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What makes an employee leave?

Robert Walters recently conducted an online Employee Insight Survey (EIS) of U.S.-based sales and marketing professionals from companies of all sizes, from start-ups with fewer than ten employees to large firms with hundreds of employees. The cumulative answers to our survey shed insight into what is important to today’s professionals.

Overwhelmingly, respondents said that their career progress was most defined by personal skills and contributions, and less influenced by the successes of their employers, internal politics or team dynamics.

Our survey responders also acknowledged that personal achievements directly impact the broader success of the businesses they work for, so taking ownership of their own contributions certainly adds to overall business success. Our takeaway from this? Most individuals do their best, and find the most satisfaction, in roles where they are allowed to shine. For this reason, we believe it’s crucial to align professionals with employers who foster an environment where individuals are recognized for their contributions.

When it comes to job satisfaction, our poll-takers prioritize:

  • Good pay and benefits (13%)
  • The ability to achieve status and receive promotions (21%)
  • Challenges and the opportunities to surmount them (29%)
  • A good work/life balance (30%)
  • The ability to help other people (7%)

Of the above, a good work/life balance was most important to the professionals we surveyed.

As for the factors that most easily undermine an individual’s job happiness, lack of career progression ranked number one by a mile. When professionals feel stuck in a role, they are more likely to leave their company in search of a more inspiring position elsewhere.

This information is interesting, but more importantly, it gives us a deeper understanding of what motivates candidates, so that Robert Walters can help find the best match for the employers and professionals we work with. 

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