Attracting talent is one of the biggest challenges in business today and while companies spend thousands on recruitment strategies to achieve just that, many don’t appear to be working quite as hard to keep the people they have. In fact, every day other businesses are working hard to lure your talent away.
If you are looking for a quick-fix answer to your employee retention problem here, you’re out of luck. But, if employee retention is something you are keen to improve, read on for valuable insight.
The most important place to start when it comes to employee retention is understanding why your good employees are quitting. This is the elixir you need to go right to the heart of the problem, instigate change and get your employee retention rate up.
If you are serious about keeping your best people, you’ll need to grasp that a multitude of issues plays a part in the tenure of your employees. Rarely there is a single reason that makes a good employee throw in the towel.
Here are a few reasons good employees quit. In most cases, it will be a combination of these that are causing your best staff to leave.
1. A Lack of Appreciation or Recognition
It is common for longstanding staff to receive less and less recognition for the good work that they do. They almost become part of the fabric of the building and despite their continued best efforts, they have to achieve something extraordinary to attract any form of recognition.
All too often, it’s not until a good longstanding staff member has left, that they, in terms of what they bring to the team and their work, are fully appreciated.
2. A Lack of Trust
Psychological safety at work is a fundamental basic need. People need to feel trusted in their work environment. Micromanaging and gossiping kill that. An overzealous regime suppresses talent and gossiping creates a toxic work environment.
A lack of trust keeps employees bound in a straitjacket. It crushes motivation and creativity. In this kind of environment, it’s really no wonder employees decide to leave.
3. No Opportunity for Growth and Development
Feeling stuck in a dead-end job is one of the most common reasons people leave a company. Speaking to Fast Company about what happens when there is no career advancement opportunities in a job, New York City-based executive coach Shefali Raina, said “Feeling stuck and ineffectual fosters frustration and triggers a flight response in our brains.”
4. Not Feeling Part of the Bigger Picture
Online HR and employee engagement community, Gethppy, report that the second most important thing that employees want from a job is to feel ‘in’ on things, whereas employers rate this as last on the list of things they think their employees want. This shows a huge disconnect between employers and employees.
Feeling part of something is very important to employees. Feeling emotionally excluded is an issue and is usually indicative of a toxic workplace that values intimate chats amongst ‘in’ groups. It is up to leadership to address this, not employees. If an employee feels like an outsider at work, it won’t be long before they head to a place where they can feel included again.
5. Bad Managers
Actually, I don’t quite agree with the statement that ‘people don’t leave jobs they leave managers.’ People actually leave bad cultures that allow bad managers to exist. But yes, when a manager conducts themselves unprofessionally – ignores employees, has favourites, treats people discourteously, micromanages, doesn’t care, takes the kudos for other people’s work and so on – it’s only a matter of time before employees get fed up and leave.
6. Poor Communication
All relationships take a nosedive without good communication – that goes for both in work and out. Strong communication is at the centre of employee engagement and meaningful relationships at work. Quite simply, good internal communication prevents turnover.
People don’t look forward to coming to work when communication is poor and there are no meaningful relationships. Disengaged employees don’t hang around; they leave.
Nothing burns employees out more than overworking them.
Overworking employees is also highly counter-productive. Overworked employees make mistakes, are more isolated from their teams (they spend less time connecting with them) and are too overwhelmed to focus.
This kind of culture all too often leads to a downward spiral with health – less sleep, poor health habits, such as eating junk food and drinking alcohol in the evenings to unwind.
Overwork leads to poor employee well-being and unhappiness in the workplace, and this ultimately causes people to leave.
8. A Feeling of Stagnation
According to the global employment website, Monster, most employees yearn to feel competent in their roles, but a problem arises when they become too comfortable.
If staff are bored, they become demotivated. It affects work rate and ironically renders them less able to take on challenges. It also indicates there is no active learning and development programme in the workplace. If ambitious employees can’t see how they will progress, they will go somewhere else.
9. Favouritism – the Wrong People Get Promoted and Hired
Being passed over for a promotion by someone who is clearly not up to the job, is a massive insult. This also applies to new hires, brought in to do a job that could have promoted an existing employee. The situation is made even worse when promises of promotion are made and broken. Favouritism and a failure to honour commitments are genuine reasons good people leave.
10. Uninspiring or Toxic Workplace Culture
Last, but by no means least, the culture of an organisation plays perhaps the biggest part of all in employee retention. An uninspiring or toxic workplace culture is the fundamental driver of high staff turnover. Faced with a toxic culture, it’s usually high performers that jump ship first.
In an article for LinkedIn, author and keynote speaker Brigette Hyacinth says “The biggest concern for any organization should be when their most passionate people become quiet.”
Now more than ever before, leaders need to be addressing the causes of high staff turnover. It starts with listening to the reasons why employees are leaving and having the integrity to change the organisational culture for the better.
About the Author:
Annie Button is a writer who specialises in business growth and development. Annie enjoys sharing her experiences and knowledge through blog posts in a variety of publications. Follow Annie on Twitter: @anniebutton1994