The Real Reasons Your Employees are Leaving, Part 2

fly awayLast week, we published an article titled “The Real Reasons your Employees are Leaving You” and it was pretty popular. In fact, while many of you reading this right now are talent acquisition professionals (meaning recruiters, staffing pros, Human Resources workers or some other “personnel” type), many of the comments we got were from employees themselves, agreeing with some of our assessments (see the full article here).

We also received an infographic from Bolt Insurance, that talks about the very same issues and presents us with some new startling statistics from well-known companies like Gallup and The American Psychological Association.

One of the most interesting tidbits states that for an employee making $8 per hour, the cost of turnover is $5,500! That was surprising to me, especially since it would take said employee 17 weeks to earn that much. A senior-level exec, according to the infographic, costs the organization 400 percent their annual salary. Bam!

So, if money is the reason that employers should care about retention (it isn’t, but it gets their attention), then isn’t money the reason that employees leave? Not necessarily, sayeth this set of stats. Here are the reasons, from most common…to least.

Too much and not enough. At 43 percent each, tied for first place “heavy workload” and “few opportunities for advancement and growth” point out a bit of a dichotomy for employers and employees. As unemployment has gone up, turnover has decreased, but that only makes the workload heavier for employees who remain. But with budgets tight, promotions and room to grow within companies have shrunk, leaving those carrying the heaviest loads feeling exhausted but unchallenged.

Fast fix? Increase admin staff or hire a bunch of interns.

Long-term fix? Begin training and onboarding programs that actually work. Invest in time and cost saving technologies to reduce workload on remaining workers.

Unrealistic job expectations. Interestingly this is a separate category than “heavy workload” but came in nearly as often. Forty percent of employees feel that their bosses have unrealistic job expectations and leave as a result.

Fast fix? Change up your job descriptions to be more accurate.

Long-term fix? Begin the arduous but rewarding process of succession planning, so that upper management understands what is realistic, and what isn’t.

Long hours. Thirty-nine percent of workers stated that long hours were the reason they left. Contrast that with only 8 percent stating that flexibility was a reason for leaving their current work environment. A cursory look would indicate that while work-flex is a tiny bit important to employees, being able to have a life outside of work is what really matters.

Fast fix? Encourage employees to work from home and leave their smart phones on so they can leave at 5.

Long-term fix? Build shared work hours into your company scheduling. When people know that a project can continue after they leave, it creates an easier way to transfer the work to someone else, fostering collaboration as well as reasonable working hours.

It’s not all about the Benjamins. Fifty seven percent of employees don’t feel they receive adequate non-monetary rewards or recognition for their hard work. What the heck employers? This is like the very easiest thing to fix in the world!

Just fix it. Recognize your employees. SEE their work. Sheesh. Reward them any way you can afford to. Trips? Time off? Doughnut party? Definitely a doughnut party. Contrast this with the fact that only 22 percent cited pay and benefits as a reason to leave and you’ll see why I’m sorta ticked this is rated so high.

Check out the full infographic below:

employees leave

in Retention]
Maren Hogan
Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space. Hogan speaks and writes on all career and workforce related subjects. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and SMBs around the globe. Red Branch Media was formed in 2006 as a simple consultancy. Today, the firm is a full-service B2B Marketing Agency that serves clients in the U.K., Africa, China, Israel, Europe and North America. Primarily focused on the Human Resources and Global Workforce vendors, Red Branch Media handles clients of all shapes and sizes.
Google+ Profile