What makes people to stay in an organization?

“Why do people leave an organization?” This is a question to which many experts, companies and consultants are trying to find an answer. Instead of thinking why people leave an organization, we need to start asking why people stick to an organization. What do they like so much about an organization, which employees don’t want to miss by quitting?  If we spend our efforts to find answers to these questions then we don’t have to worry about “why employees leave”.

Over a cup of coffee, one of my colleagues and a good friend Vijai asked me what makes me stick on to Hewlett-Packard (the company I work), it took me by surprise as I have never thought about such a question, it also made me think “why do people stick on to a company for long?” Is it money? At least for me it was not money which made me stick to the Hewlett-Packard.

When we asked the same questions to few more colleagues, we found few common answers people gave for this question and surprisingly, money was not in the top five reasons, in fact it came last in the list.  Some of the reasons were:

  1. Comfort and work environment (Friends, team, facilities provided to make working comfortable etc.)
  2. Work-life balance (Flexibility to work from home, less stretch hours, no weekend workings, less work pressure and low stress levels etc.)
  3. Job security (Surprisingly it came third in the list)
  4. The Boss (no wonder why they say” people don’t leave an organization but the manager”)
  5. The Brand (bigger the brand, people hesitate to leave, cause getting hired in equal brand is not that easy and of course brand as its own value)
  6. Growth and learning opportunities
  7. Salary and other monetary benefits

While many might feel that it is a small set of data to make conclusions upon, there is no harm in making changes in our workplace to provide a comfortable, flexible work environment for employees. There is no harm is being a good boss, who cares for his people and ensures a promising career path for the employees. Just speak to your team and understand what they like in your organization. When we can do simple things to retain our employees, why spend lot of money and energy in finding out why people leave after they have actually left the organization.


5 thoughts on “What makes people to stay in an organization?

  1. I walked away from a high paying career with all the golden handcuffs of corporate life. I started my own company which I had for 17 years as a training consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. I never regretted that decision. Then I walked away from my company to come to Brazil as a volunteer nine years ago. I never regretted that decision either! Good write, good question! hugs, pat

    1. Hi Pat,

      There was something good which made you spend 17yrs as a training consultant and same way something good you like makes you stay as a volunteer. The key is to understand this ‘good thing’. Everything we do has good part to it and we spend so much time talking and seeing the bad part that we miss the good part. Just imagine if we love what we do then how great the outcome is going to be.


  2. Lets put all these things aside and discuss something in depth about this ,

    We might have seen some ppl , worked with few , knew the actual ability of a few more.. one fine day when u meet any one of them and the second question apart from how andf where r u will be which companiy ? He says a “so caller bigger banner ” and so called huge figure as his CTC. Wont tat make u think ? Wont you begin self assessment again? Thats where Y ppl leave the organization begins 😉 Correct me if am wrong …

    1. I agree that people feel bad start self assessment after they come to know somebody with lower potential in getting a higher pay in equal brand, however the percentage of people who leave an organization beacuse of it is comparatively low. It is situational and depends on what is the need for the person at that point in time. But most of the people after self assessment, considering the comfort, growth, brand and other aspects mentioned in the post decides to stay back. so assuming by creating a good working environment, we can make a pecentage of people stay back who otherwise would have left is still worth a try. Bottom line, there may be few cases, but predominantly they stay back, so I don’t agree with you 😉

  3. As long as people are not bored with what they are doing, they will continue. Most people stick with their company / jobs till the time it gives them peace of mind and doesn’t aggravate their worries.

    I strongly believe most people leave their Managers and not the company. End of the day, Maslow’s Needs Theory can also be cause 🙂

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