What Drives Employee Turnover? Not Compensation

Why do employees leave their companies for another job?

To examine this question, I tapped into our Q3 2015 consumer benchmark study which included more than 5,000 U.S. full-time employees. The analysis compared two groups of employees, those who were likely to look for a new job in the next six months and those who were not.

Compensation does not appear to be a significant driver, if one at all. As you can see below, employees who do not believe that they are fairly compensated are not much more likely to look for a new job than those who feel that they are appropriately paid.

The most significant drivers of an employee looking for a new job is how they feel about the work that they do and their pride in their company.

1608_CompensationAndEmployeeTurnover

The bottom line: Employees want meaning in their work.

Written by 

I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

4 thoughts on “What Drives Employee Turnover? Not Compensation”

  1. Bruce, this is very interesting. I’m curious – was there any understanding of the relationship an employee has with his/her manager a factor? Thanks, Michelle Morris

  2. I like studies like this. The first instinct might be to shrug and say, “So what – I knew that.” But, this gives us real data to backup that hunch. Thank you.

    Your findings also correlate well with a recent study I did on the causes of contact center agent burnout. The number one risk factor was agents who believed their company wasn’t customer-focused.

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