This article covers the main reasons employees have for leaving their jobs and the ways managers can prevent the loss of valuable workforce.
Any business nowadays understands that its main asset is the human resources of the company. It’s always a major blow to replace the employee who was essential in the work processes. Time has to be spent on redistributing their tasks among other specialists, looking for a new candidate, training them, familiarizing them with the company’s affairs and so on. During that time, which could potentially take weeks or even months, you’ll be inevitably losing money, customers, credibility and your position on the market. So wouldn’t it be easier to avoid such issues rather than frantically trying to solve them?
We’ve already talked about the ways to identify when an employee is about to leave, and today we’ll discuss the reasons why people make the decision to leave the company – and the steps you need to take in order to keep your valuable team members.
Employees don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers – 6 truths about the reasons people are leaving your company
Let’s face it: when a qualified specialist joins your company, they already have a general idea of the things they’ll be doing and the work conditions they’ll have. Salary, schedule, task range – all of that is quite clear, since it’s negotiated during the interview stage so that everyone can be comfortable with it.
So why, after some time passes, does the employee decide to resign? Here are six main reasons for that:
- Lack of involvement in the work process. Clearly, it’s a myth that an employee is most happy when there’s not much to do. Numerous studies show that the majority of specialists want to contribute to their company and feel like an important part of the business process. Unfortunately, though, not all of them manage to successfully fit both into the team and into the workflow. According to the same studies, the lack of the employee’s involvement in the work process is considered to be one of the main reasons for them to change jobs and for young professionals to quit.
- Lack of career growth opportunities. The employee’s skills have developed since they were interviewed for the position they have at the moment, and they want to handle more complex tasks – and, most likely, they want to earn more money. However, they don’t see it happening any time soon. That’s why they decide to leave for another company to get a higher salary or a more interesting position;
- Discrepancy between the expectations and the job. Quite often a person gets hired to work under certain conditions but then is required to work under totally different ones. The requirements to overwork and complete tasks that are unrelated to the employee’s area of expertise lead to the situation where they’re most likely to decide not to put up with such state of affairs;
- Low motivation. It usually happens when the specialist invests in their work, but doesn’t get any emotional payoff. Naturally, they gradually lose interest in the job, and then they inevitably quit;
- Conflict situations. Even if the employee has excellent working conditions, disagreements within the team can nullify all the benefits of working in the company. Many experts change companies precisely because they don’t get along with their colleagues or bosses;
- Personal reasons. These may vary from relocation and health conditions to simple change of plans. There’s always a possibility that something completely unrelated to work will happen in the employee’s life and force them to change jobs.
Why do highly qualified employees leave?
We should mention one particular type of employees - we’re talking about incredibly qualified professionals. The reasons behind the best employees leaving the company present one of the most burning questions for the management. After all, the loss of an irreplaceable professional who is both self-motivated (which is an important quality to have if you want to become the best) and an integral part of work processes can greatly affect the success of the company for the worse. Now, for the main reasons such valuable employees decide to leave:
- Lack of feedback. A self-motivated employee works for the sake of the work itself. They are motivated by the desire to complete interesting tasks and achieve seemingly impossible goals. But just like pretty much any star, they need recognition. They need such recognition from the management and from their colleagues alike. You can rest assured that if you don’t give these employees any feedback and don’t react to their successes, one day they will definitely create a resume in search for a new place of work - to the delight of your competitors.
- Micromanagement. Supervision, being an essential management function, is required regarding all the employees. But if you force such an employee to send you time reports twice a day or tell them to run every action by you instead of letting them focus on reaching goals, you’ll be the one to blame when that employee quits.
- Lack of trust from management. Of course, you shouldn't trust everyone. Yet sometimes you need to be able to step aside and simply not get in the way. A skill like that is a very valuable one for a supervisor to have.
