Why so many employees call it quits and what you can do about it

Do you ever wonder how much it costs when an employee quits their job? The Society for Human Resources (SRHM) predicts that “employers will need to spend the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s wages in order to find and train their replacement.”

So employee retention is really about being financially responsible. With this in mind, we share the 4 biggest reasons employees quit their jobs and offer recommendations for reducing turnover.

Lack of training

Remember the last time you started a new job? The feeling can be terrifying! Employees appreciate knowing what is expected of them and how to be successful at their jobs. Oftentimes, employees are hired and thrown straight into work where they must “sink or swim.” A lack of training can also fester into other issues, quickly provoking employees to quit their jobs.

Recommendation: Review your strategies for training with simple questions such as “Do my employees exhibit the skills necessary to successfully fulfill their job duties?” or “Can employees successfully complete their job duties without seeming confused or lost?” (The larger goal is to strategize for future training techniques.)

Feeling underappreciated

Showing simple appreciation for employees is one of the most underestimated strategies for retaining a strong workforce. Employees of all levels are often hungry to know they are appreciated by their employer. More often than not, underappreciated employees feel disconnected from the work they achieve because they feel it goes unnoticed. This disconnect results in employees who go through the motions of their jobs rather than caring for the success of the organization. It also signifies a ticking clock: It is only a matter of time before this employee burns out and quits.

Recommendation: Host a lunch for employees dedicated solely to acknowledging their hard work. When you take time to show admiration and encouragement, employees will feel valued and proud of their organization.

Feeling of constant, meaningless work

Employees need to know how and why they contribute to the success of your organization. American author and business consultant James C. Collins once said “it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.” Employees who like their work is meaningless will have no loyalty to their position or the organization. Every job holds a certain value and though not every job can hold immense importance, employees who feel like their job lacks value tend to be in high-turnover positions.

Recommendation: Find a simple way to show employees that their work is not meaningless (which is different from showing them they are appreciated!). Several things to try: call a meeting focused on explaining job importance, hang a poster showing the outcome of employees’ work within the organization’s model, or put employees in contact with people they help so they see the impact of their work.

Lack of workplace community

A workforce is only strong when a healthy community exists. Too often, organizational leadership teams produce important goals but do not create a workforce culture to successfully carry them out. In return, culture and positivity diminishes over time and can lead to unhealthy community among coworkers. Sadly, many work spaces provide atmospheres akin to a nasty episode of “Gossip Girl.” When the atmosphere turns poisonous, employees have no regret or remorse after quitting their job.

Recommendation: Strive for organization citizenship behavior (“a person’s voluntary commitment within an organization or company that is not part of his or her contractual tasks”). Organizational citizenship behavior is becoming a golden standard for companies who want to reduce retention while creating a sense of pride among employees. Take time to host group initiative sessions geared towards building community within your organization.

If you would like to further discuss different methods for focusing on increasing retention within your organization, please reach out to BCN Services. We pride ourselves in helping organizations maximize on their potential through building strategies to increase retention.

Sources and more information: Allen, David. “Retaining Talent.” Shrm.org. Society for Human Resource Management, Sept. & Oct. 2010. Web. 22 Jan. 2017. Bateman, T. S., & Organ, D. W. (1983). Job satisfaction and the good soldier: The relationship between affect and employee “citizenship.” Academy of Management Journal, 26(4), 587-595.

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Alex Pattenaude, HR Administrator