In the past decade, as the economy has improved, voluntary turnover has increased from about 17% to 27% of the workforce. On average, over 1 in 4 employees are walking out the door. Their departure leaves you with the expensive and time-consuming task of filling the empty position. The sad truth, revealed in the Work Institute 2019 Retention Report, is that 75% of these departures may have been preventable.
The Work Institute studied over 250,000 employees to produce its report this year. Of those employees, 37,000 left their jobs. Here are the reasons they gave for departing:
- Career Development 22.2%
- Work-Life Balance 12%
- Manager Behavior 11.3%
- Compensation and Benefits 9.6%
- Well-Being 8.4%
- Job Characteristics 8.1%
- Work Environment 5.2%
Let’s take a closer look at the details driving employees to leave their current companies.
Career development has surged by 32% in the past five year as a reason for leaving. Digging deeper into the data, research shows that employees are most concerned about growth opportunity. It’s not that they want a promotion. But they will leave if another employer offers them a position with potential to develop a skill they want to improve.
Previously, employees were more likely to leave a company if they didn’t see potential for advancement. Now, employees are more concerned about improving themselves. To increase loyalty and engagement, build professional development into the long-term plan for your employees. Share the cost of tuition for degree or certificate programs your employees want to pursue, and they’ll stick around.
Beyond improving themselves, employees want work-life balance. The Work Institute data shows that work-life balance factors have increased in importance by 20% in the past five years. But what does work-life balance include?
The top aggravation for employees in this category is schedule flexibility. In our increasingly common two-working-parent households, someone needs to tend to the kids. The work-life balance factor that has increased the most in the past five years is the commute. Your team members have had enough of wasting time sitting in traffic. The solution to this problem is a no-brainer. Offer schedule flexibility and work-from-home status. In that way, you’ll significantly increase employee retention.
Managers and supervisors cause 11% of employee turnover. The biggest issue departing employees gave regarding manager difficulty was unprofessionalism. If managers treat some employees differently than others, they’re practically begging for turnover. And some employees won’t put up with a manager who cheats or bends the rules to win. They’ll just leave. To head off these problems, train your managers. They need to know how to interact with employees and the company’s expected code of conduct.
Losing employees is expensive. The forthcoming Voice of the Sales Manager survey from SalesFuel reveals that it takes about three months to hire a new sales team member. Beyond that, managers need another six months to bring that new employee up to speed. Start implementing needed organizational and managerial changes now to retain the employees on your team.