Now let’s take a closer look at the above-mentioned reasons for employee resignation. All but the last one are entirely within management’s control. Does the employee think there’s no opportunity for their professional growth? Management hasn’t caught up with the person’s desire to move up the career ladder and hasn’t ensured that all parties involved benefit from such career development. Are the tasks poorly allocated, and does the employee have to work overtime? It’s an actual error of on-site managers, such as heads of departments, team leaders, etc. Has the employee lost all the motivation, or are there any conflicts in the team? Yet again, it can be attributed to the supervisor’s negligence.
That’s why we can state with confidence that in order to figure out why the best employees are quitting, you need to switch things up in the company’s management policy. Here, however, you run into the next major problem:
You won’t hear a thing from anyone. And when they talk, it’ll be too late.
In order to implement changes, you need to be aware of the current state of affairs. The seemingly easiest way is to ask. HR surveys may indeed work well (we’ll probably even dedicate our next post to this very topic), however, straightforward surveys may present the following two issues:
- Management glosses over the problems or simply doesn’t notice them. It’s a very common situation. You call the head of a department to ask them how things are, whether there are any problems. Their response is to mention a couple of minor difficulties that people may already be working hard to solve. Next, they usually report that everything else is completely fine. The reality may be, though, that employees regularly have to clock up overtime in order to deal with all their work tasks and the team is a complete mess full of constant fighting. The manager may be simply not paying attention to any of that. If you don’t put an end to that at an early stage, it may become the cause for a large-scale resignation of employees;
- Employees are afraid to tell the truth. Boss forces them to work overtime, all while some of their colleagues wander around half the day? Very few will go over their supervisor’s head with such information, worried that the situation will eventually be discussed with their department head anyway and everything will only get worse. Are there any personal problems in the employee’s life that interfere with their work concentration? Again, in fear of losing their jobs, people often decide to stay quiet about it and try to handle everything themselves. The problem is that patience and emotional resources will eventually run out, which will result in quitting.
Having the aforementioned issues in mind, your strategy to keep employees must begin with the fundamental question – how to figure out what’s really going on in your company?
Non-intrusive monitoring is the key to keeping skilled employees
For a professional to work well and stay loyal to your company, it’s enough for you to fulfill the following three conditions:
- Create proper work environment for the employee. It’s common sense that every employee needs a comfortable office, access to the necessary tools, psychologically compatible colleagues and so on;
- Show the employee their value at work. It can be achieved through distributing workload evenly, providing financial and non-financial motivation, showing sensitivity regarding their personal problems and so forth;
- Do not intrude on the employee. Avoid persuading the employee to work overtime or fill out tedious reports and try to stay away from excessive control – just let the specialist handle their tasks, and they will deliver great results.
In other words, you need to maintain a constant eye on the business, monitoring both the changes in the work environment and the mood of your employees. At the same time, you should make an effort not to smother them with constant reports and inspections. That’s when Kickidler software for monitoring employees comes into play:
- You can configure the module so that it works unobtrusively. It’ll run in the background, collect all the data you need and won’t be a bother to your employees. Plus the specialists themselves, if they want to, may use it to track their own activity – and that can provide an additional tool for self-discipline;
- You get complete – and, most importantly, objective – information on all employees. You’ll know the amount of time people actually spend working and the things they do during that time. You’ll learn how someone’s efficiency changes after you introduce certain changes in the department or even in the company. Employee screen recording and keylogger functions enable you to personally monitor how communication between managers and their subordinates is carried out. You’ll be able to find out whether there are any toxic employees in departments, in case there's ever a need for that. We’ve previously covered how to deal with toxic employees.
- Yet you should keep in mind that Kickidler is simply a tool that has been developed to make the task of employee monitoring easier for you. By no means it is a substitute for other functions – such as non-financial motivation, for example.
By using Kickidler you’ll immediately notice the areas of concern, which may be indicators that an employee is planning to leave the company. Among these signals could be a browser search for open vacancies, lower work engagement, dropping performance, lateness and so on. Having spotted that, you’ll be able to deal with the situation in a delicate way, without creating unnecessary tension in the team.
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