Understanding the root causes of turnover is key to preventing it.
The top causes include:
- Lack of career development and advancement opportunities
- Poor compensation and benefits
- Minimal training and onboarding
- Lack of recognition and feedback
- Poor relationships with manager/leadership
- Feeling devalued or insignificant
- Poor work-life balance
- Lack of autonomy and empowerment
- Unclear performance expectations
- Lack of communication and transparency
- Poor or negative company culture
- Feeling "stuck" in role with no options to transfer/promote
Any HR analyst worth their salt, (and we have some of the best on our staff), would stress the importance of uncovering the root causes of employee turnover in your organization. Stop guessing and get to analyzing. While exit interviews provide the most candid insights after the fact, statistical analysis of your workforce data can reveal predictive trends before retention becomes an issue. Here are some pro-tips from our analysts:
Review historical turnover figures - are specific teams, roles, or managers above average? Look for patterns.
Analyze time-to-hire and ramp-up periods for new hires. Longer durations indicate greater loss of productivity.
Compare salary bands and performance ratings of those who left versus stayed. Inequities often drive departures.
Factor in tenure alongside age and demographics. Are longer-tenured employees more or less likely to resign?
Look for correlations linking absenteeism, lower engagement scores, and policy violations to subsequent turnover. Disengagement precedes departure.
Statistically, does more turnover follow specific events like mergers, leadership changes, or new technology rollouts? Change management matters.
While statistics help us quantify the problem, conversations provide the color. Well-conducted exit interviews uncover unmet expectations, culture misalignment, insufficient development opportunities and other root causes. An unbiased third party interviewer yields the most candid insights.
Combining hard workforce analytics with qualitative data from open-ended interviews allows us to diagnose why turnover happens. This powers targeted retention strategies addressing the real underlying issues, not just symptoms.
Capturing and retaining institutional knowledge remains a challenge. Tools like knowledge management systems and wikis, thorough documentation, onboarding training, mentorships and cross-training can help but are incomplete solutions. The reality is no database can replace what a person knows intuitively from their own experiences. This makes employee retention critical.
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Joseph Campagna, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is president and owner of My Virtual HR Director, a human resources outsourcing company serving small and medium sized businesses nationwide. My Virtual HR Director provides an executive level HR advisor to companies that can’t afford or can’t justify hiring a fulltime HR professional on staff.
With twenty years of experience dedicated to the HR profession, Mr. Campagna has honed his skills as an expert in compliance, talent management and employee relations. Bringing human capital management experience from start-ups, IT and biotechnology companies, employee leasing, and fortune 100 behemoths Mr. Campagna has filled his tool belt through generalist work, executive positions, and consulting opportunities with companies such as ADP, Merrill Lynch, and Johnson & Johnson. As Vice President of HR for biotech company Hemo Concepts, as well as the head of HR for the global IT solutions company, the Galaxy Group, Mr. Campagna created rich and successful organizational development and employee engagement programs.
Having worked with a diverse group of companies and clients in a broad spectrum of industries and environments, he brings a unique HR philosophy to every organization he works with. “HR is not the picnic department,” he says “but instead bears the full responsibility and the unlimited potential for a highly productive and efficient workforce. If HR systems are successful, the organization’s revenue should be increased.” From mergers and acquisitions, to IPO’s, to new product development, to divestiture Mr. Campagna has a true business background to support his HR Architecture.
Mr. Campagna is certified as a senior professional through both the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The HRCI designation of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) is an experienced-based examination certification. The SHRM certification is a competency based examination certification. Each is a premier designation in the world of HR and recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management of which Joe is a national member and former chapter president.
Mr. Campagna brings decades of helping small and medium sized businesses create HR structures such as employee handbooks, performance systems, talent management, training programs, and employee engagement. He knows how to deliver business results through HR aligned objectives.
Nearly 30 years of expertise and HR executive authority combined with a group health insurance license and certifications from the Society for Human Resource management and the Human Resources Certification Institute have given Joseph Campagna the guru status that has earned him leadership roles, board of director roles, and speaking engagements related to human resources.