Personal Finance

Toxic company culture is the No. 1 reason workers are quitting jobs, survey finds

Key Points
  • Nearly one-third of employees are considering quitting their jobs and one-quarter resigned over the past six months, according to a FlexJobs survey.
  • The No. 1 reason for resigning was “toxic company culture,” with low salary, poor management and a lack of a healthy work-life balance following closely behind.
  • However, if you’re planning to leave, it’s important “not to burn any bridges,” experts say.
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Nearly 33% of employees in the U.S. are considering quitting their jobs, while 25% have actually resigned over the past six months, citing "toxic company culture" as their No. 1 reason for leaving.

That's according to a 2022 survey from FlexJobs, digging into workers' motives for quitting and how they planned to do it.

"People are still considering and actively making career moves for a better work experience that will provide benefits like work-life balance and flexibility," said Toni Frana, career services manager at FlexJobs. "From our perspective, the Great Resignation is still very much alive and trending."

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Moreover, of the workers who recently left, 68% bowed out without another position lined up, the survey revealed, suggesting continued leverage for employees. 

In 2021, roughly 47 million workers voluntarily quit their jobs, and high turnover has continued into 2022, with 4.4 million people resigning in February, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That's just below November's record of 4.5 million employees who left.

While toxic company culture was the top reason for fleeing, low salary, poor management and a lack of a healthy work-life balance were other top motivations, the survey found.   

The 'Great Resignation' has gone global – and it's shaking up the labor market for good
The 'Great Resignation' is global – and it's shaken the labor market for good

"Of the top seven factors people consider when deciding to quit a job, six of them revolve around the employee experience," Frana said. "This speaks to how important it is to have a healthy company culture, with strong managers who really connect with and support employees."

In a tight labor market, companies may need to do more than boost wages to retain talent. Many employees are looking for remote work options, flexible schedules, opportunities for career growth, competitive benefits and more, the survey shows.

Quitting professionally 

Despite the temptation to "rage-quit" from a difficult role, only 4% of workers actually did, according to the survey. In most cases, workers were changing careers, aiming to find a new position in three to six months.  

"When you plan to resign, it's important not to burn any bridges with your current employer," Frana said.

Work to emphasize the positive experiences you had while employed, including during the exit interview.
Toni Frana
Career services manager at FlexJobs

It's still customary to give your supervisor a two-week notice of your departure, and to provide documentation — passwords, deadlines and other pertinent details — to ease the transition. And you'll want to work hard through the end, offering to train a replacement, wrap up projects and answer questions before you leave, FlexJobs suggests.

"As your time at the company comes to an end, work to emphasize the positive experiences you had while employed, including during the exit interview," Frana added.