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Why You Experience High Employee Turnover



Studies consistently show that employees don't leave companies. They leave their bosses. But is it  true? And if so, why do people leave their managers?


Typically you hear employees leave because they want more money and benefits or increased opportunities for advancement. But is that what they really want? Companies know the answer, the question remains are they going to do something about it?


As a leader in DISC Certification Training, DISCcert understands employee turnover is costing your company money and your leaders have a huge impact on your bottom line. DISC itself is a tool to drive change and develop leaders. Leadership development will impact your employee turnover (for the better good).


In this article, we discuss the causes, the cost, and the solutions to employee turnover.


Possible Causes of Employee Turnover


To deal with employee attrition, let's look at a few of the primary causes.


1. Lack of Growth and Opportunity


If the chance to grow with the company is lacking, people tend to look elsewhere. According to a Gallup poll, 32% cited a lack of opportunities as a reason to depart from their current position.


As leaders in a company, one of the natural predictors of turnover is whether your employee has an opportunity to learn and grow.


2. Overworked and Underpaid


70% of employees feel as though there is just not enough time in the day to get their work done. Overworked employees lead to high stress, burnout, and illness. 


If you notice these signs it's time to make a change. Prioritizing a work-life balance is critical.


3. Lack of Feedback or Recognition


Who doesn't want to be recognized for a job well done? Employees like to know their job matters and serve a purpose to the entire business. When they don't feel appreciated and recognized, they may start to look for an exit strategy.


Gallup researchers have studied human behavior and strength for decades and have found,

"Employees who receive strengths feedback have turnover rates that are 14.9% lower than those for employees who do not receive feedback".

Preventing turnover is about first listening to your employees but most of all following through when a project is well-done and completed. Which could lead us to the real reason for turnover...


4. Manager's Action or Lack of Action (Low Engagement)


Why people leave managers, not companies...


In Gallup’s comprehensive study, The State of the American Manager,” they found a harsh truth:

50% of Americans have left a job to get away from their manager at some point in their career.”

Think about it...


One in two employees have left their job to get away from their manager and improve their overall life.

Managers decide what employees work on, have the power to promote or not, decide to help fix problems or situations that arise or not, and so much more. In most cases, we spend more time with this person than our own family. 


Managers have the power to show appreciation sincerely, offer different opportunities within their organization, prioritize the workflow, and more.


The best opportunity for managers to grow and develop is to "identify the ways in which they most naturally think, feel and behave, and then build on those talents to create strengths."


Take my complimentary DISCcert online DISC Assessment It's simple and helps measure communication behavior preferences.

Plus, it only takes 10 minutes but will change the way you speak with others forever.


Take My DISC Assessment


So we get it impacts the employee...


What impact does it have on the employer? 



Cost of Employee Turnover to an Organization


Employee turnover is expensive.


Josh Bersin of Deloitte believes,

"The cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5-2.0X the employee’s annual salary."

These costs include new hire, onboarding, training, ramp time to peak productivity, lost engagement from others, higher business error rates (the newbie has to get up to speed on the business), and culture impacts (the other employees start thinking the grass is greener on the other side).


Employees, Bersin explains,

"are appreciating assets that produce more and more value to the organization over time, which helps explain why losing them is so costly."

source: Employee Retention Now a Big Issue: Why the Tide has Turned


The costs incurred when replacing an employee can be placed into three categories: separation, recruitment, and productivity.


Separation costs is the process of clearing up any severance pay or continued benefits.


Recruitment costs are those associated with finding new talent through ads, cost of training and getting them up to speed (which could be time-consuming).


Productivity costs will vary on the level of the job being filled and the skill-set required. 


Another study cites that it costs employers 33% of a worker's annual salary to hire a replacement. If your employee makes approximately $45,000 annually, the replacement cost is roughly $15,000.

Think of the cost impact for a top-level position. The loss could be much higher.


Matuson Consulting offers an employee turnover calculator to look at what it costs your company every time someone leaves your organization. They break it down to the situation, hiring costs, training costs, and loss of productivity costs.

"The total inevitably proves that identifying, acquiring, nurturing and retaining top talent would save your organization millions of dollars year after year."

The key takeaway is the relationship between manager and employee plays a critical role.


Possible Solutions to Retain Talent


1. Great Work-Life Balance 


We all have a life outside of work and those companies that know it and understand it, thrive from it. Having a job that lets you "Be you" in and out of an office will be a game-changer.

"Indeed recently analyzed over 10 million company reviews to identify the 20 companies with the best work-life balance. According to Wolfe, empathy is the special ingredient when it comes to cooking up a healthy work-life balance for employees."

The ability to understand or sense how a person feels can make a difference in the workplace. Leaders with the strength of empathy and can sense their workers' emotions will thrive.


2. Value with Recognition


Recognizing employees will encourage them to always do their best.


There is a book by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. One of the agreements is "Always Do Your Best". His thoughts were to do your best at any given moment and you'll have no regrets. This will encourage you to move forward with your goals. 


If your manager supports this agreement it's a win-win situation. Focusing on improvement and reducing stress will help you avoid behavior patterns that create work frustration or negative feelings. 


3. Autonomy is a Key to Job Satisfaction


Research shows that one of the real secrets to employee happiness and well-being, which is directly linked to employee turnover, is an acute sense of autonomy in daily operations.


Researchers at the University of Birmingham, Business School recently studied two years’ worth of data on 20,000 employees to determine the effects of autonomy on employee morale and well-being.


Generally, the higher levels of independence a worker experienced, the higher their sense of job satisfaction and well-being.


4. Communication Prevents Discontent


Lack of communication can cause employee frustration.


People want to follow managers that communicate and exude strong leadership. Your organization needs leaders, not managers. Employees crave to be understood and need a leader who can articulate a vision that motivates and drives them and the organization forward.


Without open lines of communication, you may lose a valued employee.


As a leader/manager, how do you get started?


How do you learn to become a better communicator?...


By taking a proactive approach you can improve satisfaction. You need to understand there are four basic Communication Behaviors - 

  • Dominant

  • Influence

  • Steady

  • Conscientious

And when you understand these four Behaviors, your meetings will run smoother, teams will be more productive and your managers and top-level executives will lead better.


DISCcert Certification Courses help you understand how to become better at conversations and connections. It is a proven communication model and a powerful tool to engage employees and reduce employee turnover.


In Summary


Gallup reminds us in their report...


“…employees are people first, and they have an intrinsic need for bonding that does not automatically turn itself off between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.


The best managers can understand and relate to their team members’ inherently human motivations.”


Understand their motivations and you'll start to understand their behaviors and their why.


DISCcert can help if your organization struggles to communicate effectively.


Let's talk!