Toxic work environment, conflict with management among reasons behind turnover: Study

Boredom, ethical dilemmas also among top 10
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/23/2015

The circumstances under which a person would feel compelled to quit are not limited to a desire for more cash, according to research by PsychTests in Montreal, based on from 871 people who took its Turnover Probability Test.

Among the 19 reasons for turnover assessed in the study, the top 10 are:

Greener pastures: 43 per cent would feel compelled to quit their job if a better opportunity arose — one that allowed them to advance their career and expand their professional skills; 28 per cent of the sample have already quit a job (or several jobs) for this reason.

Toxic work environment: 42 per cent would leave their job if they found themselves dealing with office politics, such as "brown-nosing," gossip, favouritism, nepotism or backstabbing; 18 per cent have already quit their job for this reason. Another 42 per cent of people would feel compelled to quit their job if they were being bullied by colleagues or management; 11 per cent of people have quit because of psychological harassment.

Lack of work-life balance: 31 per cent would quit if they were working too many hours too often and didn’t have enough leisure or family time; 18 per cent of the participants actually have quit for this reason.

Money issues: 30 per cent would quit if they discovered they were being underpaid compared to the industry standard for their position, or if they felt they were being inadequately compensated for their work; 18 per cent of the sample have quit previous jobs for this reason.

Boredom: 30 per cent would quit their job if their work wasn't challenging or stimulating enough; 17 per cent admit to quitting previous jobs for this reason.

Limited chance for advancement: 30 per cent would quit if they were unable to advance to a more prestigious position in the company; 19 per cent have quit for this reason.

Family or personal issues: 30 per cent would feel compelled to quit their job for personal reasons like parental leave or illness; 14 per cent of participants have left their job for at least one of these reasons.

Practicality: 29 per cent of the sample would quit a job for matters of convenience — for example, if their commute was too long or they didn’t like the area where the company was located; 17 per cent have chosen to quit their job for this reason.

Ethical dilemmas: 29 per cent would leave their job if their work or the company’s practices went against their ethics and values; 11 per cent have already quit for this reason.

Conflict with management: 23 per cent would leave a position if they could not get along with their supervisor/manager; 14 per cent of the sample left their job for this reason. Another 20 per cent of people would quit their job if their boss had a tendency to micromanage them, while 11 per cent have quit in the past because they became frustrated with their boss’ inability to relinquish control.

Some of the reasons people cited are justifiable, if not understandable, and there is little management can do in thes situations, said Jerabek, president of PsychTests.

“However, of the top 10 reasons, there are at least four — toxic work environment, lack of work-life balance, ethical dilemmas and conflict with management — that are preventable.

“For example, implementing a zero-tolerance policy as it relates to bullying or other forms of harassment — be it physical, psychological or sexual — is essential. HR needs to step in and get more involved when disagreements occur between management and staff. Emotional intelligence training for managers and pre-employment assessment to determine whether a candidate’s values match those of the company culture can be extremely helpful. The bottom line is that turnover may not always be preventable, but there are measures that a company can take to reduce this tendency.”

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