The Problem of Employee Turnover: 3 Reasons Employees Leave
Corporate America has a retention problem. Employee turnover in businesses across the US could cost companies upwards of $680 billion this year, according to a report by The Work Institute. Recruiting, training, and developing talent is a costly investment. And in a period of full employment, finding the right team members can feel like a near impossible task. This is why it is critical to focus on improving employee retention efforts.
Over the next several weeks we will be diving into the problem of employee turnover: why employees leave, what companies are doing to combat the problem, and tips for decreasing turnover in your organization.
3 Reasons Employees Leave
According to our research, employees leave most often not because they are seeking higher wages but because they are dissatisfied on a deeper level.
- Work/Life Balance. Many employees move on to other opportunities where work/life balance is more greatly valued.
- Bad Boss. Not feeling supported or respected by leadership drives talent away.
- Career Development. At some companies employees simply do not see a path to advancement, so they move on to a company where they see more opportunities for career growth.
What can your organization do to combat these three challenges?
First, examine your company culture. What changes can you make to have better boundaries? Can your leadership set a work/life balance precedent by saying they will not answer emails on weekends? Give employees a mechanism to submit ideas to improve work/life balance. This improves communication and demonstrates that it is a high value to leadership. Consider small, practical changes that can be implemented to show employees that you care about not only their work performance but also their personal wellbeing.
Second, examine your leadership. Have talented people been put in management positions but they simply aren’t good managers? Just because someone shows that they are a talented digital marketer does not mean he or she will be able to lead the department well, inspiring subordinates to do their best work. Develop leaders who take ownership, encourage their teams, and aren’t afraid to pivot.
Third, examine your opportunities. Do team members know that if there is not a clear path to advancement that they can make requests, suggestions, and there is an open door to present ideas? What professional development opportunities can you provide? Can you increase “on the job” mentoring moments? Some employees simply may not have a path forward at your organization, but many make assumptions.
Martin Hendershot, McKinley Marketing Partners Vice President, Strategic Planning and Operations, explains: “the mistake some people make is they don’t explore [advancement opportunities] internally and they just assume it’s not there.” Make sure your employees know that they can be creative, take initiative, and move into roles that interest and excite them as they grow.
Retaining top talent begins with knowing why people leave in the first place. Get clear on what motivates employee turnover and then start to make adjustments to combat the problem.