I OFTEN hear that line during the last two months of the year as most Filipinos receive their 13th-month pay or Christmas bonus during these months. Although the scenario of employees resigning during the Christmas season is a normal occurrence in most organizations, this can still ruin the holiday mood of supervisors, managers and human resource personnel since they need to process these resignations and look for replacements.
There are various reasons employees leave their companies, but when the decision to leave falls on the last quarter of the year, most will tender their resignations after receiving their bonuses. Aside from December, June is the other month where most employee resignations happen because companies that give midyear bonuses usually release it at this time of the year.
Filipino employees tend to wait for these months so that they can get more, aside from the usual last pay or separation pay, or both before leaving. Not because they are greedy but because some have difficulty making ends meet, and any additional income will help manage their financial obligations.
In reality, employees can resign any time, regardless if there are bonuses or none. Employees will have their unique reasons for leaving. In my experience as a human resource practitioner, the common reasons employees leave are 1. Desire for a better salary; 2. Due to personal reasons, which include starting a business, taking further studies, prioritizing health and leaving the country for good; 3. Pursuing other employment, either local or foreign; 4. Seeking career growth; 5. Unresolved leadership, culture and political issues, 6. Burnout; and 7. Nature of work. Other reasons which emerged during the pandemic are the availability of flexible work arrangements, the proximity of work location to home and the inclusion of wellness benefits like wellness leave, which gives the employee personal time off to take care of physical and mental health, which do not require medical consultation. The Philippine Statistics Authority, through its quarterly LABSTAT Updates, also has a comprehensive list of reasons for quitting.
It is crucial to understand why employees resign because it can adversely affect the workplace. Management scholars have stated that employee turnover adversely affects organizational functioning and performance (Shaw, Gupta & Delery, 2005, as cited in Klotz & Bolino, 2016), and that turnover has productivity and cost implications (Porter & Rigby, 2021). A separated employee may cost anywhere from 16 to 213 percent of their annual salary (Frye et al., 2018).
What I shared are not discoveries. Most organizations may even have a detailed list of why employees leave. I think the more pressing concern is not why they go but what we are doing to make them stay.
Cholo Javier is a Doctor of Business Administration student at De La Salle University and an associate dean of Assumption College San Lorenzo. The views expressed above are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official position of De La Salle University, and its faculty and administrators.