Employees are almost four times more likely to leave their organisation because of a lack of development opportunities, than because they want more pay, according to research.
Almost 6,000 employees and 300 HR professionals from across the UK were surveyed by HR consultancy Reed Consulting about why they had left jobs.
Nearly half the respondents (48%) said that their main reason for leaving was that they did not believe that their organisation provided them with sufficient opportunities for personal and career development.
Also, a significant proportion experienced 'job shock', whereby they left shortly after joining, primarily because the job had not matched up to expectations.
The survey also revealed an interesting mismatch between employer perceptions of reasons for leaving and the 'real' reasons why employees choose to go.
Employers who believe that offering generous salaries is the key to recruiting and retaining staff are likely to be disheartened by the findings, which suggest that only one in seven (14%) employees had left their previous organisation because a competitor was offering a better reward package.
Laura Frith, director of Reed Consulting, said: "In a climate of low unemployment and rising staff turnover, retention is key for many organisations in the UK.
"These findings suggest employers should consider redesigning the content of roles and introducing job rotation schemes to provide more opportunities for staff to apply their skills," she said.
The survey also revealed that while 43% of HR professionals had been involved in handling redundancy procedures, only 54% had considered employees for other roles in the organisation.