10 Reasons Why Talented People Are Leaving Your Organization Today

In the midst of generational changes, the transfer of traditional jobs within and outside the US, and the redefinition of jobs themselves, we still work together. From my research, talented people are increasingly uncompromising about their requirements for an integrated lifestyle and a meaningful role in their company’s future.

Despite their best intentions, most organizations continue to lose talent and jeopardize their future prospects for reasons that have evolved from just five years ago. My top 10 reasons, based on a recent survey of CEOs and top talent that transitioned in the past year are:

“I can’t work with my manager” – “With” has increasingly replaced “for,” reflecting a change in the self-perceived status of new talent, and the increasing importance of the relationship. Talented, ambitious people thrive with mentoring and being unleashed.

“I am spread too thin to deliver high quality” – Companies continue to test the limits of productivity with many Great Recession-era cuts still in place, and without the implementation of technology, lean management processes or reorganization.

“My pay remains frozen without any promise about the future” – Some traditional pay models are stuck in neutral, with the most innovative companies offering entrepreneurial incentives.

“We are left out of most decision-making” – Today’s talent, more than ever, insist on a voice along with some autonomy. If not, they’ll go elsewhere and maybe start their own company.

“Management lacks direction” – Talented people will not accept a lack of clarity about market direction. Why work for someone who is less willing, or possibly able, than you to set a course and follow it? Providing honest coherence about the future encourages hope and effort, even in tough times.

“Positive effort receives little or no recognition” – This is not simply saying “good job” but more like “thanks for helping us be successful – how can I help you be even more successful?”

“My CEO lacks passion” – Passion, inspiration, and excitement are as important as oxygen and water to talented folks.

“I don’t know what’s going on in this company” – Talented people demand effective executive communication in their organization as part of their social contract. Transparency is very good for the organizational soul.

“Leadership lacks integrity” – Whether a broken promise or a lack of communication at critical moments, talented workers look for an environment where they trust leadership, including communication style.

 “There are too many policies and procedures” – During the last decade plus many organizations loaded up on policies and procedures that were meant to decrease organizational liability. Today, entrepreneurs and talented leaders see the liability in the policies and procedures themselves.

Of course there are caveats and qualifications to the above. However, if you want to retain and attract GenX and Millennial talent, these reasons are worth your review.