10 reasons your employees keep leaving, and what you can do to change their minds.

The most dreaded phrase in HR is “I quit.” It hurts to hear someone who has been brought into the corporate family say they want to leave. A lot of optimism and energy goes into growing a team, from sifting through applications and conducting interviews to onboarding, training, and coaching. Friendships often emerge during this time too, which can make it even more difficult to part ways.

Some of the most common reasons employees quit include:

  1. Weak support from managers and/or inadequate tools to do their job.
  2. Feeling unimportant, redundant, or undervalued in their work.
  3. Lacking challenging opportunities for growth.
  4. Not feeling heard or respected by their colleagues.
  5. Disagreeing with the organization’s culture or mission.
  6. Not fitting in socially.
  7. Insufficient compensation, or unreasonable working hours or conditions.
  8. Feeling underwhelmed by their work, especially if it’s different from what they expected.
  9. Exhaustion and poor work-life balance.
  10. Desire for change.

Use exit interviews to stem the tide

If your organization doesn’t invite departing employees to exit interviews, it’s time to start. Exit interviews are a great opportunity to learn what you can improve to attract and retain talent. Even if the reasons seem beyond your control (ex: moving to another city, starting a family, caring for an ailing loved one, etc), there might still be a way to reduce turnover by understanding how these issues affect your employees and finding practical solutions. For example, you can entice them to stay by allowing them to work remotely, altering their hours, transitioning to a more flexible role, switching teams or managers, etc.

Don’t be afraid to ask them probing questions; this is a unique chance to get unfiltered reactions from people who aren’t worried about losing their job for speaking their mind. Take note of their concerns and complaints, and be ready to act on them — especially if they relate to serious transgressions like discrimination, harassment, or assault.

It may seem daunting to tackle these problems, but fortunately, most can be addressed through workplace culture. Think of ways you can improve your culture by providing more relevant training and holistic support for your staff, and by creating an environment in which they feel loved and appreciated. Changing culture takes time, so you might not be able to convince everyone to stay, but taking steps in a transparent and genuine manner will help existing and future employees feel more connected to each other and your organization.

We’re very fortunate that, here at LifeSpeak, several of our staff members have been with us since our founding in 2004. Our goal is to help employees feel as focused, productive, and fulfilled at work as possible, so we apply everything we do for our clients to our own team. If you’d like to find out how we can support your organization and keep your employees engaged, contact us at info@lifespeak.com.


Also published on Medium.