7 Toxic Workplace Issues That May Be Causing High Turnover

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For all business leaders, driving high employee engagement and keeping employee turnover in check are the most complicated challenges. An organization is only as good as its people, defining competencies and not the machinery. It becomes imperative for organizations to retain their best talents and keep them engaged.

Speaking of employee turnover in the US, the Bureau of Labour Statistics Report shows that the annual turnover rate is over 57%. Per industry experts, an employee turnover rate beyond 10% can be disastrous. Besides, according toGallup , no more than 40% of US employees are actively engaged in their jobs. 

This jobs report implies that the ordinary strategies employers have been using for high retention and engagement have only had limited success. According to Forbes, the cost of employee turnovercan be as high as 33% of an employee’s annual wages. So, if 20 or 30 employees quit in a calendar year, you could well imagine how whopping these costs can be. 

Given that, companies also need to reflect on their cultures corresponding to devising new tactics for retention and engagement. Some workplace issues may be responsible for high turnover and disengagement. 

Keep reading, and this blog will highlight common workplace issues and shortcomings that directly impact retention and employee engagement levels.

Common Workplace Problems That Can Lead to High Turnover

1. Micromanagement

Leadership styles based on micromanagement are proving ineffective and problematic in contemporary times. If we look at workforce demographics, millennials represent the largest working generation, and they love the idea of empowerment and flexibility. Micromanagement can lead them to resign from their jobs. 

Hence, transformational leadership that works on macro-management and offers excellent flexibility is the need of the hour. To substantiate, perBuilt-In , more than 75% of employees prefer to be in flexible work arrangements. To add, around 36% of employees will consider leaving their job if they do not have the privilege of remote working options. 

As an employer, you should be willing to experiment with different leadership styles and then evaluate the impact of each of them. For incorporating different verticals of leadership, it is evident that you first need to build on your knowledge of how different leadership styles work. 

2. Office Politics

Office politics is accurate, and it occurs in every organization in varying magnitudes. It would be surreal if we say that you can uproot all the basis of office politics holistically. It will always exist in some form, contributing to genuine workplace problems. 

However, you need to ensure that office politics is kept under check as a business leader. When managers or supervisors in the organization indulge in favoritism, it deprives employees of equal opportunities for growth and advancement. It will only contribute to a greater feeling of alienation among employees. 

Office politics can contribute to recurring workplace conflicts choking the working environment with toxicity. In such a work environment, turnover rates are bound to be high. 

Moreover, acts of favoritism or bias in the workplace can also threaten the idea of diversity and inclusion. As a leader, you need to ensure that project managers do not indulge in office politics and fairly represent everyone’s performance. Greater accountability needs to be improved among managers.

3. Lack of Appreciation

Appreciation is one of the biggest motivators for us. When we are appreciated for what we do, we are brimming with optimism and inspiration. Moreover, appreciation and recognition drive us to commit greater dedication to supersede our previous performance. It works the same way for the employees in your organization.

According toHubSpot , almost 70% of employees believe that they would work with greater dedication if they received adequate appreciation. Besides,Smarp concludes that recognition from managers or employers is the most significant factor for 37% of employees. 

The bottom line is that appreciation directly correlates with the motivation, happiness, and satisfaction of employees. A recent survey stated that for almost 70% of employees, their decision to continue in their current organization is based on workplace recognition. 

Thus, to retain your employees, you need to introduce a dynamic employee recognition and rewards system. For instance, starting an employee of the month program, giving credit where due, and offering incentives or personalized rewards can be some great ideas to introduce.

4. Neglect for Sustainable Practices

If we talk about millennials and Gen Z employees, they want their organizations to embrace the idea of sustainability. Not just sustainability, but they want their organizations to work for a greater purpose of collective welfare. 

PerJLL , 70% of millennials have expressed the preference for working for an organization that has an impressive sustainability agenda. Both consumers and employees now seem to have a greater inclination towards environmentally responsible businesses.

In such a scenario, when employees feel that their company is not doing enough for the environment, they may take a stance to resign. It would be best to acknowledge that the integration of sustainability into your strategic business objectives can be the key to high retention. 

When you keep sustainability at the epicenter of your business activities, your employees will take pride in being a part of your business. This pride will translate into prolific loyalty to you. 

5. Uninspiring Leadership 

Employees show more significant commitment to continuing in an organization when they feel inspired by their leaders. Employees look up to their leaders for direction, support, and conduct to evolve professionally. However, employees have nothing to look up to when leaders are ineffective and uninspiring. 

As a leader, you ought to be an acceptable role model for your employees, setting standards for exemplary conduct. Your vision, traits, compassion, and ability to stand by your team amid crises should inspire them to bring out the best in them every day. Moreover, you need to be an approachable and empathetic leader.

To substantiate, theState of Workplace Empathy Report  states thatmore than 90% of corporate employees feel that empathy in the workplace is significant. Employees expect greater empathy from their workplaces after the pandemic crisis, and you should deliver on that. 

6. Lack of Transparency

Transparency in the workplace is another key determinant of high engagement and retention. More than half of the global workforce feels that their organizations are not transparent enough, as cited by Forbes.

Furthermore, according to Kudos , the top management’s lack of transparent and open communication is toxic. It is the key reason why more than 45% of employees want to look for a new employer. 

Transparency in the workplace, especially in communication strategies, is salient to high retention. A careful, cautious, and meticulous approach is required to rethink the company culture on the lines of balanced transparency.

7. The Limited Scope of Learning and Development 

Workplace learning and development opportunities are among employees’ most basic anticipations. They want their organization to provide them with excellent prospects of skill development and knowledge acquisition. Besides, they want to evolve to be more competitive and accomplished via learning constantly.

One of the most striking qualities of millennials and Gen Z employees is their remarkable eagerness and conviction to learn. They expect continuous learning opportunities from their employers.Lorman concludes that workplace learning is of utmost significance for 87% of millennials. 

In fact, per Rallyware , 94% of employees say that they would not quit their current job if they were entitled to adequate and appropriate learning opportunities. Thus, as an employer, you should look to enrich your employees’ learning experience through mentoring and practical skill development programs.

To conclude, trends suggest that the post-pandemic era might witness a boom in employee resignations. Hence, you need to look at novel strategies for solving the complex problems of employee turnover. As explained above, you can fix this by working to eliminate existing workplace issues that hinder your retention efforts. 

Jessica Robinson is the Content & Outreach Manager at The Speaking Polymath.


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By Jessica Robinson