Waves of constant employee turnover are demoralizing, costly, and kill productivity.
Even losing a single employee can cost a company thousands of dollars. When an employee departs for greener pastures, it costs an average of six to nine months of the previous employee’s salary to recruit and hire his replacement.
These days, most companies can ill afford to take a financial hit like that. If employees are leaving your organization en masse, it’s time to stop the exodus. Before you do that, you need to first understand why it’s happening.
In this article, I’ll discuss the reasons for employee dissatisfaction, effective strategies for retaining employees, finding ways you can do better, and improving your onboarding process.
If it’s more than one employee, you may be the problem
The first step towards rectifying the problem is accepting that what you’re doing now isn’t working.
If it was, there wouldn’t be massive employee departures.
Why are multiple employees quitting?
Here are some reasons your employees might be leaving:
One reason why people leave is that dissatisfaction is contagious. In other words, if one person feels the company culture is toxic, that sentiment will soon infect others.
One person leaving can cause many other employees to think about departing too.
They'll begin to wonder why the employee left. They might believe that he got a fantastic offer from another company, making them think they could get an even better one.
Even if a worker has been with the organization for years, a long-time employee's sudden departure could cause the worker to throw off years of entrenched complacency to look for another job.
People leaving a company will often talk about it enthusiastically to anyone within earshot. This can happen in the breakroom, over drinks, or via email.
Lack of respect
One of the biggest reasons employees fly the coop is that they don't feel respected by their boss or coworkers.
The problem could manifest itself in various ways. They include how their supervisor talks to them, being micromanaged to death or being given work assignments that don't make use of their talents.
You might think paying people below what they could make at other companies might be a brilliant cost-cutting move. However, your company could be paying through the nose in skyrocketing turnover rates.
Compare your salaries to the industry standard, and if it isn’t fair, consider raising them. Otherwise, your employees will leave to find an employer who will equitably compensate them.
Horrendous company culture
An excellent company culture is one where employees have positive experiences.
If an employee feels fulfilled in his role at your company, he’s more likely to stick around long-term. Poor company culture can result from all kinds of issues, from an appalling lack of transparency to not providing employees with the resources and support they need to do their jobs.
That’s why it’s so vital to foster a positive company culture. This one has a clearly defined mission and rock-solid support for every employee.
Human beings can only give so much, which is an undeniable fact that’s unfortunately forgotten by many managers. This results in employees being taxed to their absolute limit and being overworked as a result.
Every business owner should be mindful of what each employee has on his plate, so they don't become stressed out.
Feeling underappreciated is another factor contributing to an employee leaving a job.
Even though it might seem like a tiny thing to you, telling team members they’re doing fantastic work helps create satisfied employees.
So, show a little appreciation now and then.
Having a horrible boss can ruin an employee’s experience with your company.
So many exemplary team members quit their jobs because of toxic supervisors. When hiring a manager, make sure that the individual has an intrinsic knack for working with people.
A senior employee with tons of experience might seem to be the perfect person to move into a managerial position. However, just because the candidate has been with your company for years doesn’t mean he’s going to excel at being a people supervisor.
No growth opportunities
Every employee needs the chance to grow, or they’ll look for growth opportunities elsewhere.
It can be demoralizing to have your talents ignored by being stuck in the same position for years, without any hope of advancement.
Even if you can't offer your employee a way to move up the corporate hierarchy, you can encourage their growth in many other ways. This includes more robust benefits or educational opportunities within the organization.
Disconnection from values
If you own a business, you most likely had a compelling vision for it when you started it all those years ago.
Along with this original vision, you probably had a set of values you swore to live by.
Suppose you suddenly start to jettison these values in the cutthroat pursuit of corporate goals. In that case, you'll be no better than Charles Foster Kane. He was the protagonist of the movie Citizen Kane, who alienated his employees by abandoning his declaration of principles.
You'll lose employees, too, if you sacrifice overarching values for an end goal. However, they probably won't make a movie about you. Adhering to consistent values imbues your employees with a sense of purpose.
When they lose that purpose, it won’t be long before they waltz out the door forever and into the waiting arms of your competitors.
A reason why many excellent employees quit is they have problems with their team.
Team members want to work with people who pull their weight, communicate well, and are consummate professionals. If an employee feels a coworker doesn't live up to these standards, he'll soon be saying sayonara.
Another problem employees have with teams is a lack of diversity. A woman on an all-male team might become discouraged by not having more inclusiveness in her work environment.
