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Why do people change jobs in shorter periods nowadays?

Extracted from Talking HR by Melissa Norman

Melissa Norman Melissa Norman

Having been in the industry for as long as I have, you can just imagine how some questions can be fairly repetitive.

One of the most popular questions are - “why do people leave organisations in shorter periods now?” and the runner up questions is “what makes people leave?”

I took the opportunity to discuss this topic with a few organisation leaders and with a few employees. Surprisingly the perspectives were somewhat similar.

It was enlightening to hear that organisations are aware and sensitive towards these factors whilst employees were clear of what would most likely push them out of an organisation.

Making the decision to leave an employment carries much weight with it; future employers or organisations do consider the reasons for leaving in their decision to hire a candidate. Much calculation is made before hiring, especially if there is a possibility of hiring employees that may not serve a favorable tenure with the organisation. With this in mind, it's imperative to not make any impulsive decisions based on situations that unnerve your emotions. Be sure that you consider both the positives and negatives before deciding to leave an organisation.

These are some of the few factors that were highlighted during my conversations with various leaders and employees; you should take them into consideration before you decide on whether leaving the organisation is the best option:

How is your relationship with your immediate boss?

There are a few things that you would need to consider in this area, do you enjoy working under his or her leadership. It is important to have a boss that inspires you to be better in your work and provide clarity in work expectations frequently. You should feel comfortable in working for your superior and have a connection, which allows you to be able to speak to him or her openly. Unless the person you report to is someone you are able to deal with on a day-to-day basis, you may want to reconsider your position within the team.

Does the work you do reward you emotionally and financially?

Maslow's hierarchy theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before one would desire the secondary or higher level of needs. It is natural that you would have evolving expectations from your work and the organization you work for. Be sure to counter balance your expectations against the organization rewards realistically, you should feel contented and comfortable with its development.

How is the company's culture?

The last thing you want to worry about is whether your values clash with the values of the organisation your work for. There is no doubt that today culture does define an organization. Culture could be either strong or weak and could impact employees positively or negatively. You should never be compelled to work with an organisation where the key values are unclear or not transcended throughout the organization and on day-to-day task.

Is the organisation you work for ethical?

The level of integrity within an organisation determines whether it will consistently make the right decisions for its shareholders, employees and customers. Employees must be able to count on the organization to treat them fairly as well as represent them well by maintaining their reputation in the market. You will need to consider whether the purpose of which the organisation stands for are aligned to your expectation of a credible organization.

Are you still passionate about your work?

There should always be a great sense of pride in the work you do; the ingredient that separates the enthusiasts from the rest is their intense passion for their work. People with passion for their work are proven to be more successful and engaged. You should pay attention to whether your work gives you a sense of purpose and if you are excited to get out of bed every day to get to work.

Have you outgrown your organisation?

When there is clarity that there is no longer any opportunity for advancement within the organization or the opportunities does not seem to interest you, it is a sign that you have outgrown the organization. You may find yourself in the quest of actively seeking alternatives within the organization but your persistence can be misconstrued as being overly ambitious or impatient. So do consider reaching out to relevant individuals within the organization who can truly make a difference.

Are the team relationships healthy?

You will need to consider the level of respect that is seen amongst the employees of the organization; that they are acceptable of unique individuals and bond regardless of their differences.

Do you feel a spirit of comradeship and teamwork? Do they welcome new employees with a generous spirit and are open to share their knowledge?

Because organisational success today is dependent on team dynamics, there must be a level of trust within the teams to encourage open communication and transparency; there should be no room for unhealthy politics or cliques. Most importantly you will need to decide if you are convinced with the teams you work with.

Is the work stressful?

There is no doubt that any type of work is coupled with stress; however the high level of stress can lead to symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches and severe lethargy. Review the work expectations frequently enough and be sure to check your stress levels to better manage it. Be wary that severe stress can lead to more drastic health complications. No matter what the reason, stress of work should never be at the expense of your health.

Are you performing?

Although all the other factors relied on external factors that you have limited control over, this factor relies on your ability to accept whether you are able to still add value to the organisation. Your future in the organisation is obviously determined by your ability to consistently perform, in the event you are unable to do so then exploring alternative options is necessary.

Obviously, finding ways to improve yourself should be the first option, however if non-performance continues then being open to accept the next step is crucial.

Over the years I've seen very many individuals decide to leave their organization but failing to look at a few key areas.

So besides knowing that you're ready to take a leap of faith, be ready to follow through on a few more items:

Do speak to your boss first without serving your letter; there is usually a defensive reaction when a resignation letter is served beforehand. And to be sure that the session turns out positively for both parties, do take the opportunity to share your concerns and provide feedback during this time.

Be sure that you know what you're moving towards, it's critical to have an idea of what you are preparing to do next. There are times that one's strong intent to leave their job can drive individuals into making emotional decisions. Be sure to be practical during this period.

It is appropriate to leave the organization by serving fair amount of notice as to ensure that the handover process is completed. It is far better for your reputation to work with the organization on timing based on the need to be certain that everything is on order

There will be many crossroads in your career journey, your choices will determine the experiences you gain and relationships you build.

Whatever you decide to do, remember that you should aim to leave the organization in the similar manner in which you joined the organisation - with enthusiasm, respect and gratitude.

Melissa Norman is the MD of Kelly Services Singapore and Malaysia.

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