Why is the New Employee Turnover Rate so High?

Work Life Balance

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A recent employee retention report has found that 43% of new hires leave within the first 90 days….

And the employee turnover rates get only slightly better with time—over one-third of employees leave their jobs within the first year. And, when it comes to millennials (who already make up over half of the workforce), 21 percent have already changed jobs this year alone, a number three times higher than older generations. 

It’s time to create a future-proof plan for employee turnover. Considering that it costs around 33% of an employee’s salary to replace them, employee turnover may be one of the most expensive problems your company is facing. And it’s projected to get worse with the fast-approaching younger generations, who are notorious for job-hopping (i.e. having respectable standards for their places of work). 

So, why do people quit? According to a 2019 employee retention report by the Work Institute, a Tennessee-based consulting firm, these are the top reasons employees tend to leave their places of work, in order of prevalence.

  1. Career Development. Whether it’s due to the lack of growth, little-to-no promotional opportunities or the general type of work, a staggering 22% of employees surveyed have left their previous job due to issues regarding career development. 
  2. Work-Life Balance. Twelve out of 100 employees surveyed quit for reasons related to work-life balance. An inflexible schedule and vast amounts of travel were cited as the top offences of employers who were left behind in the last year.  
  3. Relationship with Management. Lack of communication, professionalism and managerial support are trending up across many industries as the root causes of employee turnover. In fact, over 10 percent of employees have quit their jobs in the last year due to unsatisfactory manager behaviour. 
  4. Compensation & Benefits. Around one in 10 employees cite compensation or benefits as the top reason for leaving behind a job. Surprisingly, pay isn’t a top cause in the report, no matter the industry or individual’s seniority within the company. 
  5. Wellbeing. Only slightly behind compensation and benefits, wellbeing has been cited as a major issue causing employee turnover. The same report found that more than 35% of employees suffer from chronic work stress, with employers that fail to effectively address workers’ need for self-care historically experiencing the highest rates of turnover.
  6. Work Culture. Five out of 100 employees left a workplace due to misalignment between employee and culture. Additional reasons included problems with coworkers or misalignment with company mission and values. Sometimes an employee is simply a poor fit — while at other times, there is a deep-rooted issue with the company culture.
Losing your team members means missing out on people who facilitate your biggest wins, solve your biggest problems and attract your best clients. Best case scenario, you spend that extra 33% of an old employee’s salary to recruit, train and integrate new workers. Worst case—which depends on the manner in which they go—their exit threatens your brand, breaks down team morale or, worst of all, leads to legal action.

 

So, what’s the solution?

The solution, outside of directly addressing the hard-hitting pain points of the global workforce listed above, is to listen to your employees. That’s it. It may come as a surprise, or seem too simple of an answer, but it’s not as easy as some may think. Ask the right questions, listen to the answers (even if sometimes unpleasant) and take action. 

The latter may be the hardest. Train management and general leadership to hold frequent, meaningful conversations with employees about their experience. What’s frustrating them at the moment? What are their aspirations? Where do they want to go in their role and beyond?

That’s how you get the shot at winning back the hearts of your employees. And, as with any challenging and long-term task, it’s okay to lean on a little help in your journey. HR survey tools, paired with expert consultants, are here to help you listen to your workers, learn from their thoughts and take meaningful action to prevent employee turnover at your company. 

Theo Fitzharris is the Head of Sales at Hive and spends all of his time helping people-focused organisations to create engaging and meaningful workplaces. He loves it. Connect with Theo on LinkedIn.

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