Posted on December 11, 2014

Top 7 Reasons Employees Leave

Did you know that only 12 percent of employees leave their jobs because they’re dissatisfied with compensation? Noted HR expert and consultant Leigh Branham breaks down the motivations behind the other 88 percent of the workforce and offers tips for retaining top talent.

1. The job is not what the employee expected

This is a common problem that can be mitigated by conducting realistic job interviews with every candidate. Describe the role in detail—including the hard parts—and have the candidate meet with his or her prospective co-workers before being hired. Wells Fargo is known for showing applicants scenarios of angry bank customers early in the hiring process. Some 20 percent of applicants drop out right away, and the 80 percent who remain know exactly what the job entails.

2. The role is a bad fit between person and job

This is often the result of hiring in a hurry. Ultimately, taking the time to conduct pre-assessment screening, engage multiple interviewers and ask behavior-based questions yields better, longer-lasting results than moving quickly to fill an opening. Remember: a business can spend an average of $20,000 every time it has to replace an employee.

3. There’s no feedback or coaching

Sixty-two percent of U.S. workers want more input on their performance, including 90 percent of Millennials who expect feedback once a day. As famed consultant Peter Drucker believed, productivity is the responsibility of the manager—not the worker. So executives and HR professionals need to ensure managers are pulling the right levers and partnering with employees to coach performance.

The best coaching scenarios yield committed employees, not just compliant ones, because:
* The employee has input.
* The conversation is seen as adult to adult.
* The discussion is not just about money but about the bigger picture.
* Feedback is based on results as opposed to personality.
* Performance is an ongoing topic, not merely a yearly talk.
* Difficult conversations are timely, specific and constructive.

4. There’s a lack of career growth or learning

This is particularly an issue among Generation X workers, who tend to stay in roles that offer more opportunities to learn, and Millennials, who understand the need to stay marketable by constantly developing new skills.

Employees want to learn, enjoy their work and see a path for career advancement, and they start to lose interest when a job becomes unchallenging. To keep your top performers, you must know their strengths, ask about their goals, anticipate their restlessness and keep them on a learning curve.

5. Employees don't feel valued or recognized

This can result from a number of factors, including:
* Lack of appreciation or gratitude
* Unfair recognition of a group, rather than individuals (or vice versa)
* Recognition that is too little or too late
* Rewards that lack true meaning
* Insufficient or unfair pay
* Being ignored, controlled, not trusted or not challenged
* Unacceptable physical surroundings or conditions
* Lack of proper tools and resources (including staffing)
* A culture in which non-performers are tolerated and rewarded

Saying “thank you” is important! Employees thrive when managers practice a challenge-achieve-recognize cycle. Good leaders also remember to ask their teams for input, then take action on that feedback.

6. Employees are overworked or stressed out

This has been a growing concern in the past 10 years, but even when resources are tight, employers can put their people first by:
* Conducting regular meetings to discuss coworkers' work-life responsibilities and flextime requests
* Tailoring benefits to the needs of the workforce
* Staging "red zone" interventions to help burned-out employees and allow them time off
* Making special considerations for employees in need or crisis

The simplest thing to remember is this: Care enough to ask how you can help.

7. Employees don't trust senior leaders

This is another issue that has increased in recent years, and with good reason. Senior leaders can appear to be selfish and isolated and to devalue and burn out their employees.

The alternative is for leaders to adopt a servant attitude, nurturing employees and operating from a mind-set of retention, not replacement. The best leaders show that they care about the welfare of the company and the workers more than their own self-interest.

Want to learn more? View a recording of Leigh’s recent webinar.

From talent retention to employee training to HR policies, Paycor’s technology can help you manage the pressure. With solutions ranging from online resources such as HR Support Center to a robust HRM software, application we have the tools you need to keep up with changing trends. Learn more about what we can do for your business.