Top 10 reasons why employees leave their jobs in 2021. They’re most likely to leave when they don’t feel valued, have unreasonable workloads or when opportunities for advancement are scarce.

Nearly a quarter of employees voluntarily left their jobs in the past year. 

Job satisfaction plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 30 percent of employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, up from just 7.4 percent in 2019, according to research by iHire. Less than 20 percent of employees consider themselves to be very satisfied at work these days.

iHire asked employees to rank factors that led them to leave their jobs as well as what their recent employer could have done to keep them aboard. 

Top 10 Reasons Why Employees Leave Their Jobs in 2021

These are the top 10 reasons why employees leave their jobs:

  1. Unsatisfactory salary or pay (15.8 percent)
  2. Stress or an unmanageable workload (11.7 percent)
  3. Few growth or advancement opportunities (11.5 percent)
  4. Employer’s values not aligning with their own (7.0 percent).
  5. Interest in a different industry or career path (6.7 percent)
  6. Poor work/life balance (6.5 percent) 
  7. Unsatisfactory benefits (3.8 percent) 
  8. Lack of employee recognition (2.9 percent)
  9. Concerns about their employer’s ability to address health and safety concerns in the wake of COVID-19 (2.3 percent) 
  10. No options for remote work (1.3 percent)

iHire gave employees the option to select “Other” as a reason for leaving their job and the 15.7 percent of employees who selected it were asked to elaborate. Popular responses included: 

  • Poor relationships with managers and coworkers
  • Relocation
  • Toxic work environment
  • Long commute
  • Retirement
  • Disorganized management teams
  • Not enough hours
  • Unreasonable expectations
  • Not enough training
  • Not using skills to one’s potential
  • Company longevity/stability
  • COVID-19 concerns in general

Employees who feel like they are undervalued and overworked are most likely to leave their jobs, but opportunities for advancement, company values employees can get behind and robust benefits offerings are just as important to employee retention and job satisfaction.

What Employers Could Do to Get Employees to Stay

These are the top 10 reasons employees would reconsider accepting a new job offer and stay with their current or most recent employer:

  1. Raise or bonus (50 percent)
  2. Healthier work/life balance (25.7 percent)
  3. Clear growth or advancement opportunities (25.4 percent)
  4. Better benefits package (22 percent)
  5. Meaningful employee recognition (19.8 percent)
  6. Professional development opportunities (15.2 percent)
  7. Promotion (12 percent)
  8. Remote work (11.5 percent)
  9. Regular performance feedback (8.1 percent)
  10. Student loan repayment assistance (4.8 percent)

Once again the emphasis is on job compensation, manageable workloads, clear paths for advancement, but also opportunities for professional development, better employee benefits and flexibility. 

Employers who are prioritizing retention in the new year should review their operations to see which areas they’re excelling in and where they can build out processes and programs to better retain employees.

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