Workers are almost four times more likely to leave a job because they feel their skills are not being used and their career not being developed than because they are unhappy with their salary, according to research.
The survey of 6,000 workers by HR consultancy Reed Consulting found in nearly half their main reason for leaving was because they did not believe their organisation had provided them with sufficient opportunities for personal and career development.
A significant proportion also experienced "job shock", whereby employees leave shortly after joining, primarily because the job has not matched up to their initial expectations or did not offer them the opportunity to use their skills and abilities.
Employers who believed that offering above market rate salaries was the key to recruiting and retaining employees were likely therefore to be disappointed, suggested the consultancy.
Only one in eight employees left their previous organisation because a competitor was offering a better reward package.
Reed Consulting director Laura Frith said: "These findings strongly suggest that employers should consider re-designing the content of roles and introducing job rotation schemes, in order to provide more opportunities for employees to apply their skills and abilities to the benefit of both employer and employee."
Employers needed to have a better understanding of why people were leaving, perhaps by making better use of exit interviews, she added.