7 Causes of Employee Turnover AND How to Fix It
Written by: Justin Reynolds
It costs a lot to hire an employee. On top of salary expenses, there are also benefits to be paid and costs associated with recruiting and onboarding. Additionally, companies also have to deal with a learning curve; it can take as much as two years for a new hire to become completely productive.
All things considered, organizations should do everything within their power to reduce turnover as much as possible.
To do that, you first need to understand the more common reasons employees decide to leave. Here are seven of them:
1. Employees are worked to the bone
Our previous research revealed that nearly 70% of employees feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the week to do their jobs.
Having too much work on their plates week in and week out isn’t exactly motivating, to say the least. Overworked employees will often jump ship to join companies that understand the importance of work-life balance.
The fix: Make sure work is distributed evenly across your organization. If you're not sure whether your employees are overworked, the easiest way to find out is by asking them directly. Use anonymous pulse surveys to figure out whether your employees believe they are responsible for too much work each week. If the bulk of your staff indicates they're overworked, it may be time to hire new employees or at least bring freelancers into the mix.
2. Team members are treated differently
When the boss’s favorite employees start getting treated differently than everyone else, it’s only a matter of time before other workers get angry. You can’t let one employee make their own flexible schedule if no one else is given that privilege.
The fix: Make it a top priority to treat all of your employees the same. Don't play favorites. If your company doesn't have a remote working policy, for example, you can't let one or two employees work from home while expecting everyone else to show up to the office. It's a surefire way to draw the ire of your staff.
3. Workers like making money
Almost 25% of employees would leave their jobs for a 10% raise somewhere else, our previous research revealed.
If your organization offers miserly salaries and hesitates to give raises, chances are members of the team will constantly be on the lookout for an escape.
The fix: Since it costs a lot of money to replace an employee, you are better off giving your workers regular raises. You may also find salary transparency — the practice of letting each employee know what everyone else is making — helpful in keeping employees content.
4. Company culture is toxic
Work culture is strongly correlated with employee happiness. When workers love their company’s culture, they’re happier and more productive. When they dislike the company culture, they’re miserable and unmotivated.
Take a look around. Do your employees seem happy? Or do they seem to be going through the motions?
The fix: If your culture leaves something to be desired, take proactive steps to improve it. Once again, you can use pulse surveys to see what your employees think is the best path forward.
5. Employees hate their bosses
If you notice that a lot of your employees who work under a specific manager are jumping ship, it’s not because your company is so awesome and they simply can’t keep up with it. It’s because the manager is terrible.
Remember, people quit their bosses — not their companies.
The fix: For starters, do your due diligence to increase the chances you hire the right managers in the first place. Just like you're invested in your employees' professional development, you also need to support managerial training initiatives. Finally, you need to keep tabs on your managers to make sure they're doing a good job.
6. There aren’t enough career development opportunities
Employees want to develop professionally. They want opportunities to advance their careers — not just crank out work for the sole benefit of their employer’s wallet.
Our research has found that only 25% of workers feel as though there are ample opportunities for development at their organizations. If you never offer your staff career development opportunities, don’t be surprised when there’s an exodus.
The fix: Show your employees you care about their careers by offering adequate opportunities for growth. Start a mentoring program. Encourage your team to go to relevant conferences. Keep your doors open and make yourself available. Invest in learning and training.
7. Employees aren’t recognized for their hard work
You can’t expect your employees to bust their tails on a daily basis if you take their efforts for granted. When employees aren’t recognized for their contributions — at least every now and again — they may look for an exit.
The fix: Bolster your employee recognition program by showing appreciation in a genuine and sincere manner. Give credit where credit's due.
Chances are if your organization is experiencing high turnover, you’re guilty of at least some of the above.
The good news is that you have the ability to make changes that should encourage employees to stick around for the long haul. The faster you do that, the sooner you’ll see your employee retention stats tick up.
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