Survey Shows Employees Provide Unique Reasons for Quitting Their Jobs

Jan 19, 2005

MENLO PARK, CA -- A better job opportunity isn’t the only reason employees head for the door — a disagreeable office smell, bad lighting and earning too much money also have prompted workers to quit, a new survey of 250 U.S. advertising and marketing executives shows.  The survey was conducted by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on a project basis.

Those surveyed were asked, “What is the most unusual reason you’ve heard of an employee giving for quitting his or her job?”  Following are some of their responses: 

  • “An employee left because he didn’t like the smell of the office.”
  • “One guy said he was making too much money and didn’t feel like he was worth it.”
  • “A worker didn’t like to use a computer and said the job wasn’t as glamorous as she thought.”
  • “A person left because she didn’t like the lighting in our building.”

“These results show you can’t please every employee all the time,” said Tracey Fuller, executive director of The Creative Group.  “A certain amount of turnover is to be expected and may not be preventable.  Conducting exit interviews can help managers determine whether a situation is unique or if there’s a workplace problem that needs to be addressed in order to discourage additional staff members from leaving.” 

In cases such as those below, parting ways may not be such a bad thing: 

  • “The person said he was bored.”
  • “One employee quit because he said he was over-employed.”
  • “We had a guy who said he couldn’t get up in the morning.”
  • “The employee quit because she didn’t want to work so hard.”
  • “One worker quit because he thought the location wasn’t exciting enough.”

While many people enjoy their jobs, work often takes a backseat to other pursuits:

  • “A person wanted to sunbathe on the beach in Europe.”
  • “We had someone leave to train for a triathlon.”
  • “He quit to go sailing.”
  • “An employee said she was going to live on her trust fund.”
  • “A worker left to climb Mount Everest.”

These next professionals said they needed to get out of town:

  • “An employee moved to Italy because she didn’t like the outcome of the election.”
  • “We had a woman leave to tend bar in Costa Rica.”
  • “One person left because he had to join the Witness Protection Program.”

Career changes sparked some people to give notice:

  • “An employee quit to go to Hollywood and become a movie star.”
  • “Someone left to join the circus.”
  • “A worker left to become a strawberry farmer.”
  • “A guy left to become a golf pro.”
  • “One staff member left to play the trombone.”
  • “A worker joined the clergy.”

Then there was the employee who had a silent exit strategy:

  • “He just walked out without a peep.  Until this day we have no idea why he left, nor were we able to contact him.”

“These examples are light-hearted, but excessive turnover can take a toll on productivity and morale,” said Fuller.  “Employee retention is a chief concern for businesses, particularly as the job market becomes more competitive.”

The survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm.  It includes 250 responses -- 125 from advertising executives among the nation’s 1,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 from senior marketing executives among the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.  The Creative Group has offices in major markets across the United States and in Canada and offers online job search services at www.creativegroup.com.

print Print   email Email   rss RSS