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6 Reasons Why Employees Quit, and the Hidden Meaning Behind Them

You Are Not Responsible for Your Employee’s Lack of Commitment.

Gordon Tredgold states that “95% of the time, the issues (on employee turnover) can be traced back to one of three things: bad leadership, and absence of leadership, or too much leadership.”

Does that suggest that only 5% of the time it’s actually because of the employee? Really? What ever happened to taking responsibility for your own actions?

If you are a business owner, or a manager in today’s world, don’t be so hard on yourself. Even though people like Gordon keep telling you it’s your fault, there are other successful people like Chip Gaines telling you it’s not. And I’m on Chip’s side. People either have passion or they don’t. They either have the drive to figure it out on their own, or they don’t.

You are not responsible for your employee’s lack of commitment. That’s on them.

After nine years as a hair salon owner (which I recently sold), I can tell you I have heard some interesting excuses why an employee wants to quit. I am certain that these excuses are not unique to me or my industry. And so, I present to you the hidden meanings behind each excuse.


Employee Break Up Words; It’s All Rubbish

  1. “I’m not making enough money.” Raise your hand if you have heard this excuse before. Seriously, everyone should have their hand raised. For some reason, people do not realize that they are solely responsible for the size of their paychecks. In this instance, the first question I ask is, “What have you done to improve your business for yourself and this company?” If their answer is literally the bare minimum that’s written in their job duties, there’s the proof you need to sleep well at night. They have done nothing to go above and beyond to provide extra value, and they just admitted it to you. And that, my friend, was their choice.
  2. “I don’t enjoy my job anymore.” Yesterday, this person could have really loved their job. What changed? Maybe someone in their personal life is causing drama, or encouraging them to quit. Maybe they are drowning in personal financial issues and they have lost interest in everything because the only thing on their mind is the dark black hole they’re falling through. Or maybe, none of these happened. Maybe they always felt this way. They just lied and faked their way through the last two years pretending to enjoy it, pretending to care, pretending to someone they are not. Some people are fake, and if they’re good at it, they can really trick ya.
  3. “I’m just having a really hard time right now.” This is the dumbest excuse I’ve ever heard, and yes, it came from a millenial. I have no idea what to make of this one other than it’s a prime example of a millenial’s lack of confrontation. If she were to explain to me what exactly this “hard time” was, I would guess it may look something like this, “Well you looked at me weird the other day, it made me feel like you snapped at me…” Enough said.
  4. “You are micromanaging me and I can’t take it anymore.” Once again, this excuse is probably caused by a lack of confrontation. So, for all of you who are feeling this way toward your boss right now, have you told your boss that you can handle this project on your own? Have you literally sat her down and said, “I feel like you’re looking over my shoulder and frankly, I don’t need it. I have it under control. I can do this.” There is no open door policy that can create true honesty. It doesn’t exist.
  5. “This career is just not what I wanted.” Hold the phone. What did they do to research this career? Did they look up general expectations of this career choice, or the median salary in their state? Did they ask questions at the interview that would give them clear expectations of this particular company? “Not what I wanted” actually means that they probably did not do enough research before deciding to join this career field.
  6. “I don’t feel adequate.” Instead they should say, “I haven’t given enough effort to achieve expertise in this career and I’m just going to give up instead, because it’s easier.” Nothing is more disappointing than seeing an incredibly talented hairstylist give up because they did not give the time or the effort needed to achieve expert levels in their career. If they are quitting and changing careers before reaching this height, they are a wimpy crybaby in my book. You don’t want this person on your team anyway.

I am not saying employee turnover was never my fault. I could have done things better, but dangit, I tried. I tried hard all day every day to improve my employee relationships, to make each person feel respected, to give a clear path to travel and a vision to maintain, to offer encouragement, and words of wisdom as needed.

Maybe I didn’t speak up enough. Maybe I didn’t remind my employees how to be responsible for themselves. Then again, maybe it’s all just rubbish.