As specialist recruiters, we have witnessed first-hand many excellent employees who have contacted us, wanting to leave their current company to look for a better option elsewhere.
But what drives these individuals to leave what seems like a great job – and how can you retain your talented staff?
In this article, I will look at some of the main reasons our candidates tell us they want to quit. In part two of this article I will then discuss how you can implement a plan to encourage employee retention.
It's important to recognise that there will always be some individuals who will leave your organisation to work elsewhere – it happens to the best companies. But sometimes businesses lose out on great people due to lack of understanding their needs – the things that keep them loyal to their organisations.
So, what are these key reasons good employees leave? Let's look at the top 6 reasons good people decide to move to pastures new.
1. They Are Not Engaged
According to a 2019 Deloitte report₁, the UK workforce lags behind the rest of Europe in terms of employee engagement, with 1 in 4 saying they are disengaged from their work; cognitively and emotionally unconnected with what they do.
They may show up for work, but are most likely doing the minimum required, and will leave the company if they get a better offer.
2. No Development
One of the main reasons we, as recruiters, see for top performers leaving is that they feel their career advancement isn't going to plan.
Those who don’t feel the right level of involvement and commitment to the company are more likely to be tempted away.
Training and investment in staff are key – not only to develop the individual but to ensure that your business is making the most of its talent pool and succession planning.
If development opportunities aren’t provided, it's only a matter of time before people leave for a company that appreciates the benefits of investing in lifelong learning and encourages employees to progress up the career ladder.
3. Poor Management
It's said that people join companies and leave managers.
If your company is losing valuable talented individuals the first place to look for the cause is the management team. It only takes one manager with poor people skills to do untold damage to a company in a short space of time₂.
The effect of individuals leaving due to ineffective leaders has obvious consequences – from low morale in the remaining staff and lower productivity, to added stress, as those who remain struggle to cope with additional workloads – not to mention the time and costs associated with rehiring and training.
Good managers are people–orientated and can inspire others, harnessing the team's talent to achieve success.
Unfortunately, some companies don’t understand that because a person is a high performer as an ‘expert’ it doesn’t necessarily follow that they will be a good manager. Leading and managing is an entirely different business.
Misaligning your staff - promoting individuals to managerial positions but failing to provide adequate training, development and support will see not only their team leaving in droves, but the individuals themselves looking for options elsewhere.
4. Lack of Communication
Too often, senior management fall into the trap of thinking they don't need to keep staff informed of processes, decisions and goals.
The cumulative cost per-worker per-year due to productivity losses resulting from communications barriers is £19,666. ₃
The stats bear out the truth that leaving your workforce out of the loop will create a set of problems which could ultimately see you lose individuals' loyalty and commitment to the company - and it will cost you financially too.
To engage fully, team members need to understand where the company’s vision is headed and the part they play in assisting the business to realise it. More on this later.
Failure by senior management to include the workforce in decisions or share news (even when it's not good news) can see the rumour mills start to grind – and with rumour comes misunderstanding, lower productivity, less engagement and sometimes even panic with individuals beginning to explore new opportunities if they think there’s trouble ahead.
5. There Is No Vision
Companies who have no vision, unclear corporate values and don’t let their employees know what the specific goals of the business are, carry an increased risk of employees becoming disengaged and risk losing them. To build loyalty amongst employees, there needs to be clarity and transparency on what the company is striving to achieve.
A strong vision, backed by a good strategic plan and engagement with staff regularly enables team members to feel part of something ‘bigger’ than themselves.
How involved are your teams in planning?
Lack of transparency undermines any sense of inclusion and prevents individuals from taking ownership.
6. Work-Life Balance
In a corporate world where many executives put in more than 60 hours per week, it's not surprising that stress can lead to burnout. Even for those who are somehow managing to juggle their home life with an overwhelming workload are going to face problems to some extent in their health, relationships and levels of happiness.
And the cost is to your business as well as the individual - a study found that disengaged employees have a $550 billion impact on the economy.₄
If employees feel they are just disposable cogs in a wheel, rather than a valuable asset to their company, they are more likely to start exploring new opportunities.
Inviting feedback from your employees, listening to their concerns and addressing problems (shorter hours, flexible working, etc.) can all contribute to encouraging staff retention.
Next time, we’ll take a look into the strategies you can use to avoid losing your talented employees, enabling you to increase retention and create an excellent workplace where everyone can thrive.
About Martin Veasey Talent Solutions
At Martin Veasey, we have been working with blue-chip and SME businesses for over 35 years, both in the UK and around the world.
We are an independent consultancy company with highly qualified staff, including many degree and Masters educated consultants, with memberships of professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the British Psychological Society.
We have unique expertise in hiring for senior roles in Board & Senior, Supply Chain & Logistics, Purchasing & Procurement, Manufacturing & Engineering, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Sales, Human Resources, plus many more.
If you are looking to work with a highly accomplished recruiting partner, you can call us on 01905 381320 or get in contact today.