You hire them. They perform like rockstars. You couldn’t be happier. But one fine day, they’re suddenly wanting to serve 30 days’ notice. You’re stumped, because you thought everything was going well. What then caused them to leave? 78% of business leaders today rate employee turnover as one of their biggest concerns.

The reasons for employee turnover mostly are hidden in plain sight. Let’s look at them:

Relationships with supervisors can make or break turnover. Data supports the age old adage of ‘employees don’t quit their job, they quit their boss’. Tiny Pulse, an organization specializing in employee retention, surveyed over 400 full-time employees in the United States in October 2015, and uncovered three key dynamics between people and their bosses, which lead them to quitting.

  • Micro-management causes a steep 28% increase in employee dissatisfaction. Team members who feel their hands are tied when it comes to making decisions about how to do their jobs, often feel resentful. Millennials rarely want to have purely transactional or controlled interactions at work. They want to ideate, contribute and achieve. Micromanagement thwarts all of it!
  • Manager transparency in terms of ability to communicate effectively, set clear goals/expectations, and share continuous in-the-moment feedback, results in 30% higher retention. The moment employees experience walls around their managers, and feel confused about their jobs, they may take flight.
  • Something we’ve spoken about much, is how employees want to feel valued and important. Hallmark throws welcome parties for their new hires. Another organization gives employees a goody bag on every work anniversary. However, 65% of the people surveyed report feeling invisible. The manager’s ability to express appreciation can decrease turnover by 32%. It’s that simple!

Colleagues have a lot of influence over turnover as well. In today’s increasingly cross-matrixed work world, imagine having to work with peers with whom you’ve not been able to build any personal relationship. Pretty bland, right? It’s amplified when you don’t get acknowledged for your contribution, or don’t have team players around you. This increases chances of quitting by 11%. According to Mel Kleiman, President of Humetrics, the best thing employers can do to address this, is to hire based on attitudes of positivity and innovation, rather than just the skill. This addresses cultural fitment as well. 12% of employees that don’t fit into the company culture, want to move on. Fitting in is central to our productivity, customer service and key business measures.

All work and no play, or even the other way round as well, makes employees quit. This factor contributes to 12% – 15% attrition. We’ve spoken in length about work-life effectiveness here. 60% of the working population is actually willing to give up pay, in order to have a personal life. That says something. Though the ‘more for less’ attitude might be great for getting more work done in the moment, it is hazardous for the employee doing more work, as well as for the organization, which will lose the employee soon.

Loss of trust in leadership is a latent but pervasive factor. This points to the discrepancy between different levels in the company. 82% of the workforce believes that the senior leadership only helps themselves at the cost of the organization. That’s unfortunate. It may be because over the past two decades, executive paychecks have risen by 570%! The salaries of other levels haven’t been proportionately rising at all. However, money is not a prime motivator for retention. An effective way to build trust is to participate in tasks that other employees do, and build personal relationships. A little care goes a long way. This has been displayed by David Neelman, CEO of Jet Blue. He not only helps clean cabins, but even hands out snacks to guests.

All we want you to know is that almost 90% of voluntary turnover can be managed. More than tangible solutions like pay packages or benefits, it is intangible measures like the ones mentioned above, that make all the difference. That’s probably where the buck stops!

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