WHY GOOD EMPLOYEES LEAVE
By Ken Schmitt & Victoria Willenberg
Whether you partner with an executive search firm like TurningPoint, or use your own in-house hiring manager, filling an open position and onboarding your new hire can be expensive. This is why we emphasize retention as an important piece of the hiring process for our clients. You don’t want to invest resources into bringing on talent that will march out the door 6 months later. Leaders wanting to avoid that hire-replace cycle must understand why good employees leave in the first place. Remember, employers, nobody wants to job hunt. If your employees are going through the painstaking process to leave your organization (or YOU!), you need to know why!
WHY GOOD EMPLOYEES LEAVE
We’re all familiar with the old saying, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.” “One of the biggest problems in the working world is that an invisible, impermeable wall can build up between what employees would love to say and what the leadership team can stand to hear,” according to Forbes. It becomes very clear very quickly whether or not your boss is open to ideas and constructive criticism. Employees are not motivated if they are simply expected to tow the party line.
On the other hand, micromanagement is another complaint we often hear about leadership. If employees are not given autonomy or room for collaboration, they feel like foot soldiers, rather than team members. Others were unhappy with their boss’ hiring and promotion policies. Bringing on new hires that do not have the skills or experience to add to or fill holes in the team, frustrates the existing staff. As an experienced executive recruiting firm, we tell our clients to have a clear understanding of what their team needs/is lacking to be successful. This is one of the driving forces behind our search for their new talent. Unfortunately, few bosses realize they are the reason why their employees are running toward the exit. Therefore, it is the company’s job to have procedures in place to manage management and track which departments are consistently losing staff.
LACK OF GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES AND PROMOTIONS
Lack of growth and promotions is also high on the list of why good employees leave. If opportunities for growth are only given to a specific few or the advancement track isn’t clearly laid out, employees become disheartened, unmotivated, and resentful. Additionally, being given only small, incremental goals rarely pushes employees out of their comfort zones or encourages them to learn new skills and take on new challenges. Ultimately, they feel stagnant and the job becomes monotonous. What is the point of doing or learning more if no one cares or rewards the effort?
Employers: Here’s a little secrete we are going to let you in on… A better job rarely just lands in your employees’ laps. Chances are they’ve been unhappy for a while and have been actively (possibly aggressively) looking for a way to get out of Dodge. Good employees leave for much more than money. While there are certain benefits that make it easier to take the plunge, it is the access to opportunities for growth, an incredible team, or a supportive boss that sends them packing.
LACK OF RECOGNITION OR REWARD
In a world where everyone receives a trophy for showing up, it’s easy to brush-off the idea of rewards and recognition. However, to your employees, those things matter. High-quality results produced within an expected timeframe is the nature of the job; but rewarding good work is never a wasted effort. As we mentioned earlier, your employees will not be inspired to go above and beyond if they receive nothing in reward for their hard work. Be proactive, employers! Create reward programs as an incentive for your team to take extra classes, attend trainings, or take on leadership roles on projects. Appreciation is a valuable currency in the workplace!
The Ultimate Recruiting Cheat Sheet: Attract, Hire, and Retain the employees you want!
OTHER STAFF MEMBERS
Ideally, your co-workers are on your team- literally and/or metaphorically. In the best situations, they are working alongside you to execute the company’s mission and successfully complete a project. In the worst situations, they are the reason you wish you worked remotely. Bosses, you have the power to make or break the office dynamics. Hiring the wrong people for the wrong reasons or refusing to fire people who are not doing their job or are toxic, will eventually cause your good employees to quit.
Never allowing your staff to “clock out” at the end of the day has far-reaching consequences. Research has shown that our “always on”culture is causing health issues such as chronic stress and fatigue, as well as undermining job performance. A recent survey of 600 working adults found that “participants spent an average of eight hours a week reading and responding to company-related emails after hours. However, it was the expectation to read and respond to emails that caused greater issues.” Burn out, illness, and resentment will breed in organizations where employees are expected to be always on. To make matters worse (and add fuel to the resentment fire), many employers are simultaneously promoting a work/life lifestyle through corporate communications about culture. No one likes a hypocrite and your good employees will quit.
Employees will rarely let their boss know if they are unhappy. They learn early on if their input will be appreciated or not. They fear retaliation, being labeled a “complainer” or the disappointment of it falling on deaf ears. Most will simply start looking for a new place to work- even while still working for you. If you want to retain your key employees, it is essential you know what is tempting them to look elsewhere.
Employers: Attract, Hire, and Retain Top Talent with our FREE Ultimate Recruiting Cheat Sheet