your best employees are leaving. but is it personal or practical?

Randstad US data shows 60 percent of respondents say they have left a job or would leave over a bad boss

ATLANTA - August 28, 2018 - Randstad US today released research exploring the reasons workers choose to stay with their current employers — or leave to seek opportunities elsewhere. The data reveals two primary drivers of behavior: practical elements of a job (such as pay, commute and paid time off), and personal experiences (such as interpersonal relationships and engagement). And of the two, personal experiences may carry more weight than you may think: For instance, 58 percent of workers say that they’d stay at jobs with lower salaries if that meant working for a great boss.

“Today’s workers have high expectations — and the tight talent market suggests employers should be listening closely,” said Jim Link, chief human resources officer of Randstad North America. “While salary and PTO will always be factors in attraction, engagement and retention, the intangible benefits and day-to-day experiences at work have risen in importance. If the full spectrum of values — emotional, financial and lifestyle — aren’t being met, workers will easily find opportunities elsewhere.”

employees leave for practical reasons — and tangible benefits — that affect work-life balance

  • Nearly half (46%) are considering leaving their jobs within the next year to join the gig economy.
  • Sixty-four percent would consider leaving for opportunities in better locations.
  • Most (82%) expect pay raises every year to stay with their current employers.
  • Sixty-three percent wouldn’t consider job opportunities that offer fewer than 15 paid vacation days annually.
  • Over a third (36%) are considering leaving their current jobs because they don’t have the ability to work remotely.

However, workers reported leaving for reasons tied to negative personal experiences, often related to poor workplace culture — something that could be improved with better leadership.

relationships and respect are what cause employees to walk out the door

  • More than half (59%) feel their companies view profits or revenues as more important than how people are treated.
  • Sixty percent have left jobs, or are considering leaving, because they don't like their direct supervisors.
  • Fifty-three percent have left jobs, or considered leaving, because they believe their employers don’t recruit or retain high-performing individuals.

workers aren’t happy unless they’re reaching their fullest career potential

  • Fifty-eight percent of workers agree their companies don’t currently have enough growth opportunities for them to stay longer term.
  • Sixty-nine percent would be more satisfied if their employers better utilized their skills and abilities.
  • More than half (57%) say they need to leave their current companies in order to take their careers to the next level.

environment and reputation can be deal-breakers

  • Thirty-eight percent of workers want to leave their jobs due to a toxic work culture or one where they don’t feel they fit in.
  • An even larger group (58%) have left jobs, or are considering leaving, because of negative office politics.
  • Forty-six percent say their teams/departments are understaffed, so they are seeking or considering employment elsewhere.
  • Most (86%) would not apply for or continue to work for a company that has a bad reputation with former employees or the general public, and 65 percent would likely leave if their employers were being negatively portrayed in the news or on social media because of a crisis or negative business practices.

when employees stay, it’s not necessarily because they love their jobs

  • Half (54%) of employees (both men and women) feel pressure to stay at jobs they don't enjoy because they are the primary financial providers for their families.
  • Seventy-one percent admit they stay in their current jobs because it’s easier than starting something new.
  • Seventy-eight percent of workers say their benefits packages are as important as their salaries in keeping them at their current employers.
  • Fifty-six percent don’t seek out or consider other job opportunities because they’d have to start with less paid time off.

Are you driving away your best workers? Learn more about what managers can (and can’t) control about employee turnover.

survey methodology

Research findings are based on an OmniPulse survey fielded by national polling firm Research Now on behalf of Randstad US. The survey was fielded from July 9-13, 2018. It included 763 respondents over the age of 18 and a nationally representative sample balanced on age, gender and region.

about randstad

Randstad North America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad N.V., a €23.3 billion global provider of flexible work and human resources services. As a trusted human partner in the technology-driven world of talent, we combine the expertise and passion of our employees, with some of the most innovative HR technologies on the market today, to advance the careers and business success of our candidates and clients.

Randstad’s North American operations comprise 5,700+ associates and a deployed workforce of more than 100,000 in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to staffing and recruitment, Randstad offers outsourcing, consulting and workforce management solutions for generalist and specialist disciplines, including technology, engineering, finance and accounting, clinical and non-clinical healthcare, human resources, legal, life sciences, manufacturing and logistics, office and administration, and sales and marketing. Global concepts available to North American client companies include RPO, MSP, integrated talent solutions, payrolling and independent contractor management and career transition services. Learn more at or

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SHIFT Communications for Randstad US