How To Stop Employee Turnover by Changing Your Workplace Culture
In my 25 years of HR Management, I think I’ve heard just about every reason for an employee to resign. But surprisingly enough, I didn’t usually hear the whole truth until after the employee was completely out the door. Most exiting employees are very careful not to burn bridges, not to leave a legacy of cutting and running… and not to tell you the truth.
Maybe you can support your current exit process by saying, “Well we monitor happiness by asking employees to complete Exit Surveys. We have our HR team visit with the resigning employee to see what we could have done better; and then we throw a going away party during lunch so everyone can say how much they’ll miss the employee. And at the end of the month we require HR to send us a report that captures all the exit survey data.” So, let me guess what you do next. The data is analyzed and you determine they all left because their new employer paid more, offered better benefits and gave them more days off.
It may come as a great surprise to everyone, but none of those reasons make my Top 7 list of why employees quit……… Its all about culture……..
7 Reasons Why Everyone is Quitting
Don't give them directions to their next job.
Disparate Culture: Whenever I use the word disparate, I mean no one is operating on the same page. The workplace is disjointed. There is no common theme for how business is done, no shared code of ethics, no shared mission and vision, absolutely no alignment to each other. Work on a process to create alignment.
Bad Managers: Victor Lipman, a writer for Forbes, tells us “People Leave Managers, Not Companies.” A bad manager is like one moldy strawberry in the pack. If you leave it with the good strawberries, they will all become moldy. If you are tracking attrition to one particular department, then take some preventative measures. If you’re the head of that division, invite a few employees to a fact finding meeting. Learn what it will take to keep them happy and engaged….and then train that manager.
Disengagement: Disengaged employees don't care about their company. They complain about others, make excuses for their poor performance, and spread the disengagement virus all over the office. One disengaged employee can have a huge negative impact on a team’s progress and happiness. The old saying “one bad apple can spoil the bunch” holds true in the workplace. Get rid of the bad apple.
Boredom: In an article titled “Bored People Quit”from Rand in Response, the author makes a common sense observation: “There are many reasons other than boredom that someone will quit. Your company might suck or be headed towards suck. This person might randomly get an offer that fulfills their life’s dream. There is a bevy of unpredictable reasons that someone will leave, but boredom is an aspect of their daily professional life you can not only easily assess, but also fix….” So ask the question, “Are you bored?” Then be prepared to fix it.
Lack of Opportunities Its hard to talk about opportunities without mentioning empowerment. Employees are at the top of their game when they are empowered. Only then can they gain the skills required for success. No one starts at the bottom and moves to the top without someone inspiring them to do so. Your best employees will seek out power, not the power that is earned by wining a competition, but the power of encouragement that enables them to be successful and fulfilled. Start empowering your up-and-coming leaders.
Work / Life Balance will become one of the main reasons to work for a company in the very near future. I know you are already tired of hearing about those darn Millennials whose “demands” seem to supersede everyone else’s needs. But the fact is, everyone, no matter what their age, needs flexibility in their work lives. The only differences between baby boomers and millennials is that millennials aren’t afraid to tell you what they want. And, if they don't get it, they will quit. Boost your retention numbers by creating a more flexible work environment.
Toxic Work Environment is most likely the main reason employees quit. If you can see your company in numbers 1-6 above, you have a toxic work environment, one where no one can be successful, grow their career, work on meaningful projects, get recognized for performance, and be respected for their need for a balance in personal and work life.
When communication is open and feedback is encouraged, all you have to do is listen. If employees are given the environment for growth and success, your attrition rate can become nonexistent. But it takes time, dedication to the cause and focus on creating a workplace that everyone wants to be a part of. Seek out tools that will give your company a jump-start by measuring success and providing your company with a road map to follow. And remember...great companies aren’t born….they are created.