What are the Common Reasons Behind High Employee Turnover Rate?

Many factors (in the last year and a half particularly) have combined to contribute to a high employee turnover rate for many employers. While frustrating for both employees and employers, recognizing the reasons why can help you create an environment where employees want to stay. Keep reading to find out what specialists think are the common reasons many employees put in their two weeks too soon.
Janelle Owens

Janelle Owens

Janelle Owens, HR Director at Test Prep Insight, an online education company.

Family Pressure on Women Employees Due to COVID

One of the most common drivers of the current high employee turnover rate is increased familial pressures and obligations on female workers caused by COVID. The increased time necessary to monitor children’s distance learning, coordinate childcare, and manage familial responsibilities has accelerated the mass exodus of women from the workforce.

Many of these familial responsibilities fall on the shoulders of women, and when you combine the increased time necessary to manage them with economic stimulus payments and spousal partners earning more during a hot economy, women are choosing to leave the workforce in droves. This in turn has partially caused the high turnover we’re seeing.

In terms of addressing this situation, HR leaders and executive teams need to be cognizant of this new reality and work to maintain a diverse and balanced workforce. Without organizational shifts, a lot of progress towards equality that’s been gained over the last half-century will be completely lost.

For most organizations, this is going to require a serious shift in how they approach paid family leave and flexible work schedules. That is what is going to make being a working mother tenable long term.

Provide Learning Opportunities

Employee retention strategies should begin as soon as a new hire walks in the door. Onboarding is a part of that experience, and it also counts as part of their training. Companies are increasingly realizing the importance of having a relevant onboarding culture.

What most managers don’t realize is that even an excellent onboarding process won’t keep your employees if the learning opportunities don’t continue. We often overlook the fact that even the most seasoned employees require ongoing training and development. Expertise raises the quality of work and, as a result, lowers the annual turnover rate.

You’ll have to invest some time and money in your initial training efforts. However, once the employee has gained experience in their roles, they will be able to provide you with better business results. It reduces both the employee’s and the employer’s frustration level.

Edward Shaw

Edward Shaw

Edward Shaw, Co-Founder of Leeline Sourcing.
Ana Bera

Ana Bera

Ana Bera, Head of Marketing and Co-Founder of Safeatlast.

Lack of Employer and Employee Relationship

One of the main reasons employee turnover is so high nowadays is because companies are more focused on turning a profit rather than building a relationship with their employees. Back in the day, people used to get a job and retire in the same company. They had a sense of obligation and loyalty.

People don’t feel like they are a part of the “family” because a lot of them don’t see the big picture. They don’t feel like they contribute as an individual, especially in a company that has 100+ employees. They can easily feel overlooked, so they often don’t have the motivation to care about the company they work for in return.

When employees are onboarded, it can be dangerous if it is done as quickly as possible to get them working as quickly as possible without explaining or showing them how their eight-hour workday contributes to the big picture.

Lack of Compassion Within an Organization

The lack of compassion within an organization, specifically a lack of compassionate leadership, is the reason for high turnover rates. Many leaders still use power and fear to motivate staff rather than inspiration and compassion. I have seen many qualified individuals leave jobs because they did not feel valued and did not feel like the company they were with was invested in their well-being and growth. Investing in people and caring about them as human beings rather than objects to use, pays amazing dividends for businesses.

I have observed policies and procedures that place staff in direct opposition to the company’s interests as if the two compete. When someone makes mistakes, companies then rush to make policies and procedures to prevent anyone else from committing the same mistake. What happens is that companies become more and more constricting, creating an atmosphere where nobody is trusted.

The obvious fact is many businesses do not understand that the staff is the business. How leadership treats the people they work with trickles down to the customers and those the company serves. Many individuals are not being paid living wages nor provided decent benefits to take care of their families. There are far too many people suffering at work right now with little notice from management or leadership.

Interestingly, some leadership themselves are suffering at work right now, unbeknownst to others. It is time that we talk about suffering at work and how compassion for ourselves and others, can help us create a better working environment for all.

Gissele Taraba

Gissele Taraba

Gissele Taraba is the owner of the Maitri Centre for Love and Compassion.
Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson, CEO of MoneyNerd Ltd.

5 Reasons Employees Leave

1. A Negative Relationship with Their Managers or Bosses
Whether they’re feeling micromanaged or have no cordiality, this is a factor.

