A growing number of workers leave their jobs shortly after receiving a major promotion.
- New research from payroll services company ADP shows that 29% of people quit their jobs between 2019 and 2022 within a month of their first promotion.
- The rate of promoted quitting (29%) greatly exceeds the rate of employees leaving who were not promoted (18%).
- New Gallup research similarly shows that more than half of American workers are considering quitting for a new job or actively seeking to do so.
Why It’s Important
Employees leave their jobs voluntarily for many reasons—better pay or hours, burnout, greater freedom, flexibility, and benefits, or even just because they do not enjoy their work. This has become clear in recent years as the Great Resignation and “quiet quitting” phenomenon have shown how much disinterest and disengagement exists among the current workforce.
As ADP argues, this disengagement is feeding into a culture of stress where employees feel emboldened to seek greener pastures after they have been promoted. Many of these employees are untrained workers entering management positions for the first time who find their work overwhelming and unenjoyable. Others are simply those who feel confident that their new position is a springboard toward a better-fitting job.
The irony is that, for a growing number of workers, promotions turn quality employees into flight risks—undermining one of the best tools companies have to reward good employees.
“[These employees are] sort of left on their own to adopt a whole new style of management that for many of them is very foreign,” Gallup director Heather Barrett tells The Wall Street Journal. “A lot of times as employers, that’s where we drop the ball—we just don’t give them the infrastructure or the interpersonal tools to be able to manage people.”