Why Your Top Talent Leaves and How to Stop Them

March 15, 2024 | Reskill Your Workforce | 6 min read

If you’ve logged into LinkedIn lately, you’ve probably noticed some of your connections using the #OpenToWork hashtag and profile image banner. Perhaps it’s because they’ve been laid off, or maybe they’re simply looking for a job that better resonates with their experience.

Either way, the job market is shifting dramatically. And it’s never been clearer that holding on to top talent is an imperative for employers looking to succeed in the future of work.

Top talent is highly sought after by employers because these individuals drive innovation and success. And, these individuals often stand out due to their skills, like creative thinking, leadership, and more.

As the workplace continues to evolve, technology develops at a break-neck pace, and new expectations around company culture arise, organizations need to keep their top talent happy, productive, and informed. Two of the most impactful ways they are doing this right now include:

So, why is top talent so increasingly #OpenToWork?

Why Skilled Professionals Quit Their Employers

There are many reasons why top talent may look to leave an organization. If your company is dealing with losing some of its top talent, start internally and see what must change.

Here are some of the main reasons why you may be losing top talent at your organization and how to prevent them from leaving:

Poor Management

People don’t leave jobs or companies; they leave managers.

Poor management often leads to disengagement and frustration among employees. A good leader can elevate a team to great heights, but an insufficient leader can push workers over the edge and be a deciding factor in whether they want to stay with a company.

Uncaring and uninspiring leaders are a major reason people quit their jobs. According to a survey done by GoodHire, employees are most frustrated by managers who are overbearing and micromanage their work, as well as managers who expect them to work outside of office hours.

With historically high quit rates since the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s crucial that leaders know how to best engage and inspire their teams. By providing managers with opportunities to develop their management skills, you help ensure that they have what it takes to manage others with better leadership, communication, and team-building skills, leading to a more productive relationship.

Subscribe to the Skillsoft Blog

We will email when we make a new post in your interest area.

Select which topics to subscribe to:

Poor Compensation

In research conducted by Pew Research Center on the top reasons employees quit their jobs, 63% of respondents cited low pay as a key reason for wanting to leave their positions.

According to its survey, 42% of workers who had quit a job said they received better benefits, such as health insurance and paid time off after starting another position. Fifty-six percent of those who quit a job are now earning more money than before.

To stay competitive with pay and benefits, it’s important for employers to look at what competing companies are paying their employees. By offering pay and benefits that match or exceed those being offered by others, you’re not only ensuring that your employees are getting the pay that they deserve, but you also have a better chance of retaining top talent.

But what happens when companies don’t have the resources to offer better compensation to their employees right now? In Skillsoft’s IT Skills and Salary Report, many respondents said their organizations have skills gaps because they can’t provide the compensation candidates request.

While your company may not be able to provide more money to top talent, there are other ways to support your employees’ careers by providing opportunities to learn new skills, earn certifications, or even explore other roles within the organization. All of these options can help employees advance their careers, while retaining talent. A lack of professional development is the top reason why people leave their post.

Still, the Skillsoft report also shows compensation is among the top reasons why people seek out a different employer. As a team leader, you must be transparent about what’s possible, providing clarity about timelines, raises, and more. Otherwise, you’ll remain at risk of losing team members.

Disconnection with Company Culture

Having a positive company culture is a huge part of what makes employees want to work at specific organizations. One way to create a positive culture within your company is by promoting an organization-wide culture of learning.

Promoting a companywide culture of continuous learning is a crucial key to success in an organization’s ability to retain, upskill, and empower their employees, particularly in an environment where top talent has more job options than ever. Providing opportunities for skills development helps to ensure that team members feel both empowered and engaged, leading to better outputs and more positive work environments.

Core values like transparency, acceptance, and innovation are of the utmost importance when building a team of professionals who feel seen, valued, and respected for the work they do. By promoting continuous learning, open communication, accessible resources, and opportunities for all within your organization, you are helping to provide the necessary support needed for employees to know that they are important and that the work they are doing matters.

Creating a cohesive company culture is also extremely important with the increase of hybrid and remote work environments. By building a culture of communication, setting clear expectations, and providing remote learning opportunities, you can ensure that employees —regardless of where they are working from — stay engaged, excited, and committed to the work they are doing.

Lack of Career Advancement and Skills Development

Rather than feeling stuck in a certain position, employees want to know that the work they are doing is valued and that they have the potential to grow and advance.

According to research done by the American Psychological Association, 91% of employees say that it is somewhat or very important to have a job where they consistently have opportunities to learn, but only 47% say that their employers offer educational opportunities. Data from our IT Skills and Salary Report also shows that a lack of professional opportunities is the number one reason why people leave their employers.

No matter how smart or talented a person is, there’s always room for growth, development, and continued maturation. When you develop your employees, position them for growth, and provide them with skills training, they’re more likely to want to stay and contribute to your organization.

In order to achieve true enterprise transformation, businesses must focus on building a culture of learning centered around upskilling their talent.

Reasons to Stay

Regardless of where you work, the bottom line is that employees want to feel valued, supported, and respected.

If your company wants to retain top talent, you need to commit to giving them reasons to stay.

For most, employees want opportunities to learn and apply themselves. They want a chance to build new skills or earn a certification — and then put what they’ve learned into action. As a company leader, one of the most powerful ways you can support your staff is by asking each how you can support their journey.

Supportive leadership, fair compensation, a positive company culture and opportunities to learn is a winning recipe to keep employees happy at work. But you can dive deeper into how many feel at work in Skillsoft’s IT Skills and Salary Report — a compilation of an annual survey that asks about job satisfaction, reasons for leaving employers, workplace challenges and more.

And don’t miss out on opportunities to reach the next level in your career with Codecademy’s Career Center.