The job market is slowly but surely recovering from the 2007-2009 recession. As hiring increases across the United States, more and more people are leaving their jobs voluntarily. In fact, according to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, since the recession, the number of voluntary separations has increased by 49 percent. So, how can you as an employer stop or reduce this significantly increasing voluntary turnover? One answer is by analyzing the reasons that employees are leaving. This can be done through an exit interview, ensuring that there is a conversation and not just an automated questionnaire. The difficult part once you have found out why employees are leaving, is to address the issues and come up with long-term solutions.
As a consultant, I have seen three common reasons that employees voluntarily leave an organization:
Reason #1: Lack of or Limited Career Development Opportunities
Solution #1: Many employees believe that the only way to move up the job ladder is to switch employers. Show your employees that you are invested in their career development and that your company is a place where they can grow and thrive by providing them with challenging, clear career paths and the tools and resources they need to move along that career path. Employees want to know what their future looks like and how they can get there.
Reason #2: Poor Leadership
Solution #2: I’m sure you’ve heard the saying before that employees don’t leave a company, they leave their managers. Make sure you have the right leadership team in place. It is vital to have leaders who not only drive the business, but also motivate and inspire their employees. Leaders must exude the company values and “walk the talk”. If employees discover that what the company’s leadership says is conflicted with what it actually practices, they will find it hard to trust the mission, vision, and values of the organization.
Reason #3: Not Feeling Valued
Solution #3: Make sure that you are rewarding your employees competitively. Setting the right compensation and benefits is important. Obtain current data on industry compensation packages, including benefits and bonus structures. Compensation and benefits packages should be reviewed at least annually, paying attention to market trends.
In addition to compensation, keep in mind that employees want more than a paycheck from their job. This is where recognition, which is different from rewards, comes into play. Show your employees that you appreciate them and encourage them through mutual respect and praise. Make sure to use a combination of formal and informal timely recognition that is both frequent and specific.
Overall, to reduce turnover, employees need to feel they are appreciated, valued, and heard. By addressing the three reasons above, you will be on your way to attracting, engaging, and retaining your employees!