A journey to remember

Top Three Reasons Why Good Employees Leave the Company

Posted on: December 12, 2014

In the past few months, I’ve been observing the reasons why good employees decide to leave their companies. How do I define a good employee? The smart one, a fast learner, the problem solver, the major contributor, the game maker, the agent of changes, and of course, an excellent leader to their team. They may have so many flaws, mostly personality issues, yet most of them tend to have all of the good qualities I mention before. The good qualities in one package that makes them extremely hard to find.

Different with employees on average, I rarely find a top achiever leaves the company just because of stress, crazy workloads, fed up of bosses’ high demands, or just because of those nearly impossible projects. They have much more complex reasons to leave the company. Based on my personal observation, I’ve narrowed down those reasons into three top categories.

Lack of challenges

Most of the time, the good employees have more capability to deal with stress rather than dealing with boredom. They can’t stand repeating the exactly same task over and over again. They also set a very high standard for themselves. It’s not easy to make them feel satisfied with their own achievement. They’re very competitive even when there is no competition at stake. They hate the idea of being left behind their own families and friends.

That’s why when they find themselves stuck, not well developed, nothing new to learn, or when they get bored until 8 hours at work feels like forever, they will start to wonder whether it’s already time for them to bring themselves to a higher level. Until finally, finding a better opportunity out there has become a new challenge for them. For some of them, it’s like proving themselves that they still have the capability to achieve something better for their futures after going nowhere in their previous job for a while.

Lack of appreciations

The good employees have much lower tolerances of being unappreciated. They don’t do much positive thinking about the reason why their bosses made them feel that way. They know their values and they will never let anyone make them feel anything less. I know many great workers who are able to deal with their crazy workloads, who can survive the crazy deadlines, who can forgive their annoying bosses, but once they find themselves are not appreciated, they will start to ask themselves, “What the hell am I doing here?”

How do they define the lack of appreciations?

  1. When they find out ‘the average guys’, ‘the do nothing guys’, or ‘the do not understand anything guys’ are paid higher than them;
  2. When they hear their own bosses keep telling everyone about how great those ‘mediocre ones’ are but those bosses ‘forget’ to mention the same thing about them who have worked much harder than those bosses’ baby;
  3. When their bosses do not say anything about the great jobs they’ve done, but those bosses are over-reacted once they do just one mistake, especially if it’s only a very small one;
  4. When they are not well rewarded, especially if they do know that the company has a capability to give them rewards that they deserve.

Overloaded BUT underpaid

Based on my observation, most of top achievers are burdened with more workloads rather than the mediocre ones. Everytime there is a very difficult task, the boss will give it to them. Everytime there is a colleague fail to finish another difficult task, the boss will give it to them again. They’re actually okay with that; they love challenges, remember? BUT, it’s a completely different story if their increasing burdens are not in line with their income.

It’s funny how bosses always have many random reasons to not reward their best players properly. At the end of the day, the good employees will end up with a thought, “This company wants me to work super hard for free.”

Most of the time, being underpaid is not only about money for this type of employee, but also highly related to their self-satisfaction or maybe, it’s also about their own ego. They can’t live with the fact that their company ‘use’ them, ‘fool’ them, or any other bad thoughts which make them feel bad about themselves. Once again, they know their value and they know it for sure when they deserve better.

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I used to read a quote written by my former lecture saying that even a bad decision would always be much better than no decision at all. It reminded me of the decisions I put on hold and I asked myself, “What prevents me from making all those decisions?” I could instantly listed down many personal reasons that didn’t even sound good to myself. So there I made a couple of decisions; the good ones and the bad ones, and apparently it was so true: even bad decision was still better than no decision at all. First of all, it helped me to move on. I no longer waited for this and that; I made decisions and I started to make the actions. It also gave me a peace of mind knowing that I owed nothing to anyone, not even to myself. And most importantly, all those decisions made me learn, notably the bad ones. It’s not that I intentionally made a bad one, but well, how did I know my decision was bad until I gave it a try? Ever since the day I decided to stop putting my decisions on hold, my life felt a lot lighter and I have never been more proud of myself. Other people might not be happy with my decisions, but I only do what I’ve got to do and they can’t blame me for having courage to do the things they’re not willing to do. If it holds me back and nobody wants to make the call, then let me do the honor. It’s actually that simple, and again, it sets me free.
My biggest career goal is always running my own business. I have been an entrepreneur even since I was a seven years old. I was never hesitate everytime I saw an opportunity to earn some cash to buy toys and comic books. Graduating from college and starting my first corporate job has stopped me from doing my own business. I was too busy to do something else beside my main job. I tried to run a small jewelry business but then I got bored. I came to learn that if I want to start a business, I have to do something bigger. But of course, a bigger scale own business will also require a bigger effort! The comfort of corporate job made me decide to postpone starting a new business until at some point, it was no longer comforting to me. I still remember one night I went home feeling extremely upset with my boss and I just told myself, “I can’t do this forever. I can do much better than working for a jerk.” Right at that moment, I decided to start my biggest dream: starting my own business. Not so long after that, @thelenstory was born.
There is this one little secret about @thelenstory. There was one particular guy who made me fall deeper with photography. He was so talented he could make an old dirty lamp look beautifully glow in his pictures. I still remember that day on a boat, he took pictures of me and he smiled behind his lens. That kind of smile that made me feel the prettiest girl on earth. I didn’t know why but I just loved seeing this guy holding his camera. I even still loved it when he took pictures of me with his grumpy face! At the end of the day, The Lens Story is way more than just a girl who fell in love. The ups and downs, and all lifetime savings that I’ve spent have been the greatest leap of faith I’ve ever taken in my entire life. That one guy from my past was just a starting point. He was my inspiration, he made me believe that there were many hidden talents like him out there and I would be more than happy to help them start their professional career in photography. That was the very beginning story on how my start-up was born, and to me, that will always be one of my favorite stories to tell.

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What my blog is all about? It's all about my life; my very own fairy tale, that I would love to share. This is my story, my ups and downs, it's a journey to remember.

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