2. A Toxic Company Culture
Maybe the bosses or management work to create a positive environment but the employees don’t follow through. Employees won’t stay in a stressful or toxic environment.

3. The Job Doesn’t Match the Description
Whether there are more duties previously unstated or the title doesn’t match the level of responsibility, employees will look for work where it is consistent.

4. No Room for Growth Within the Company
Employees looking for long-term careers look for room to grow. If there are no promotions or growth opportunities, they won’t stay.

5. No Recognition for Hard Work
Maybe they don’t need a sticker every time they accomplish something, but if an employee isn’t being recognized for a job consistently well done, they will leave.

Employees Don’t Recognize Purpose Within the Company

The common reasons for high employee turnover are not finding purpose in one’s work and the general knowledge of other options for making a full-time income. Companies need to be able to help employees find some meaning and purpose in their work specifically and let them know they are valued in what they do.

As far as the knowledge of other options for a full-time income, freelancing has become increasingly popular in the last decade, especially for digitally related skills, and this will cause more entrepreneurial employees to consider these options as alternatives to their current employment.

Nick White

Nick White

Nick White, Search Specialist at Ryan Lawn & Tree.
Harriet Chan

Harriet Chan

Harriet Chan, Co-Founder of CocoFinder, a company engaged in software development.

Lack of Support for Diversity

A common reason for the high employee turnover rate is the culture problem. The majority of today’s workers will leave when their company ignores the need for a diversified workplace. We live in a digital era with most millennials finding diversity more critical. Companies need to provide an environment that doesn’t allow unfairness or mistreatment of individuals based on identity.

Therefore, we recommend looking for better ways to promote diversity and organizations to make profound alterations in the work environment. For example, you can facilitate workplace diversity by creating system-wide new policies, allowing off-days for days like religious holidays not observed by the firm, ensuring clear communication and follow-throughs, and creating dictated diversified task forces.

3 Reasons for High Employee Turnover Rate

Lack of Goal Alignment
An employee is likelier to stay with an organization that supports her career goals and values her aspirations. The organization might be onto a great cause but if its goals and those of the employees are not in alignment, turnover is inevitable. Employers can invest more in one-on-one opportunities between managers and employees to discuss career progress and advance their performance review process so that it is less punitive and more supportive.

Poor Relationship With the Manager
As they say, employees don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses. From unavailable to overly critical, complacent to micromanaging, unsupportive to downright toxic, employees will leave in droves when they can’t get along with their boss. They will dread coming to work, asking and giving feedback, interacting with the boss, and eventually have no choice but to opt-out. Companies can improve retention by bolstering the employee experience with better management practices.

Company Instability
Employees will exit as soon as they notice that the company is struggling in any way. From financial woes to legal problems to management turmoil, all these issues are red flags that the company is not headed in the right direction, and no employee would want to stick around and risk losing their job eventually.

Ben Lamarche

Ben Lamarche

Ben Lamarche, General Manager at Lock Search Group.
Mary Alice Pizana

Mary Alice Pizana

Mary Alice Pizana, Human Resources Manager at Herrman and Herrman PLLC.

Toxic Working Environment

A high turnover rate is a major sign of a toxic work environment. There can be many different reasons why a company may have a high turnover rate. Common causes are a poor treatment of team members, unrealistic expectations, and unequal pay. To lower an organization’s turnover rate, they must find the root of why team members leave their company and fix it by holding everyone accountable or writing new company policies.

No Decision-Making Authority

In my opinion, one of the major reasons for high employee turnover in an organization is little or no decision-making authority. Organizations, where the employees are micromanaged, kills innovation and growth scope. Over-managed employees tend to feel irritated due to a lack of freedom, and that leads to a large number of employees leaving the job.

Jabez Reuben

Jabez Reuben

Jabez Reuben, Owner at The Blueprints.
Thomas Hawkins

Thomas Hawkins

Thomas Hawkins, CEO of Electrician Apprentice HQ.

3 Reasons Employees are Leaving the Workforce

• Pandemic Burnout
The pandemic caused employee shortages for various reasons. This has meant that the folks left to survive had to work that much harder. That leads to burnout, which is what you’re seeing in the current turnover crisis.

• Virtual Learning for Children
With kids having to learn from home (which is still a reality in some sectors), parents have been forced to quit jobs to care for their kids while they’re in school. This also contributes to employee turnover.

