High employee turnover is a challenging, costly affair for organisations. When people leave, replacement costs can amount to 50-60% of an employee’s annual salary, according to research from The Society for Human Resource Management. It can damage company culture, affect productivity, profit and more, which is why organisations should invest in proven retention tools and techniques. 

While you may think poor retention is the result of poor candidate selection by Human Resources, it’s not entirely the case. Sure, HR should consider things like employment history – which is a good indication of a candidates office life-span, but retention is really the responsibility of management, and it begins in the workplace. 

If you’re experiencing high employee turnover in your organisation, and are generating unthinkable expense from replacement costs, we have a few plausible reasons for you to consider as well as low-cost strategies to help you manage employee turnover and improve retention.

5 reasons why good people leave 

  1. Insufficient onboarding

The future of your workforce and your susceptibility to high staff turnover is determined, to an extent, by the way in which employees are welcomed into your organisation. A new employee is extremely sensitive to the way in which their new organisation approaches their arrival. Insufficient onboarding, including poor workstation set up, failure to set up their email in good time, lack of introduction to team and team leader or manager, uncertainty surrounding KPI’s, (to name a few), all contribute to the employees view of the organisation and the idea that they aren’t valued by their new employer. An employee that starts off unsure or disappointed with organisational processes is more likely to leave in just a few months (sometimes days according to research by Forbes). 

  1. Employees feel seen and not heard, unsupported and alone 

This is a common issue for employees, but it’s an area that can be easily improved upon. The real solution is employee engagement, which can be implemented across all levels, from the HR department, to the ground floor (in the office), amongst teams and their managers and executive staff/top management. A culture of engagement ensures individuals are heard and their opinions/feelings/contributions are taken into consideration when decisions are made. Engagement makes employees feel supported personally and in their careers. It creates a culture of transparency, support, growth and teamwork, amongst other things, which improves productivity and profit. Without employee engagement, employees will be more likely to move elsewhere because there’ll be little relationship lost between them and the organisation. 

  1. Employees don’t feel motivated or stimulated 

Motivation and stimulation are two huge drawing cards for employees who leave. Motivation is a little more complex than just being cheered on by a leader – it involves consistent feedback, presentation of figures and growth (and acknowledging their role in it), teams run by leaders with a clear vision and means of reaching their goals; recognition and positive team dynamic. Without this, employees are unaware of their impact, unsure of how to improve, and are uncertain of whether they’re truly valued. Stimulation, on the other hand, is concerned with growth – are employees continuously learning? Or are tasks always mundane, and the same? Is there a positive office culture that promotes collaboration – or do people work quietly alone?

  1. “Most people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers”

Most employees are less motivated by money and benefits and instead value strong, fair leadership. In fact, a staggering 75% of employees admit to leaving their job because of their boss – whether it’s unfairness, lack of support, overworking etc. Employees are emotional beings, of course, and they spend most of their lives at work. Being treated fairly, and feeling happy within their workplace environment is essential to most of them. Money and rewards can only do so much – it’s how they feel about their job, their manager and their organisation, that’s going to drive them to either stay or leave. A solution to this is ensuring managers are with their teams, rather than against them, and are creating a goal-oriented environment that’s transparent, positive and growth-focussed.

  1. Lack of growth opportunities

No one wants to feel they’ve stagnated or have the potential to reach a debilitating plateau in their lives. Most individuals are committed to growth of self and career because that’s what keeps life meaningful and exciting. If there’s no room for growth in your organisation you can be sure to lose valuable staff, and if your employees are okay with not growing, that alone is a problem.