Bad Performance Review Among Top Reasons Employees Would Quit Job

More than half of workers say unfair criticism would likely send them out the door
An upset employee

If criticism from your manager would tempt you to start sending out resumes, you’re not alone. A bad performance review would have most workers contemplating walking away from their job, a new survey shows.

An overwhelming 85% of employees said they would at least consider quitting after receiving what they perceived to be an unfair job review, according to the survey of 1,000 full-time workers conducted by employee management platform Reflektive. More than half of survey respondents said they were either “very likely” or “extremely likely” to quit due to a poor review.

Such extreme action isn’t surprising considering that more than a third of respondents said a bad review was the experience they were least likely to tolerate in their work environment. Meanwhile, a quarter of respondents said they believed an unfair review had cost them a promotion in the past.

And employees might not be imagining things when they say a bad review is “unfair,” since 68% of survey respondents admitted they had at some point let bias impact a performance review.

To avoid being blindsided by a bad review, most respondents — 92% — said they wanted feedback more often than just during their manager’s yearly performance evaluation. In fact, 49% said they wanted feedback from their boss at least weekly, while 72% said they wanted it at least monthly.

Some survey respondents said they were disenchanted with their current employers, with 24% reporting they wanted to quit right now. The top two reasons given for wanting to leave were “not feeling valued” (34%) and “not being paid enough” (also 34%). In fact, a recent PayScale study also found that most people left their last position for higher pay.

Another 31% of those surveyed by Reflektive said they wanted to quit because they didn’t think they had an opportunity to advance with their current employer.

When employees do decide to quit, some do so with much fanfare — often because of a high level of frustration with their current company. In fact, of those surveyed who said they intend to quit, 51% said they would do so in a “blaze of glory.” That description meant different things to different people:

  • 78% of respondents said they would create and disseminate an “I Quit” video for social media
  • 18% said they would talk negatively about their coworkers, boss or company
  • 12% said they would go so far as to reveal company secrets

If you are tempted to quit your job, don’t do it impulsively. Instead, think through your plans carefully so you can ease the transition.

Your best option may be to find a new job before quitting, so check out opportunities before you make the move. But if you do choose to leave your current job before finding a new one, or if you choose to take a pay cut in order to go in a new direction, take some time to plot out how you will manage your money during the career change.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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