Keeping top performers from pursuing other job opportunities is crucial to maintaining success in an organization. Below are the top five reasons employees give when asked why they are leaving their current employer, and strategies business owners can implement to retain their top talent.
1. Companies lose sight of their employees' value. They maintain the mindset that an employee should feel lucky to have a job, especially in this economy, and are easily replaceable. Employees may feel they are fortunate to be employed, but they also express a desire to belong to an organization that cares about their well-being. When employees feel they are only padding the pocket of their employer and their basic needs of belonging and esteem aren't being met, they are primed to quit.
2. Companies that have exited the start-up phase and become stagnant in developing new ideas. Businesses must remember that employees like being part of a winning team where they can leave a mark. A company must continue to innovate, launch new products and services, develop a pipeline of new contracts, and groom current employees to participate in these endeavors, if they want to remain competitive, both in the marketplace and in recruiting.
3. Companies do not properly train employees. Employees want to be set up for success -- not failure. They recognize that with all new positions, they must demonstrate the willingness to be a self-starter and go-getter. Improperly or untrained employees express frustration that their employers rely on them being a quick learner, but don't provide them with enough training, mentorship, or plain guidance and direction to be successful on the job. A lack of training often results in unnecessary errors, reprimands, and low employee morale.
4. Employees leave when they perceive their work environment as unhealthy. Managers and employees must learn how their words and actions can create an unhealthy workplace, how to determine whether their department is on the verge of this toxicity, and how to implement techniques to boost morale and foster a healthy workplace.
5. A lack of work/life balance. Employees dislike when work bleeds into their personal time. In fact, in the U.S., approximately 40 percent of all workers today feel overworked, pressured, and squeezed to the point of anxiety, depression, and disease, and 63 percent of Americans report they are not coping effectively with stress. When workers feel there is no balance between work and home, and they are always on call, or miss out on touching moments in their family members' lives, they will likely quit regardless of financial compensation.
Business leaders who take the time to reflect on whether they are contributing to employee turnover can increase the likelihood that they retain their top talent and ensure their company's success.
Tiffany D. Sanders, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist based in Chicago. She is founder of Sanders & Associates, a private mental health practice, and is also the author of My Purpose Is For Real: 7 Simple Steps to Get Back on Track to Achieve Your Dreams. Dr. Sanders has appeared on national TV, radio, and in newspaper outlets.
This article appears in the September 2015 issue of Successful Meetings.