The employee turnover or the number of people who leave the organization in a period can cause a long series of issues for the organization. These could include loss of productivity, work, communication, organization goals, cost of recruitment and training, as well as increased anxiety and workload in other employees. Hence, here we will focus on why do employees leave and what we can do to retain them.
Turnovers can be classified into two categories:
Avoidable turnover: This refers to the turnover by employees that could have been prevented by the intervention of organizational actions, such as increase in pay raise or promotion.
Unavoidable turnover: This refers to those turnovers that are unavoidable by everyone, for instance, employee’s or their spouse’s relocation.
Why Do Employees Leave Their Jobs?
Researchers have been trying to understand why good employees quit their organization for over a decade, looking to learn how to reduce avoidable turnovers. Some of the major contributing factors and the top reasons why employees leave are:
- Lack of appreciation: One of the major reasons employees quit their job is because they feel they are not appreciated or valued by the organization.
- To prevent this, recognize and appreciate the successes and hard work of others helps to intrinsically motivate them.
By realizing that they are authorized to take part in the decision-making process, they could be motivated and desire to do their best for the organization.
- Quality of the work: When employees feel bored and unchallenged by the work, their tendency of turnover increases.
- To prevent this, allow job rotation and autonomy to the employees.
When employees get variety in work, and some autonomy to set the deadlines and context of their work, they show a high level of commitment to their organization.
- Burnout: A number of employees leave their job because of burnout, which is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by being overwhelmed by constant work and prolonged stress.
- To prevent this, improve the work-life balance of employees by providing more manageable workloads, work-life balance, and suitable leaves to recharge themselves, they can enjoy their personal life while decreasing their burnout chances. You can also try Self-Determination Theory for the mental well-being of your employees.
- Relationship with management: A survey of over a million employees (Gallup State Of American Workplace Report) stated that they left their job because of their boss and not because of the job itself.
This relationship is also affected by colleagues and team members in a different way, as if more coworkers want to leave the organization, more employees also want to leave due to conformity, solidarity or any other reason.
- To prevent this, Foster healthy communication between management and employees.
This can be achieved with the help of positive feedback training and team building exercises.
- Person-job fit: The lower the compatibility between an employee’s characteristics (psychological & physical needs, goals, values) and those of the specific job, the higher the conflict arises for the employee and the higher will be the turnover
- To prevent this, recruit suitable employees by identifying the right person-job fit.
Management can recruit employees who share goals with the organization vision too and this may help to reduce the employee turnover.
- Lack of career growth: One in three employees stated in the Gallup report said that they left their job because they weren’t getting career growth there. This includes an increase in pay, learning and utilizing new skills, and getting promotions.
- To prevent this, Providing training can help initiate creation of environment where employees can help themselves build up more marketable skills that would increase their professional value and lead to career growth
- Job satisfaction: Employees with low job satisfaction are usually seeking other job opportunities for themselves.
- To prevent this, build employees’ job satisfaction by working on factors such as good pay, friendly working environment, cooperative colleagues, and career counseling.
Bonus tip: Find the patterns behind the purpose of employee turnover:
Finding the hidden or obvious pattern of turnovers within an organization can help to build the appropriate strategies to reduce the turnover.
Employees’ feedback during the process of their turnover helps to reveal this pattern.
Hence, reviewing this feedback can help to build appropriate strategies as well.
There are different internal and external factors that can cause an employee to consider or actually leave their job. The good news is that the management can prevent and manage these factors by proactively working on identifying and meeting some of the vital needs of their employees.