Have you ever had something bug you at work? Maybe it started out small, like you had to answer that email while you were on the beach with your family. Or your boss called you after you’d already turned out the lights and snuggled down for the night.

Or maybe it was a little bigger. Linda got promoted as your team’s lead when you and she both know that you’ve been there longer and care more about the team’s success. Perhaps your manager wouldn’t let you take a couple hours to go help in your first-grader’s Halloween party even though you would have made up the time and some. Whatever the reason, something bugged you enough that you just couldn’t forget about it.

Workplace Deal Breakers
We at BambooHR just completed a survey of over 1,000 current employees in the US to find out which things annoyed them and would ultimately turn into the breaking point for employees. We find it helpful to know not only what’s making people leave but also what may be annoying them and decreasing their productivity.

Here are the top three workplace deal breakers:

1. 22 percent of employees who are not getting promoted at your company look to other companies for opportunities to advance their careers. Are you giving employees the chance to move up? Or are you hiring new people to fill jobs that you could be filling from within your current workforce?

2. 14 percent will leave if they don’t have a healthy work-life balance. What does a healthy work-life balance mean to you? Do you expect your people to answer emails on vacations or in the middle of the night? People want to be more than their jobs. They need to be able to leave work at the end of the day and re-charge so they can do their best work tomorrow.

3. Surprisingly, only 10 percent of employees think they’re not being paid what they’re worth so much that they’ll quit their job. It’s really not just about money. People find that building their careers and a healthy work-life balance trump money.

The funny thing is the survey shows that when there’s another bigger factor, money almost always tags along as a secondary reason. So your people are thinking, “I’m leaving because my coworker got promoted above me—AND I’m not getting paid enough to deal with that.” Or, “My boss expects me to drop everything, night or day—AND I’m not getting paid enough money to put up with that!”

Top Workplace Annoyances
But where does it all start? When do people start to get annoyed? Because we all know that people who are annoyed sometimes let those little nuggets fester until they can’t focus on their jobs and productivity may suffer. And after a while, it may fester until it becomes a deal breaker.

• 82 percent of employees are irritated when their managers don’t know as much about the industry or your team’s projects as they do.
• 82 percent of employees don’t think they’re recognized for their work as often as they deserve.
• 79 percent of employees become annoyed when their co-workers are promoted faster than they are.
• 74 percent of employees want better benefits.

Social’s Out
The survey showed that while people need to like who they’re working with and have a good team dynamic (getting along with your co-workers was in the top five deal breakers), they don’t necessarily need to hang out after work. In fact, over half of survey respondents said it was the most acceptable irritation on the list of possibilities.

Leaders and HR can learn a lot about what’s driving employees away from their companies and keeping employees from being engaged from the results of this survey. When retention is one of the most important employee issues today, it’s important to know where to focus your efforts and ensure you’re not doing things that could be annoying your employees. Or worse.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to know when something you could have avoided bugged—and festered inside—one of your employees.

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Infographic by T.C. de Hoyos

If you’d like to dig even deeper into the data from this study, check out our survey summary and our accompanying blogs based on  Gender GapsAge Differences, Manager v. Non-manager, Education Level and Stage of the Employee Lifecycle.

Photo by Ahmed Rabea/CC BY