Five Reasons Employees Leave, ASW Consulting

Five Reasons Employees Leave, and How to Prevent This From Happening

Employee retention plays an important role in the growth and reputation of a company. When a valued employee leaves a company, there can be a negative rippling effect felt by many – low morale and reduced productivity by immediate team members; increased workload for some team members; increased costs in recruiting, training and retaining staff; and the adjustment due to personnel changes for others.

While it is common for employees to look for better job opportunities, it is important to assess why they are leaving your company, especially if this has become a frequent occurrence. Take the time to determine why your employees may be unhappy, demotivated, and frustrated with their work. In our years of experience as a recruitment agency and talent acquisition consultant Ho Chi Minh, we’ve learnt that the following are some of the main reasons why key employees leave, and what we believe are the right ways to address them.

  1. Not getting enough recognition

Employees who are not appropriately recognized for their achievements and their contribution to their team are likely to leave. When managers, or the company in general, do not see or reward their good performance, employees tend to feel undervalued. High-performing staff who are often your most hard-working, may feel unnoticed, or like their work doesn’t matter, so they may end up disengaged.

What you can do: Positive, genuine thanks and recognition can go a long way in reassuring staff of their significance in the company. Make it a point to applaud people for their good work, even for the tiniest things like sending a nice email update or providing good suggestions during a team meeting. When you create a culture of gratitude and recognition around their great work, they feel more motivated to continue doing what they’re best at and it inspires them to continue to strive for excellence.

  1. Lack of growth and development plans

As a company grows, so do the professionals who are part of it. People eventually outgrow their jobs if they’ve been doing the same thing for a long time, and if they feel they have nowhere to go internally. When things have plateaued and there are no growth opportunities available for them, it’s easy for them to start looking at opportunities elsewhere.

What you can do: It’s best to have a career or development plan in place for all your employees from the start of their employment in your company. As they achieve milestones in their roles, reward them with learning opportunities or stretch goals. This could be further training for future roles, sending them to attend seminars and workshops, involving them in projects outside of their team, or even just self-studying through LinkedIn Learning. These activities ensure that they have a fulfilling development plan designed to help them get to the next steps in their career and fulfill their role as effectively as they can.

  1. Unrealistic targets and goals

KPIs are critical in assessing performance, maintaining productivity and output quality. But if these targets are too lofty or difficult to achieve, you’ll face employee burnout. Apart from being overworked, they’ll feel frustrated for not hitting their targets, and will feel mediocre or inferior in the long run. For all the effort they put into their work, they’ll eventually feel that it won’t be worth it if they keep getting penalized for not reaching these impossible goals.

What you can do: Start by implementing performance indicators that are achievable based on the team’s capabilities. As they get used to the work and build their skills, that’s a better time to set higher goals that are meant to inspire improvement, not cause anxiety and poor self-worth.

Involving your employees in an annual goal-setting process which provides them with insight into how their personal KPIs contribute to the higher-level corporate and team goals is also a great motivator.  This will also ensure greater team accountability and ensure that everyone in the company is aligned to the overall plan or goals for the months ahead.

More importantly, offer support whenever you can. Give practical advice on how they can perform better, ask them what you can do to help them with their workload, or delegate tasks to others if they are overloaded with work. Knowing that there is a considerate support system behind them is a great comfort, and guarantees their valuable place in the team.

  1. Subpar compensation and benefits

An employee’s salary is perhaps the most important factor in why people leave, especially since it’s easy to tie their self-worth to this number. If they feel that they’re doing more work than what they were initially hired to do, they can feel exhausted with their jobs and may soon explore higher-paying opportunities. Similarly, when they don’t receive good benefits, they may look elsewhere for things such as health/medical insurance, discounts on products, learning and development opportunities or travel.

What you can do: Ask yourself if you’re paying them according to or above industry standards. Do a market review, or ask The Talent Consultants to help if you are unable to perform this yourself. Assess if they deserve a raise or a salary adjustment based on their distinguished performance. It’s also a nice bonus if they receive great benefits like gym memberships or company discounts and freebies that can help them with their everyday lives without eating away at their monthly earnings. Good compensation and benefits are effective in making people feel appreciated by their company.

  1. Lack of employee engagement activities

Engagement involves employees not just understanding and being accountable for their work, but also getting regular feedback and the opportunity to do their best everyday. Knowing that their manager, team and colleagues care about them as a person is crucial to engagement. Employers can sometimes also underestimate the value of providing events and activities in retaining their staff. Providing employee engagement activities like fun office or team events, birthday celebrations, games, recognition awards or other such things give employees something else to look forward to. Without employee engagement activities, you’re also neglecting their mental health and their need for a workplace environment that welcomes celebrations and enjoyment with their peers.

What you can do: Plan out events throughout the year. These can be small game nights, month-end team lunches, wellbeing seminars, or big celebrations like year-end parties, recognition events or annual trips. Similary, volunteering days or other opportunites for employees to give back to the community are also engaging team activities. Having these highly anticipated events every other month or so punctuates their busy periods and rewards them for their work. They’ll have exciting things to look forward to with their colleagues, and this creates a better culture where everyone is involved in activities beyond work.

As recruiters in Vietnam, we’ve had a lot of experience talking to candidates about why they leave their jobs, and most of their answers fall into these categories. And as talent acquisition consultants, we advise companies to assess what their employee engagement activities and retention measures are to prevent their top talent from leaving. Having these activities and benefits in your company might mean an extra expense, but they’re worthwhile investments that will save you money in the long run, with increased retention and employee engagement.

Recruitment agency in Ho Chi Minh

ASW Consulting is a trusted recruitment agency and talent acquisition consultancy in Ho Chi Minh that can help you find the right candidates, and provide meaningful and practical advice about employee retention. To know more about what you can do for your company, please email for a confidential discussion.