According to some studies, employee turnover can cost an organization about 33% of an employee’s total compensation, including wages and benefits. It also affects employee morale. There are a lot of reasons good employees leave, including:
1. Rude behavior. Everyday indignities have an adverse effect on productivity. Rudeness, assigning blame, back-biting, playing favorites, and retaliation all aggravate employee turnover. Feeling mistreated is not an enticement for a good work environment.
2. Work-life imbalance. Increasing with economic pressures, organizations continue to demand that one person do the work of two or more people. This is especially true when an organization downsizes or restructures, resulting in longer hours and weekend work. Employees are forced to choose between a personal life and a work life.
3. The job did not meet expectations. It has become common for a job to significantly vary from the initial description and what was promised during the interview stage. When this happens it can lead to mistrust. The employee starts to think, “What else are they not being truthful about?” When trust is missing, there can be no real employee ownership.
4. Job and the employee misalignment. Organizations should never hire employees unless they are qualified for the job and in sync with the culture and goals of the organization. Managers should not try to force a fit. This is like trying to force a size 9 foot into a size 8 shoe.
5. Feeling undervalued. Everyone wants to be recognized and rewarded for a job well done. It’s part of our nature. Recognition does not have to be monetary. The most effective recognition is sincere appreciation. Recognizing employees is not simply a nice thing to do but an effective way to show appreciation, while also reinforcing those actions and behaviors.
6. Coaching and feedback lacking. Effective managers know how to help employees improve their performance and consistently give feedback to all employees. Ineffective managers put off giving feedback—even though they instinctively know that giving and getting honest feedback is essential for growth and building successful teams.
7. Decision-making ability lacking. Far too many managers micromanage. Micromanagers appear insecure regarding their employees’ ability to perform their jobs without the manager directing every move. Organizations need employees to have ownership and be empowered! An organization should give employees latitude to do their jobs by placing trust in them; employees, in turn, should accept that responsibility and embrace that trust with enthusiasm.
8. People skills inadequate. Many managers were promoted because they did their jobs well and got results. However, that doesn’t mean they know how to lead. People skills can be learned and developed, but it really helps if a manager has a natural ability to get along with people and motivate them.
9. Organizational instability. Management’s constant reorganization, changing direction, and shuffling people around disconnects employees from the organization’s purpose. Employees don’t know what’s going on, what the priorities are, or what they should be doing.
10. Raises and promotions frozen. Studies have shown that money isn’t usually the primary reason people leave, but it does rank high when an employee can find a job earning more elsewhere. Raises and promotions are often frozen for economic reasons but are slow to be resumed after the crisis has passed. Organizations may not have a goal to offer the best compensation in their area, but if they don’t, they better pay competitive wages and benefits while making their employees feel valued! This is a critical combination.
11. Faith and confidence shaken. When employees are asked to do more and more, they see less evidence that they will ultimately share in the fruits of their labor. When revenues and profits increase along with workload, organizations should take another look at their overall compensation packages. Employees know when a company is doing well and they expect to be treated as critical enablers of that success. Organizations need to stop talking about employees being their most important asset while treating them as consumables.
12. Growth opportunities not available. A lot of good talent can be lost if the employees feel trapped in dead-end positions. Often talented individuals are forced to job-hop from one company to another in order to grow in status and compensation. The most successful organizations find ways to help employees develop new skills and responsibilities in their current positions and position them for future advancement within the organization.