• New Choices
With the pandemic, the stimulus checks, and everything else, for a variety of reasons, virtually all companies are now hiring. This presents new career choices for workers that may not have been there before.

Poor Management

A very common reason for high employee turnover rate is poor management. If your management team is not properly trained in giving useful, constructive feedback to employees especially, employees cannot be expected to improve their performance. If managers are not providing positive reinforcement about what employees are excelling at, it is likely that employees will feel unappreciated and look for another place to work where they will be recognized for their hard work.

Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith, Founder of Disco.
Jonathan Saeidian

Jonathan Saeidian

Jonathan Saeidian, Founder and CEO of Brenton Way.

Inadequate Employee Selection

While finding the ideal person is challenging, forcing a match with an individual who is not a fit for the business culture or ideals will never work. Even if you are eager to fill that job, hiring a person who is not a good fit is detrimental to you, your business, and the employee. Nobody performs at their best when they are unhappy, and an unsuitable employee is unlikely to be satisfied in their new job.

Unclear Employee Roles

Employees who have a clear role definition know exactly what is expected of them. When employees know what is expected of them, they are more likely to feel confident about their contribution to the organization, devote their time and effort to tasks in which they have appropriate expertise, and avoid tasks that are unrelated to their skill set.

They also spend less time trying to figure out what their responsibilities are. They are less stressed because they already know what their priorities are. To put it another way, when employees understand their role, they become more confident, optimistic, and more likely to seek out tasks that allow them to demonstrate their abilities. They are less likely to consider quitting in this situation.

Ken Olling

Ken Olling

Ken Olling, Co-Founder and Chairman of MELD.
Jennifer Foster

Jennifer Foster

Jennifer Foster, Managing Editor for Authority Astrology, a collaborative dream team of astrology enthusiasts and dating professionals who work together to curate the best original content.

Absence of Feedback and Acknowledgment

If you avoid providing feedback, you run the risk of alienating your workers. Because feedback is the first step toward guaranteeing your workers’ success, ignoring this process may work against them. If an employee is having difficulty, your candid comments may assist them in managing their workload and refocusing. Ignoring or giving useless comments can cause your employee to stumble, get discouraged, struggle, and ultimately quit.

Overburdened and Unappreciated

Employees often leave their companies when they feel like they’re no longer getting more than they’re giving to work. They also lose their loyalty when they are not valued and recognized. There’s no quick fix to these issues, but the most effective employee retention strategy is creating an inclusive workplace where people feel heard and important.

Another reason for a high employee turnover rate is when we frequently overburden certain roles within a company. These roles become a catch all because of their skills, connections with the customer, etc. Looking intentionally at the expectations of certain teams can help to recognize roles that need restructuring to improve your employee retention.

Start building better relationships with your team and maintaining them. Remember your employees are people with values, skills, and needs. As an employer, you’re focused on meeting business objectives. Most of your employees are more motivated by recognition, using their innate skills, being challenged, and having autonomy to use their gifts and ideas.

They’re motivated by fair and appropriate compensation for the value they’re providing. When these needs aren’t being met, over and over again, employees get fed up and stop trying. Our business success is dependent on the work our people do every day. We need them to come to work with their best ideas, their energy, and their willingness to speak up.

Most people who voluntarily leave jobs are feeling like outsiders, like they are wasting their time and effort, or are completely burnt out from constant pushing. It is one thing to say that your people matter. It is a completely different thing to show your people how much they matter through your actions. Every interaction with your people contributes to their retention. You get to influence whether they are feeling heard or ignored.

Katie McLaughlin

Katie McLaughlin

Katie McLaughlin, Founder, and Chief Strategist and Transformation Artist at McLaughlin Method.
Lauri Kinkar

Lauri Kinkar

Lauri Kinkar, CEO at Messente.

Overwork and Burnout

Two of the reasons behind the high employee turnover rate is overworking and burnout. Employees leave because they are overworked. They feel like they have too much on their plate, and because employees are overwhelmed with the workload, they feel less motivated. It causes stress and burnout.

To avoid overworking and burnout, encourage taking breaks. Offer flexible work schedules to have a healthy work-life balance. Also, set realistic goals on what can be achieved on a 40-hour workweek and distribute work evenly among your team members.

Another reason why employees leave is the lack of growth opportunities. Employees want opportunities that allow them to grow professionally. When you don’t invest in the development of your employees, they might find an employer who does. To address this issue, offer mentorship programs or training to develop your employees’ skills.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.