Employee turnover is a major issue for companies. It creates a lot of stress on the company’s resources and finances. In this article, we look to understand what are the reasons for employees quitting their jobs and what keeps employees from leaving your company.
We usually think about salary, benefits, and work-life balance as the main reasons why people quit their jobs. But there are other factors that can lead to employee turnover, such as lack of recognition or appreciation, low levels of engagement at work, poor relationships with coworkers or managers.
The reasons may seem obvious when we sit and think about it, but often can be the case that we are too slow to develop these ideas and our staff are lured away by other opportunities. Start to think about putting your plans into action as soon as possible. You might also find value in our article Increase Employee Trust – How to Get Your Employees to Trust You.
How To Make an Employee Retention Strategy That Works For Your Company
In the past, employers have been able to rely on a steady supply of new workers from the labour market. But as the labour market tightens, employers are finding it more difficult to find and keep qualified employees.
The reasons for employee turnover vary from company to company and from person to person. The most common reasons are dissatisfaction with work or work environment, lack of opportunity for advancement, inability to get along with coworkers or supervisors, and a better offer from another employer.
Employers can take steps now to develop a strategy that will help them retain employees in the future.
Consider these things when designing your employee retention strategy.
What are the reasons for your staff leaving?
This is a question that has been popping up in the minds of managers, CEOs, and HR executives for years. Often staff will avoid giving you a completely honest answer as to why they are leaving, but finding the honest truth can help your business in the long run.
Try adopting policies such as formal leaving interviews to discuss matters with your leaving employee.
Look to understand the true reasons why they are leaving. Are they unhappy? and is this something that needs addressing immediately? Is the job they are moving to a better opportunity for them?
Addressing the causes of an unhappy staff member who is choosing to leave should be considered a priority if the reasons are just. If one member of staff is unhappy, there is every chance more could feel the same way.
When an employee leaves for a better opportunity we sometimes have to just accept that and wish them luck. They may have obtained a promotion that you was not able to offer or even decided that a fresh start in a new industry is in their best interests.
However, if your staff are leaving for jobs of equal responsibility and maybe even lower pay, then you should consider why this is. This could be a flaw within your organisation’s culture.
Is there a common reason why your staff are leaving?
Look for patterns emerging in the reasons why your staff are leaving. Identify the causes are internal or external factors to your business.
Unhappy and undervalued staff could be a sign of your businesses culture failing. However, losing staff because your competitor is offering significantly more money is something you cannot directly control.
Responding to internal factors is possible, but it might not be an instant fix and it might mean facing some honest truths you would otherwise like to ignore.
Responding to external factors is not always possible and sometimes in doing so could put us under financial restraint. Where possible all factors should be addressed to improve your staff retention but also safeguard your businesses future.
Are certain departments within your business losing more staff than others?
It would be helpful to know what percentage of your exiting staff come from what department. Doing so can highlight any issues that the department is experiencing and work to build an effective solution.
It has been known for issues of staff leaving to be localized to one department, rather than a company-wide issue. This can be down to a number of factors including the nature of work done, the working conditions, prospect opportunities, rate of pay and the management team in charge.
We never like to think our management team has been at fault, but sometimes this can be the case. Individual or small teams of managers that enforce their own toxic culture upon their team, in opposition to the company’s own culture and values. Reports of this should not be overlooked or taken lightly.
Are certain job roles leaving more than others?
In a business, it can be expected for certain job roles and types to have a higher turnover rate than others. Lower skilled and lower-paid jobs are likely to have higher a turnover of staff for reasons such as:
- Staff looking to progress in their own careers
- More money is available elsewhere
- They are not committed to the organisation and industry
- The job does not offer enough personal fulfillment and satisfaction to them
When we lose any member of staff we should care for their reasons for leaving, but sometimes they are beyond our control, particularly in the case of lower-skilled roles.
Replacing lower-skilled staff is often not over complicated and can be done cost-effectively with little resources needing committing in the hiring and training process. However, when we begin to lose our more skilled employees and managers we should start to be more concerned.
Replacing skilled staff can be a more timely and expensive exercise. When we lose staff with a particular set of skills they are likely going to a job role elsewhere where they will utilise the same skills. We should again understand if they are unhappy where they are and what is perceived to be better about the opportunity they are going to.
Skilled staff are an asset to any business, but it is more than just their formal education or skills they bring to the job, it is any additional nuances required to successfully do the job within your business. These nuances can sometimes take a long time for a new employee to fully learn and appreciate and this can impact your company’s productivity and output.