Your employees need to have an excellent managerial team that has their backs and visionary leadership at the top echelons of the company.
If a team member feels management is insufficiently supportive, this could have a corrosive effect on his morale and provide him with a reason to jump ship.
Employees need to have faith in their leaders and see that they’re working hard to foster a positive work environment.
Zero work-life balance
Work-life balance means that you respect that your employees have lives outside of work.
If you don't interfere with this fundamental right, your employees will be more productive and engaged when they're at work.
Don’t make your employees feel that they have to work around the clock or can’t take a vacation day without feeling guilty.
The Lure of Friends
Sometimes an individual ends up working at a company because he's been referred by a friend.
Say the two people end up working together. In that case, it can often be an exceedingly beneficial relationship, primarily if they work well together and have terrific team chemistry.
However, there’s a dark cloud hiding behind this silver lining. That’s because when the friend who first got hired leaves, the other friend invariably follows.
Effective strategies for maintaining employees
Although it’s difficult to stem the employee turnover tide, it’s still possible.
All it takes is some hard work and a strong commitment to improving working conditions at your company.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to stop the internal hemorrhaging and keep a loss of one or two valuable employees from turning into an epidemic:
Find out what you could be doing better
There’s usually more than one reason why your employees are considering leaving.
These problems have likely grown to cause the wave you have now. That’s why you need to have frank discussions with everyone on your team.
Tell them to not hold anything back when you ask if they're happy to be working at your company. Your employees deserve to be heard.
By listening to your team members, you’ll be one step closer to remedying the issues that lead to widespread employee dissatisfaction. This will decrease the turnover rate.
Taking the time to listen to employees might slow down some work, but it beats the lost productivity when you don’t have a team member on staff anymore.
Don’t label these meetings as “retention efforts.” You don’t want people to get the idea that the only reason you’re doing them is that you want to desperately hold on to people who are ready to fly the coop.
You should continue to do these one-on-one meetings proactively long after the crisis is over.
Building a bridge of trust
The only way you're going to get valuable feedback from your one-to-one meetings is to respect your team members' opinions deeply. You then need to make a strong commitment to changing the toxic parts of your workplace culture.
They might not trust you enough to disclose the company’s biggest problems. To overcome this, build a bridge of trust by empathizing with the way your employees see the world.
It’s important to be receptive to whatever feedback you receive.
It might be hard to listen to, and the solutions to the problems might be challenging to implement. However, you must realize that the situation is beyond dire—akin to a five-alarm fire.
What it comes down to is if you don’t change, you’ll lose many more employees than you need to.
Don’t be defensive
Resist the temptation to be defensive because defensive managers have difficulty acknowledging they need to make improvements to their work culture.
This ensures that dysfunctional patterns will continue.
Ask one more question
When you believe that an employee has said all he wants to say, ask one more question.
This will keep the team member’s thought flow continuing unabated, which will help you to get to the bottom of a problem so much more quickly.
If you weren’t able to build trust with employees during your meetings, you’ll get another chance if you can follow through on what needs fixing.
Do this, and you’ll boost employee morale—which could be just the push you need to stem the tide of relentless turnover. If you choose to do nothing, you’ve lost them forever.
Show yourself to be a person of his word and start making incremental progress towards the problems infecting your organization like insidious cancer. Your employees will slowly come around, and you'll win the trust that has been eluding you.
Another way to slow out-of-control turnover rates is by improving employee onboarding.
Here's a startling statistic for you: new trainees are 58% more likely to remain with their employer if their onboarding experience was a successful one.
Here are some ways you can significantly improve your onboarding process:
Create a plan
If you don’t have a written plan to onboard recruits, there’s more than an excellent chance that your onboarding process will be substandard.
Write down everything your company needs to do to give your new employees a fantastic first month. Then, make sure you follow through and do everything on the list.
Implement the buddy system
The buddy system should be an integral part of onboarding because it gives your brand-new employee someone to connect with.
Other employees might like it too because they get to play the role of mentor, which can be an inherently satisfying one.
Hire Top Talent with Hunt Club
Don’t cause your company unnecessary problems by forgetting that any successful business's cornerstone is happy and fulfilled employees.
Hunt Club's Talent Advisors can set you up with a pipeline full of top-tier talent ready to fill all of your openings.
We’ll pre-screen every one of your candidates to ensure a good cultural fit, maximizing the chances they'll stay with your company for a long time.