.

Am I making enough money?

This is a very situational and sometimes tricky situation to deal with. If you put your resume to pasture and got nabbed by some one paying an insanely huge amount (in comparison to your current paycheck) to have you on board... it sounds too good to be true... it most probably is true! But, if you have niche skills which actually got you a job that pays well, you should either negotiate with your existing company (providing you are not peeved with them totally) - remember the big fish small pond idiom? OR just take the new job and move on! Just don't burn any bridges! Do remember to keep your finances in check and have the ability to plan and project your expected earning requirement (for your planned expenses) - sounds tough, doesn't it?

Do my opinions count at work?

You would be surprised at how many people gripe that their opinion does not count, their voice is not heard and that they are just a part of a team! In this day and age of communication and openness, voicing your opinions actually mean a lot! Try and communicate during group meetings and brainstorming sessions.

Am I at the cutting edge?

This is a constant question which a lot of folks face, given the constant changing face and pace of the current job market! There are several scenarios here....are you in a position where your skills are not being used to the max? Are you working on something irrelevant, or having too much time on your hands? Then it is time to either have a talk with your supervisor or if you've already done that, evaluate your options and maybe its time to move on! If you are in a position where you constantly feel left out of the technical aspects of the work, you either need to upgrade yourself to the need of the project you are engaged in, or move to a different project/job where your current skills are in demand.

There will come a point in your career where you will need to make a decision whether you want to continue down the technical path - which will be a constant technical skill upgrades OR move into a different career path - say management. Again... management positions are not everyone's cup of tea. There is a fine balance between technical knowhow (not necessarily the technical skill required to complete a project), people management, politics and diplomacy. Work with your supervisor to use external facilities for getting trained in the required skills or you could even check you’re your internal training department.

Is there a Career path?

Defining a career path is as important for yourself as defining the route you will be taking while driving from point A to point B! If you do not define a career path for yourself, you are going with the flow, and not on your path! You may get lucky once in a while and land a plum position, but luck cannot keep you going forever, can it? When was the last time you've had a career path discussion with your supervisor and your HR? Part of your annual goals and objectives should be aligned towards your career path and assist you in attaining your personal career goals. If that is not happening, time to discuss with your supervisor.

Though this is not a major reason to leave an organization, I have faced situations where there is role-stagnation and you've done everything you need do in the role. You might feel challenged. You know every curve ball that this job is going to throw at you! There is lack of interest in you to perform the role.

We can go and find a multitude of reasons for wanting to leave a job and look for another, but the # 1 reason which a lot of HR folks state is that you don't leave an organization, but the company of people you work with! Which in a way is true.... it is the people who make up the organization. If you are unable to work with the people around you, look for the reasons, who knows, small changes may make an ocean of difference! Sometimes it may be an attitude adjustment.... in you!

Do remember... a lot us are are working in a very competitive global environment now. No longer in a plum government job, where seniority automatically begets you a promotion - unless you are actually in a government job! If you are not smart enough, an opportunity, either internal or external, may pass by you before you know it! If you have considered all options and are all set to make the career move... make it smart, keep your options open and keep the relations with people intact!

About the author:

Balaji is a seasoned manager with global experience in the IT industry, spanning multiple service & business lines. He has worked with several multinational companies and is currently working in the PMO office of a global equipment pooling organization.