The truth behind why employees leave

The truth behind why employees leave

Skilled talent can be challenging to find. No surprises there. What’s less well known is that 58 per cent of Australians are likely to look for a new job this year, which means around one in two of your staff could be thinking about moving on.

Sure, an element of employee turnover may be unavoidable. However the cost of recruiting, onboarding and training top talent should put the issue of employee retention firmly at the top of the human resources agenda.

View our slideshare to find out why employees leave and what they want:

What candidates are looking for

The thing is, the way we think about work and our jobs has changed over recent years. So too have the reasons why candidates choose to work for you rather than a competitor - and ultimately, why employees leave.

A Robert Half study shows location and commute time is the number one factor people consider when selecting a role, followed by the need to achieve a better work-life balance.

Understanding why people choose to join your organisation is just one part of the equation. It’s also essential to know what keeps them there. Are you aware, for instance, of the triggers that explain why employees leave? This, coupled with an awareness of what employees want, forms the foundation of successful retention policies.

Three key factors why employees leave

The same Robert Half research discovered the three key reasons why employees opt to move on. Top of the list is higher remuneration, which highlights the value of continually staying abreast of salary trends. The Robert Half Salary Guide is a valuable resource here, providing current salary range tables across finance and accounting, technology and administration.

Beyond higher remuneration, employees are increasingly looking for improved work-life balance. This puts the onus firmly on employers and hiring managers to think outside the square.  Adopting a more creative approach to employee benefits, or by providing flexible work hours and telecommuting, doesn’t have to involve additional costs.  But it can deliver big rewards in terms of improved retention rates.

Corporate culture – creating a workplace where people are valued

Rounding out the top three factors of what employees want is a better corporate culture.  This is a broad term that can mean different things to different people. In general though it involves several key factors.

The lack of a cultural fit can be one if the primary reasons why employees leave the organisation. Firstly, the company’s mission and values need to resonate with employees’ own desired career path and personal values in order for there to be a fit with the corporate culture. This is a personal matter, but one that cannot be overlooked.

Also, encourage personal growth. Investing in skill enhancement, and ensuring direct superiors are supporting their team’s career progression, tells each employee they are valued and have the opportunity to increase their personal market value simply by staying with your firm.

Next, give your people a real chance at career progression. Sure, not everyone has their heart set on the CEO’s job. But for those who are hungry to advance their career, having a clear career path and a straightforward understanding of what it takes to move ahead on that path can be exactly what employees want.

Finally, aim to foster a business culture where open dialogue is welcome and encouraged at all levels. When an employee comes to you with an issue, explain the action you will take or provide a valid reason why nothing can be done. It’s a far more cost-effective step than replacing employees who resign because of relatively simple problems that could have been ironed out if they had felt comfortable voicing their concerns.

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