Why are your staff leaving? Is your company or department a revolving door that can’t seem to keep workers for more than a few years – or even a few months? What can you do about high staff turnover?
In some cases, the reasons why staff leave their jobs are due to circumstances, not choice. Businesses move, close, or downsize.Workers move or retire, or quit to spend more time with their families, travel, or finally write their best-selling novel. Life happens, and there is not much that either boss or worker can do about it.
In most cases, though, staff willingly leave. But why? Taking a hard look at your management style and company or department culture can provide some clues. Okay, so you may not have the authority to hand out bonuses every quarter or send your most deserving employees winging up the corporate ladder. But there are three major problems that can drive employees to quit, and there are steps you can take to fix them.
Put on your thinking cap for this section, because a lot of these problems start with your management.
Are you part of the problem, or can you be a solution?
Let’s look at three top reasons why staff leave your employ for greener pastures – and what you can do to change.
The Problem: A Negative Company (or Department) Culture
An unfriendly attitude can cause your staff to leave in droves. A bad culture can encompass just about anything, from lousy leadership and minimal communication to amped-up office politics. Unless you prefer your business to be run along the lines of Survivor, you’ll find that a cutthroat culture is counterproductive.
How can you solve this problem? It may take some doing, particularly if you’re just one manager among many. However, within your department you can promote open communication and give workers positive feedback whenever possible. You can also schedule fun team building activities to boost morale (and thus productivity). And it doesn’t have to be boring old business outings; try some fun group activies for a change.
The Problem: Poor Working Relationships
We’re at work almost as much as we’re away from it, so work relationships are important. And sometimes quite rocky. We’re all familiar with the complaining co-worker, the bitter boss, the missing in-action manager. The toll these types take on productivity can be astounding – and a big part of why staff leave.
How can you give energy-draining relationships the boot? It starts with your own example. Don’t be the missing manager or the uncaring boss. Take the time to clearly communicate with your employees. Be available to listen, don’t shift the blame, and be proactive about improving potential problems before they sprout like mutant mushrooms.
The Problem: A Lack of Respect and Recognition
If your best workers sense that their input doesn’t make any difference, guess who will be hitting the job boards? And this aspect of employee retention, dear manager, is pretty much all about you. How will you respond to their basic need to be appreciated? Respect and recognition doesn’t necessarily mean handing out end-of-the-year bonuses and shiny award statuettes, especially if your budget it tight. A sincere “Thank you for your hard work. You played a vital part in our successful project” will do. (Emphasis on sincere – your employees can tell phony from a mile off.) Offer perks if you are able to, like flexible scheduling. Even the gesture of morning tea can make your employees feel a bit more appreciated.
The reasons why staff leave their jobs are varied. For many workers, however, the search for better working conditions is driven by a lack of respect, support, and meaning in their daily job. You can boost staff morale and retain good workers by using good communication, fostering a team mentality, and bringing a spirit of fun and cooperation to your place of business.
Mike Symonds is the owner of Interactive Events and Creator of Funergizers. Known as the Chief Funergizer, Mike specialises in helping business leaders create energized, connected and engaging team cultures.
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