Employee turnover is part of every work environment. The fact is that people quit their jobs. For the record, it’s not just undesirable employees who leave and move on. Even the best workers can reach a point at which they decide pastures are greener elsewhere. The big question is, what happens next?
Dealing with employee turnover is not black-and-white. It is also not science. Ideally, a company would want to know the reasons behind turnover. They would want to know why top talent would make the decision to go elsewhere. Logic would then dictate making appropriate changes to stem the tide of future departures.
Why People Quit Jobs
So, why do people quit their jobs? It depends on who you ask. According to 2018 data cited by Glassdoor, the number one reason for leaving a job is dissatisfaction with pay. Some 30% of all unhappy workers would leave their jobs in favor of new opportunities that pay more.
In close second is boredom. Believe it or not, nearly 27% of employees say that boredom is the worst part of their jobs and is sufficient motivation to quit. They would rather find another job that is more intellectually stimulating even if it doesn’t result in an immediate pay increase.
Finally, just under 19% of American workers are not big fans of their bosses. They say that issues with management are sufficient cause to start looking for a new job.
These three issues are fairly standard across the board. But there are other things that can add to employee dissatisfaction. For example, another 2018 report – this one from Gallup – showed that just 34% of U.S. workers are “enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.” While the numbers showed a slight increase from 2016, they still demonstrated that 66% were not enthusiastic and committed.
The Gallup report really boils down to employee engagement. When workers do not feel engaged at a personal level, they are less likely to be interested in who they work for. They feel like they could just as easily go and do the same work someplace else.
Finding out Why People Quit
All the research data looking at possible reasons people quit is good, but nothing substitutes for hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth. As such, employers want to find out why individuals quit. So what do they do? They conduct exit interviews. Unfortunately, the interviews may not help all that much.
According to Harvard Business Review contributors Anthony Klotz and Mark Bolino, exit reviews are largely ineffective. Why? Because employees are not candid on their way out the door. Some are afraid to say anything negative out of fear that they will not get a positive reference. Others believe their employers do not deserve to know the truth. Others walk away without attending the interview.
A Proactive Approach
It is clear that people quit their jobs for a variety of reasons. It’s also clear that exit interviews don’t necessarily help employers figure things out. So what is the employer to do? Dallas-based BenefitMall recommends taking a proactive approach. Rather than waiting until someone quits and then trying to figure things out, management should be constantly working to figure out what employees are thinking.
A proactive approach goes beyond just getting the work done to actually interacting with employees on a personal level. It involves getting their input on the work they are doing, asking for suggestions to improve the workplace, and so forth.
People quit their jobs. It is a fundamental reality of business. What happens next determines whether a company effectively manages turnover or not.