5 Reasons Your Employees Quit
and How to Make Them Stay

See also: Creating a Motivational Environment

If you own a business with a high staff turnover rate, chances are that your company won't last more than a few months.

Early business failures are often attributed to inexperience and mismanagement. Seasoned companies are more likely to fail due to high employee turnover, which in turn reduces productivity, deters customers and creates major business losses.

If you are used to seeing your employees quit or simply stop showing up for work without even claiming their last paycheck, you need to take a good look at your business practices.

Here are five reasons your employees are leaving you and advice on how to make them stay.

Toxic Management

If you are a company owner who acts as an overzealous staff manager, you need to take a good look in a business mirror.

You may lack the empathy, charisma and people skills needed for successful staff management. Likewise, you may have made a hiring mistake when choosing your managers.

Micromanaging, focusing only on mistakes, having unrealistic expectations and communicating poorly are all characteristic of toxic managers. Their management style leads to reduced productivity, lack of engagement and, ultimately, resignation.

The Solution: Create a positive work environment

If you don't know about Theory Y of management, you should take some time to become familiar with it. One of the tenets of Theory Y is that a positive workplace cannot be taken for granted; it must be fostered. If you know that your staff includes toxic employees or managers, you should either terminate them or transfer them.

Instead of keeping secrets, you should encourage open door policies that favor positive reinforcement. Showing appreciation, giving positive feedback and rewarding employees are essential aspects of doing business. If you don't do this, your workers will seek employment in a place where they feel appreciated.

Also, don’t forget about the importance of communicating with your employees. You will often find that employees who leave you tend to be those that you did not know too much about. If you recognize good, talented employees, you should get to know them. It is important that you get the input of your top performers and get their opinion about working conditions.

Lack of Vision

If you run a company in a way that makes your staff feel that they are going nowhere fast, they will likely take the first opportunity to leave.

Many employees aren’t clear about their role and purpose in the company. They don’t realize their job is important or that it makes a difference in the success of the company.

The Solution: Make Your Goals Clear

By clearly communicating your company’s mission and goals you will help your employees feel more connected and devoted to your business. Give your employees a sense of purpose and let them know that the work they do makes a difference. You should always show your employees the big picture, and strive to create a workplace culture that emphasizes meaning and purpose among the staff.

Make sure your employees know what is expected of them and that they fully understand their job descriptions. Keep them informed about any changes that happen within the company and make sure the lines of communication are always open.

See our pages: Creating a Compelling Vision and Communicating the Vision for more on the importance of the vision.

Lack of Benefits

When a company doesn’t recognize and appreciate the input of its workers, and doesn’t offer them rewards and benefits, then its employees are less likely to show loyalty and engagement.

Competitive salaries, raises, bonuses, rewards and benefits are all extrinsic motivators that can encourage your employees to do the best they can to make a difference at their job.

The Solution: Offer Competitive Salaries and Rewards

Offering your employees competitive salaries and rewards is a great way to motivate them. If you recognize good work with positive incentives and bonuses, your employees will perform better at their job.

However, a raise or a bonus isn’t the only option for recognizing your employees’ achievements. You would be surprised to learn that many employees tend to ignore higher salary offers as long as they feel comfortable at their job. Often, an adequate benefits package can be equally attractive as a substantial salary. From dinner coupons, extra days off, show tickets, all the way to gym memberships, there are numerous ways you can reward your workers.

You should, however, pay attention to how much your competitors are paying because that is where your employees may be headed if you don't pay them enough.

No Work-Life Balance

When you give your workers unreasonable workloads, you can count on the following two reactions.

First, they will ask for a substantial raise;

second, they will quit unless their salary increases or their workload decreases.

Your employees will sometimes work longer hours or even take their work home with them. This will damage their work-life balance and give them a reason to start looking for a different job.

The Solution: Enable a Healthy Work-Life Balance

A healthy work-life balance will contribute towards a common business goal. This is the main psychological key to job satisfaction. Make sure you give your employees reasonable amounts of work and always ask them if they can handle it.

You can also consider implementing a telecommuting policy as a way to give your employees freedom to create their own balance between their professional and personal lives. Working from their homes will make them more productive and significantly reduce stress.

Telecommuting has truly come of age in the 21st century. Decades ago, working from home was simply a scheme to cut overhead expenses; these days, it is a benefit for employees who wish to achieve work-life balance. One way you can take advantage of telecommuting is by offering it as a flexible reward.

Inadequate Hiring and Promotion Practices

Constant and obvious nepotism is a one-way ticket to employee turnover.

The workplace should be a selfless meritocracy; your employees are bound to be sensitive to seeing excellent co-workers not getting promotions. Your employees will not be happy if you show favoritism towards staff members who do not deserve it, or hire additional staff instead of promoting from within.

The Solution: Provide Developmental Options

If you are a smart business owner, you should be able to envision a good future for your company along with your staff. If you would like to hold on to your workers, you need to offer all your employees equal opportunities to learn and develop on a professional level.

Most of your employees will want a chance to develop their professional skills so that they can advance in their careers. Good employees can always be developed by means of mentoring. Show your employees that you are devoted to providing them opportunities for development and give them a good mentor.

If you give them skills training along with positive reinforcement, they will become more proficient. Show your employees that you actually care about their personal development and they will become loyal.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Business Strategy and Analysis

The Skills You Need Guide to Business Strategy and Analysis

Based on our popular management and analysis content the Skills You Need Guide to Business Strategy and Analysis is a straightforward and practical guide to business analysis.

This eBook is designed to give you the skills to help you understand your business, your market and your competitors.

It will help you understand why business analysis is important for strategy—and then enable you to use analytical tools effectively to position your business.

Wrapping It Up

The best method to keep your turnover rates low is not only to recognize why your employees leave but also to know how to make them stay.

A good retention strategy should be implemented from the day you hire your employees. Since it is much easier to retain employees who are engaged and committed to their work, start by understanding what engages them. Making sure your employees stay dedicated and productive in their jobs will benefit the whole company.

About the Author

Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world.

Lisa spends her free time trying out new recipes or reading Scandinavian crime novels.