Employers saw turnover rates skyrocket in the last few years when many employees chose to leave their jobs — creating a trend dubbed the Great Resignation. For reasons varying from lack of adequate childcare to a desire to change careers, millions of Americans turned in their resignation letters and dramatically altered their work lives.
What causes employees to quit their jobs? Individual motives vary, of course, but there are a number of key reasons many people point to as deciding factors. Here are important reasons why your employees might be thinking about quitting.
Employees Don’t Feel Appreciated
Your employees want to feel like their work matters and that their contributions make a difference. Nobody wants to be a cog in a machine. Rather they want to feel that their contributions directly impact the overall success of the business.
This means recognition in the workplace is essential for motivation. Thus, showing workers that they are valued and respected is essential for keeping them on board. If your employees come to believe that the effort they put into their jobs doesn't make much of a difference, they can experience low morale — leading to high turnover rates for the company.
Employee recognition doesn't have to be an expensive or elaborate ritual. Instead, simply building a culture that thanks workers for a job well done can make a huge difference in how the company functions. Show workers how their work is impacting the company's overall mission. Small, thoughtful gifts — especially personalized ones — can be highly effective, too.
Performance reviews can also play a role in employee recognition. Make sure your employees feel valued by giving them feedback on their performance regularly. When employees get feedback on their work, they can better understand what they are doing well, and what may still need improvement. These meetings can be an opportunity to provide positive reinforcement for a job well done. If you want your employees to stay at your company, ensure that you provide consistent and frequent feedback throughout the year.
High Expectations Without Adequate Support
Motivated employees like to take on challenging tasks and perform them well. However, even the most self-motivated employee can get discouraged if the workload is simply too much for them to handle, or if the support needed to manage the workload is lacking.
For employees to be happy, productive, and loyal, they need to be given a chance to excel. If an employee feels as if more and more work piles up every day, they’ll come to feel there’s no way to win at the job they hold. Help employees feel like their work is meaningful by making sure that it's challenging but still possible for them to accomplish with the resources available.
Make sure that the load assigned to each employee is actually manageable. It’s a good idea to implement growth plans that track and reward hard work and provide reachable milestones. Furthermore, ensure that each employee has the resources they need — whether it’s an assistant, a project management platform, or mentorship — to accomplish their work successfully.
Lack of Communication from Their Company
One of the main reasons employees leave a company is because they feel they’ve been left out of the loop. When major company decisions — such as a reshuffling of teams or a dramatic shift in employee roles — are made without employee input, workers can feel their opinions do not matter to the organization.
Thus, it’s essential to be as transparent as possible with your employees and keep them informed about what’s going on at your organization. Good organizational communication can be achieved through scheduled emails, updates on social media channels like Twitter or Instagram, regular video conferences, or in-person meetings that bring employees up to date and give them a chance to offer feedback or suggestions.
Employers also need to give workers a way to communicate ideas, suggestions, or complaints back to the organization. An open-door policy that allows employees a chance to ask questions or air grievances can help organizations manage disagreements or conflicts. This can greatly diminish turnover, and create a positive work culture where workers can grow professionally.
No Room for Growth and Development
Companies that experience high turnover rates often don’t offer adequate opportunities for career growth for their employees. As a result, workers may feel stuck in their roles and come to believe they will not advance in their careers unless they leave the organization.
Employers need to provide opportunities for workers to grow and develop in their careers. Give employees opportunities to learn — whether that’s by allowing them to take internal or external training courses or helping them develop skills through workshops. A company that provides ongoing training opportunities and a clear path to advancement has a considerable advantage over its competitors when it comes to retaining top talent.
Employee Turnover is Costly for Businesses
Recruiting, hiring, training, and onboarding new employees comes at a substantial cost. Significant investments have to be made — not only financially, but also in terms of time and energy. After all, whenever one employee leaves and another comes on, there’s a steep learning curve for the new recruit.
During the first few weeks, new employees are simply learning the ropes and getting up to speed instead of accomplishing the actual work that needs to be done. It can take weeks, or even months, to fully train an employee. This onboarding period also affects existing employees who have to pick up extra work in the meantime, draining resources from other projects. As a result, it can lead to productivity dropping off for the company as a whole.
Thus, making efforts to retain high-performing employees is highly beneficial for employers, too. To avoid high turnover, employers need to treat employees as an integral part of a bigger team, giving them the tools they need to succeed. It's important to remember that the best way to keep your employees engaged is by treating them like valued individuals. By showing them that they are appreciated, supported, and listened to, employees will be motivated to not only do their jobs well, but to stay loyal to the organization over the long haul.