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The 2nd most wrong survey answer

Everett Birdsall - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The 2nd most wrong survey answer

by Brian Ward

I just read another “survey” about why workers leave their job. Can you guess what the top reason is? Money, the number one reason listed is money. And it’s all BS! It is categorically and fundamentally not true (most of the time). If you knew how far away money is from the truth you would be angry the next time you see such a “survey.” And I know at this very second there are thousands of Recruiters and Staffing Experts who are nodding their head in agreement or falling asleep.

I see this type of survey about 4 times a year. It’s usually an infographic using a chart to display that roughly 60% of people surveyed are now making a ton more money, and apparently, money was the only reason they left.

The real problem with these survey’s is twofold. The first problem is asking people who are looking for a job or thinking of leaving. These surveys should be asking those who are actually involved in the Decision Making Process (I know it will never happen). We usually ask such benign questions like, "Why did you leave your last job?" So we already have those answers. The second problem is the survey’s simplicity. It boils down to this: it is a lot easier for people to answer, “Why did you leave your last role?” with “Money!” than it is to say something like the following, “I wasn’t as successful at my former place as I could have or should have been. My boss was good, but I was trying to find a boss that could be a better mentor to me. Also I feel underpaid and would really appreciate it if I could leverage my experience into a better wage.”

As you can see the money part of the answer is still there, but it isn’t the driving force. The driving force of all moves isn’t money. The number one reason is almost always related to your boss, hence the phrase, “people quit their bosses, not their jobs.” It is a very complex dynamic that always involves how attached or detached you are to your boss, the company, the department, the co-workers, etc. It is rarely simple. People start the change when a happy dynamic changes or gets changed.

Don’t believe me? Do this. Think back to all your job changes. You’ll find numerous reasons why you left each role. I’m sure that you did leave your dishwasher job because of money, but not that Director of Marketing role. If you’re honest with yourself then you will find that the job change is a journey and that money is and always be just the final (and important) puzzle piece to the complete picture.

And don’t even get me started with the salary survey you found on the internet!