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Last week, we discussed three reasons why employees ditch their jobs. Not the secondary or sugar-coated reasons they give you in the exit interview, but the real reasons that soured them on your organization.

Leigh Branham, author of “The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave,” calls them the “deadly sins leading to turnover and apathy” in a piece he wrote for the American Society of Association Executives earlier this year.

To recap, the first three reasons we covered in an earlier post were

1. The job or workplace wasn’t as advertised or expected.

2. There’s a mismatch between the person and the job.

3. Little coaching and feedback.

Today, we continue with the four remaining triggers driving employee turnover.

4. Too few growth and advancement opportunities.

Walk into any interview for any job, in any industry, anywhere in the country: Chances are the hiring manager will tout lots of growth opportunities. Rubbish. In many organizations, that just isn’t true.

Branham mentions a recent survey that asked employees to rank today’s managers on 67 leadership competencies. “Developing direct reports” came dead last. “While 85% of employees say career growth is a key reward,” Branham writes, “only 49% say their companies are providing it.”

5. Workers feel devalued.

Pay inequality, lack of recognition, having their differences regarded as negative, inadequate resources and subpar work spaces all make employees feel devalued. The result is that, eventually, employees won’t value their jobs either. (You get what you give, right?)

“Great employers start making people feel important on day one,” Branham writes. “Employers of choice don’t just recruit ¾ they re-recruit after the hire and keep on re-recruiting. They train their managers to understand the power of paying attention to even the smallest of employee contributions ¾ and, yes, simply saying ‘thanks’ often goes a long way.”

6. Stress due to overwork and work-life imbalance. 

We’ve all heard horror stories about employers who won’t let associates tend to serious family matters during office hours, or who place unreasonable demands on employees when they’re home, perhaps requiring action overnight or during weekends. That doesn’t fly in today’s world.

“People who work in such ‘cultures of sacrifice’ are already lined up and ready to switch employers at the first opportunity,” warns Branham. Rather, “more employers are wising up and realizing that showing sensitivity to employees’ needs actually pays off.”

7. Loss of trust and confidence in senior leaders

When employees lose trust in senior leaders, “you basically have no foundation for becoming an employer of choice,” writes Branham. “Conversely, companies with high trust levels outperform companies with low trust levels by 186%.”

Employees can smell a selfish, ego-driven and short-term focused leader a mile away. And they’re not willing to put up with that. There are plenty of trustworthy, caring, “servant leaders” they can work for instead.

All employers need to know that 95% of voluntary turnover – and disengagement – is avoidable,” Branham concludes.

“Too many companies still rely on the tangible, easy-to-implement solutions revolving around pays, benefits, and trendy perks even though we know the most powerful solutions revolve around the more challenging intangibles, such as good management and healthy cultures.”

For expanded background and real-life examples on each of these points, read Branham’s full article here.

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