What are the specific workplace factors that lead to higher rates of employee turnover? It’s a question that every business owner has likely asked themselves at some point. Nobody wants a company that workers loathe, but in many cases the circumstances grow unnoticed right under an owner’s nose. With so much attention paid to the ins-and-outs of running a business, sometimes it’s easy to miss negative things about a company that can lead workers to become unhappy.
Let’s take a look at four turnover-generating factors that should be identified and corrected to help retain every possible employee.
It sounds like such a small thing, but feedback – or lack thereof – is one of the most common factors that comes up in any conversation about turnover. If employers want to retain more of their staff, they need to interact with them regularly. Something as simple as a brief weekly conversation can make employees feel valued, heard, and noticed. It also provides employers with opportunities to subtly course correct and gain a deeper understanding of the employee’s activities.
Yet, in the bustle of running a business, feedback is one area that many employers neglect. Keep in mind however, there’s a powerful link between feedback, engagement, and job happiness. Survey results from Zippia show that 66% of employees would leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated, and only 1% of employees that received positive feedback reported being actively disengaged from their work. Those are very strong reasons to make a little time for a weekly touchpoint.
Did you know there’s actually a direct link between micromanagement and turnover? Authors with LinkedIn describe how managers that are too hands-on with the minutia of employee tasks wind up causing “decreased productivity, lower morale, loss of trust, lower confidence, poorer teamwork, less innovation, increased turnover, more stress, and more health problems.” That’s a long list of terrible things for a business.
Conversely, there’s a lot of benefits to be gained from greater autonomy at work – most notably on employee health and happiness. Researchers from Indiana University Kelley School of Business reported that “a person’s mental health and mortality are strongly related to the amount of autonomy a person has at their job, and an individual’s ability to deal with workload and job demands.” So, there’s a lot to be said for loosening the reigns a little and trusting employees to manage their duties.
The Shoe Doesn’t Fit
When an employee isn’t the right person for the role, or the right fit within a team setting, it’s going to have an impact on both the individual and the company. People naturally want to succeed. When they’re not fulfilling the expectations of their job, they tend to move on.
Patience when hiring is the ultimate way to find the right person, but it’s not always easy to be patient when an open position needs to be filled quickly. It’s crucial not to rush a hiring decision – despite all the competition for workers out there.
The first few qualified candidates that apply might not be the ones that integrate the best with a company’s culture. Assess each applicant’s strengths, their experience, and be completely clear about the responsibilities of the position and the needs of the team.
Greener on the Other Side / Over-Encumbered
One other elephant sitting in the middle of the conference room is the aftermath of the so-called Great Resignation from the last year or two. Many employees witnessed their coworkers leave for greener pastures. For those that remained in their roles, things might not look as great as they once did. Worse yet, many of the employees that remained had to pick up the slack from those who left.
This is another major area where feedback and that weekly conversation comes into play. It is critical to make loyal employees understand the importance of their contributions. These conversations will also provide insight into some of the workplace culture changes that employees might like to see. Ultimately, and without trying to sound callous, it’s more affordable for companies to meet their longstanding employees on this level than it will be to replace them.
Also, take care with the redistribution of vacant responsibilities. A large Microsoft survey from late last year reported that “48% of employees and 53% of managers say they’re burned out at work, so prioritization must go beyond simply reordering an overflowing to-do list. Leaders need to create clarity and purpose for their people. Showing employees that you care requires creating a continuous feedback loop – listening and taking action consistently.”
Turning Around Turnover
It’s not terribly difficult to get employees to stay once a company’s leadership has a deeper connection to its workforce. In fact, it’s remarkable what can be achieved just through open dialogue. Most employees just want to feel appreciated by their employers and have greater control over their work. By providing these elements, companies can take important steps to improve retention and stem the flow of talent out the door.