American workers are an unhappy bunch. Whether they’re fed up with tyrannical bosses or frustrated by low salaries, fewer than half of employees in the United States are satisfied with their jobs, according to the Conference Board’s 2015 Job Satisfaction survey. A fifth of people are so disenchanted with their current work situation they’re planning to quit in the next year, CareerBuilder found. Some of these disgruntled worker bees may be chronic complainers and slackers, but some are likely good employees who are secretly plotting their escape from the office, unbeknownst to their boss.
Turnover of any kind is expensive for businesses. Replacing a departing employee costs 21% of their annual salary on average, an analysis by the Center for American Progress found. For high-level jobs requiring specific skills, the cost of replacing someone who quits can be much greater. Considering that nearly 3 million Americans – or 2% of the workforce — quit their jobs in April 2016 alone, companies are spending a lot of money to replace employees, at least some of whom are probably star performers who might have been persuaded to stay if working conditions were different.
What’s driving good employees to seek their fortunes elsewhere? A desire to switch careers, big life changes like a move or the birth of a child, or a can’t-miss opportunity all trigger resignations. But for many people, quitting has everything to do with the job itself. From low salaries to incompetent bosses, here are seven reasons why good employees leave their jobs.