Why Are Your Employees Leaving?

When someone unexpectedly quits their job, it really shakes up the company. Remaining employees find themselves trying to pick up the extra work for the next few months until a replacement is found. People are talking around the office as to why he/she quit, effecting moral and making others question their reasons for sticking around. Managers ask the remaining employees to step it up, without making an effort to understand the reason behind why someone just quit and/or addressing moral with the rest of the team.

Those very same managers who are supposed to prevent and correct the causes of their employees quitting, are sometimes the reason why employees do in fact quit their job. How do you increase employee retention? First you have to get down to the root of the problem. Dig your way through the past and find out why these employees were quitting and work hard to change it.

According to many studies and surveys, these are the top reasons why people quit their jobs.

1. The job wasn’t what they expected. This has probably happened to everyone at least once. You get told in the interview what to expect and come in to find out your job is nothing like that. This is called “post-hire-shock”. A little over 40% of all american workers quit their job within the first six months.

How do you fix this? Start off with giving your candidates a realistic preview of what their job will be like, no sugar coating. In your interview, give the candidate role play situations to answer. For example, ask them what they would do if confronted by an irate customer. This will test their customer service skills and give them an idea as to what they might have to deal with.

2. They did not see much opportunity for career advancement. A survey conducted by Linkedin with almost 7,400 members, found that the number one reason people quit their jobs is because they sought out greater opportunities elsewhere. While it would be convenient to keep your same effective employees in the same roles forever, it’s not realistic. Your top employees will want to move up internally throughout their career in the company. If it’s not possible to move up internally, then they will look somewhere else.

Make sure your employees are aware of the opportunities for growth in the organization. Is HR sending out monthly emails internally before they look elsewhere? Charles from accounting should not find out that a senior account position is open from Dan at the coffee machine.

If there aren’t new roles available, think about other ways you can develop them including: training, new responsibilities with higher pay, mentoring, leading a new project team, etc.

3. They weren’t getting paid enough. One of the BEST ways you should show your employees that you care about them is to give them a competitive salary and benefits. A survey was done by the Society of Human Resources Management of more than 2,100 CFOs from companies in the top 20 largest U.S. markets. They agreed that inadequate salary and benefits is causing high employee turnover. Can you guess which age of people are complaining the most? Studies show that 52% of people ages 18-29 are saying that their salary is not enough and 38% of people ages 30-44 agree with them.

People want to see that their experiences are going to pay off. Money does not grow on trees to pay their employees. How do we justify paying are employees more so that they won’t leave? First we have to understand how much is costs to recruit, train and hire new employees:

  • For entry-level employees, it costs between 30-50 percent of their annual salary to replace them.
  • For mid-level employees, it costs upwards of 150 percent of their annual salary to replace them.
  • For high-level or highly specialized employees, you’re looking at 400 percent of their annual salary.

Take these costs into consideration when hiring a new employee and/or when you have annual reviews. In conclusion, your employees need to know that you value them. It’s not good enough to just give them a pat on the back with nothing to show for it. You should be providing opportunities for career advancements along with a competitive salary. Be honest when hiring your employees so that they’re not caught off guard in the long run. To ensure your employees don’t leave you, be proactive in noticing when they’re disengaged and have a plan to improve retention rates. 


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