Are your employees paid fairly? and are your competitors offering more?
Having an understanding of what your competitors in the marketplace are paying is crucial in building your employee retention strategy. One of the biggest reasons for employees choosing to move jobs is money.
Some organisations can get away with paying below the industry expectations by nurturing a strong company culture and offering alternative perks such as flexible working, a company car or regular social events.
But where none of these things exists, for many, money will be their primary motivator and if competitors can offer a better package, you could begin to lose your skilled employees who you have invested in.
In the past, some businesses will have been fortunate to have no direct competition within that state or within several hours drive. But with the rise in popularity of remote working and working from home, your employees may now be able to work for your competitor without even leaving their home in the morning.
Do your employees have prospects to progress within the business?
Employees should have the opportunity to progress within a business in order to maintain motivation. You should create opportunities in which they can grow, learn new skills and be challenged in a way that is beneficial for them and the company.
Promotion opportunities may not always come around often but it is important for staff to know that they do exist and they are learning the skills needed to be able to step into these roles when they become available.
When job opportunities become available, before you consult a recruitment agent or advertise online for an external hire, look first at the quality you already possess within your business.
Are employees supported and mentored?
Employees are supported and mentored in many different ways, with the mentor being an important component of employee development. Mentors can be internal or external to the company, but both have the same goal: to help employees succeed in their careers. Mentors provide guidance and advice on a wide range of topics related to work-life, such as career planning, managing stress, setting goals, and how to reach them.
Employees who feel valued, supported and cared for are more likely to show loyalty to their employer. A study by David C. Wyld of Southeastern Louisiana University found that “more satisﬁed employees and more “embedded” workers were less likely to leave”.
Does your business offer additional perks?
Many companies offer a number of benefits to their employees. Examples of these are medical and dental cover, life insurance, sick pay, bereavement leave, personal days, flexible working arrangements, retirement savings plan, tuition covered for further education.
Depending on the employee, each different type of perk can have more or less significance to them, but by not having them there is a risk of losing your valuable employees to other employers who do.
Perks are not just a way to bribe staff into staying but they also provide staff with security and improved job satisfaction. Not only are they a great way to motivate and get more out of your current staff but they are a great way to attract talent to your business.
Does your business take matters like mental health seriously?
There’s no denying that mental health is a priority in today’s society. However, for many companies, mental health is still largely ignored when it comes to their employees. A 2021 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that during the pandemic 31% of employers expanded the ways through which employees could access mental health or substance abuse services.
However, data shared from the Harvard Business Review in 2019 reports that 200 million workdays are lost due to mental health conditions each year and almost 60% of employees have never spoken to anyone at work about their mental health status.
When employees know they can count on their company to support them when they’re trying hard to be the best or experiencing issues, they feel like valued team members.
Is your business flexible in its approach to staff needs?
Flexibility for your staff can come in a variety of ways, but at its core is showing an awareness that not all staff members are the same. We are all unique individuals who might need certain things in order to do our job to the best of our ability and fit our job in with our lifestyle.
Examples of where your staff might want you to be flexible as an employer include working around childcare, taking the kids to school, hospital appointments or preferring to work remotely.
A key element to building a strong company culture is the flexibility you can offer to your employees and where you can support them in making their lives easier to manage work with everyday life, you can be rewarded through improved loyalty, productivity and motivation.
What is a Great Company Culture?
A company’s culture is the sum of its values, norms, and customs. A company’s culture can be seen by its employees through the way they are treated, what they are expected to do, and what they are rewarded for.
Great company culture is one that motivates employees to produce excellent work. It also makes it easier for them to attract top talent. A good company culture will foster creativity and innovation among employees by providing a collaborative environment that fosters ideas.
The culture of a company can be seen in how employees interact with each other and with customers. Good company culture will have happy employees who are satisfied with their jobs and feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.
A strong company culture breeds staff happiness, motivation and productivity. With engaged staff who feel they are all aiming towards a common goal whilst seeing the benefits for their own career, a company can go from strength to strength and expect lower staff turnover.
As a business owner, it can be difficult to keep your employees from leaving your company. The best way to keep your employees from leaving your company is to make sure they are happy. This means that you should be willing to listen to their concerns and address them. You should also be willing to give them the opportunity to grow within the company and provide them with a working environment that they feel safe, valued and secure within.