Why Employees Quit: 20 Stats Employers Need to Know

Marvin Russell
5 min readAug 8, 2018


Why Employees Quit Statistics

According to a 2018 study by Mercer, a whopping third of all employees plan on quitting their job in the next 12 months. That number is astronomically high compared to when our our parents and grandparents were our age. This growing amount of turnover is getting more and more expensive for companies. In fact, one study revealed that replacing a high-talented employee will cost a company 200% of the employees annual salary.

So what’s happening?

Let’s start with the millennials, who seem to be leading this charge. We’ve all heard the endless stories about “lazy” millennials, and their extremely poor work ethic. However, I can assure you that is far from the truth. While they are leading the charge for less stressful and more meaningful work environments, they are anything but lazy. In fact, I’d argue that they’re just more aware of the harmful effects of a poor work-life balance.

So, is refusing to put work first before all other aspects of your life so wrong? Is that the definition of lazy?

I think not.

So why are so many people quitting their jobs?
What do the science, case studies and statistics say?
And what should employers do differently to reduce employee turnover?

20 Eye-Opening Statistics:

  1. In a survey of 2,000 employees, almost half (43%) said they are looking for a new job, and corporate culture was the main reason.
    Source: hayes.com
  2. When surveyed, 82% of employees said they’d be more loyal, and less likely if they had more flexible jobs.
    Source: FlexJobs
  3. 92% of employees said that would be more likely to stay with their job, if their bosses would show more empathy.
    Source: Businesssolver
  4. Engaged employees are 59% less likely to seek out a new job or career in the next 12 months.
    Source: Gallup
  5. 37% of employees would quit and take a new job that allowed them to work remotely part of the time.
    Source: Gallup
  6. A strong learning culture led to 30–50% high retention rates in companies.
    Source Robert Half
  7. 70% of 2,000 millennials surveyed said they would quit a job if lacked high performing and fast technology.
    Source: Jive Communications
  8. 62% of millennials are willing to quit their job in the next two years and work in the gig economy.
    Source: Deloitte
  9. 71% of employees would accept a pay cut, just to get a better job.
    Source: hayes.com
  10. Money is not the problem. In fact, only 12% of employees actually leave their job because they want more money.
    Source: CareerBuilder.com
  11. 89% of bosses wrongly believe their employees quit because they want more money.
    Source: Source; Leigh Branham, author of The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave
  12. Generation X, employees born between 1961 and 1981, reported the highest levels of stress in the workplace, and thus have the highest risk of leaving your company.
    Source: hayes.com
  13. Employees who feel they get to use the best strengths and abilities and work are 15% less likely to quit their job.
    Source: Gallup
  14. When surveyed, 76% of employees who don’t feel valued at work are seeking other job opportunities.
    Source: Lifeworks
  15. Over 70% of “high-retention-risk” employees want to leave because they see no future advancement in the current job.
    Source: Willis Towers Watson
  16. 20-50% of the reason people quit is burnout, according to almost half of all HR professionals surveyed.
    Source: Kronos
  17. In a global study, 60% of millennials have worked at 2 to 4 different companies, and 43% of them feel like their company only cares about profits.
    Source: O.C. Tanner
  18. 42% of millennials, who have worked at 2 to 4 different companies, said their job creates a huge amount of stress, and 36% feel their job has a negative impact on their health.
    Source: O.C. Tanner
  19. 30% of employees would consider quitting if they were unhappy at work, and 79% of employees said their bosses didn’t care about their happiness level.
    Source: One4All
  20. Organizations with poor on-boarding programs have double the chances of experiencing employee turnover.
    Source: Digittate


Company culture is key.
To retain more and better employees, companies need to take their culture seriously. The environment, rules, and employee peers are taken into great consideration when quitting a job or starting a new one.

Work-life balance is the future.
Work-life balance has never been more important. Employees don’t want to live at work, and be consumed by their job. They want to be trusted to work from home, coffee shop, or any where they desire.

Employee engagement is super important.
Employees want to love their job and their company. They want to know that what they do is valued, and matters.

Millennials know how to be productive.
Unhappy employees are unproductive employees. Millennials are just demanding what Generation X, and baby boomers could not…respect, meaning and happiness.

Money is not the problem.
Of course employees want to make more money, and some studies did show that, but it wasn’t close to being a major concern, especially for millennials.


If you’re reading this article, and you’re an employer like me, stop what you’re doing and make a checklist. Make a checklist of everything you’re going to do to start listening and adhering to your employee’s happiness.

Make the lost, and call a meeting with your team tomorrow on how to implement it.

I’ll even get you started with an agenda for your kick-off meeting:

Agenda: Operation Corporate Culture!

  1. Schedule a meeting with each employee.
  2. Ask about their happiness.
  3. Ask if their job is meaningful.
  4. Ask how to improve the corporate culture.
  5. Ask if you’ve provided the best technology to get the job done right.
  6. Ask about their work-life balance, and if it can be improved.
  7. Ask what they think about remote work and flex hours.
  8. Ask if they feel valuable at work.
  9. Ask if they love their job and the company.
  10. Compile your notes.
  11. Start implementing.

Good luck!



Marvin Russell

2 startups. 2 successful exits. Chief Growth Officer at MemberSpace