The majority of reasons that make an employee decide to leave a company have to do with the company itself. There are some reasons that are out of a company’s control but these are the exception, not the rule.
An employee’s reason for leaving a company is usually something within the company’s control. It’s just a matter of seeing the company as a vessel for employees to flourish and not the other way around.
Here are 3 common and preventable reasons why people quit their jobs.
1) Company Culture
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh learned the hard way that establishing a company culture as early on as possible can make the difference between a happy place to work and a miserable one.
His former company LinkExchange was great when it was just him and his friends, but after beginning to hire outside of acquaintances, the company’s culture became directionless and dull.
So with Zappos, Hsieh was sure to establish the company culture of a fun, quirky, open, and generous place early on and it continues today. Their core values are a great reference for businesses looking to establish a company culture.
It’s not realistic for small to mid-size companies to have the resources that Zappos or Google or Facebook have to establish their company culture, but little things can be done that will go a long way.
Examine the company’s mission statement and look for ways to get your employees behind this. They don’t have to be significant, but they need to be consistent in order to avoid a loss of vision.
When an employee feels mismatched with a company culture, it can be for a variety of reasons.
According to Washington State University, some possible reasons are “how crises are handled, preferred communication style, how feedback is given, and amount of openness to be expected.”
During the interview process it’s important to see if a candidate fulfills skill requirements of the position, but just as important to see if the candidate will fit in the company culture.
2) Poor Relationship with Superior
A good salary will only go so far when it comes to employee satisfaction. According to the Huffington Post, along with many other articles, the number one reason why employees quit their jobs is a poor relationship with a superior.
In order to have a functioning employee/superior relationship, superiors need to have one-on-one meetings with subordinates that act as a forum for both parties to voice concerns.
Acknowledging those concerns will make the employee feel like their voice and opinion matter.
In order to harbor quality employee relationships, the requirements of a manager’s job need to allow them room to spend quality time with their employees. Overfilling a manager’s schedule only gives them time to be a drive-by manager.
An employee will in turn feel stuck and undervalued. Additionally, a freer schedule will allow a manager to give in-depth and quality feedback, which is basically a requirement for employee motivation.
This should go without saying, but within those one-on-one meetings, an emphasis should be placed on honesty. Make sure the line of communication between the two is an honest one.
If either individual lies about their job performance, the truth will eventually reveal itself, further putting strain on the relationship. Managers should set the example by laying all their cards on the table from the get-go.
3) Work is Un-engaging
According to Ohio University, only 29% of employees felt fully engaged in their work.
In order to bring this statistic up, employees need to feel a reason to be passionate about their job. A good way to do this is to show employees how their work directly affects the company, the client, and if possible, the greater community.
We spend a significant portion of our lives working so it’s a lot to ask of someone to work a job that they find mind-numbing and pointless.
Managers should try to find out through one-on-one meetings what an employee likes to do and what their skills and abilities are. Whenever possible, tailor an employee’s tasks to suit these skills and they will in turn feel valued and engaged.
Furthermore, encouraging employees to experiment and make mistakes can harbor innovation and a feeling of autonomy. When individuals feel they have at least some say in how their job is performed, they will do a better job than if virtually every decision is made for them.
There are some unavoidable reasons for losing an employee. For example, when they’re offered a job at Zappos (kidding, sort of). However, losing an employee for any of the three reasons mentioned is avoidable.
Establishing a company culture, ensuring managers have ample time to check in with their employees, and doing everything possible to make work engaging, will be worth a company’s efforts and reflect in improved employee loyalty.
Author: Reed Parker
Reed Parker writes about the culture and psychology of business. He enjoys playing banjo and telling bad jokes. He once stayed up all night waiting for the sun, then it dawned on him.