Now that we have gotten over ourselves and our management biases and old wives tales, let’s look at the realities.
We delineated what employers might believe is causing turnover. According to recent studies and actual surveys, while pay and benefits contribute, the research shows the top reasons people actually leave jobs are:
- Poor management - the main reason cited in multiple polls and studies
- Lack of career growth opportunities
- Feeling devalued and unrecognized
- Work-life imbalance, overwork and stress
- Poor company culture and work environment
- Loss of trust and confidence in leadership
- Lack of autonomy and empowerment
- Feeling "stuck" with no options to change roles
- Poor communication and transparency
- Uncertainty about the company's future direction
Many of these tie directly to the relationship with the manager and how the company shows appreciation. While salary attracts talent, culture, meaningful work, flexibility, care for employees and great leadership retains it. Effective listening, transparency, and reflecting the company’s values in policies make much greater impact on loyalty, innovation and the bottom line.
Let's explore these root causes of Employee Turnover further.
Many employees leave due to feeling micromanaged, berated, or generally disrespected. Authoritarian bosses who rule through fear rather than inspiration create cultures where people lose passion. This chips away at loyalty and wellbeing over time. People don't quit jobs; they quit managers.
Lack of Growth Opportunities
When employees feel stagnant in roles without room for advancement, it can lead to disengagement as work loses meaning. This stifles professional development which is deeply tied to personal identity and self-worth for many. Without growth opportunities, resignation often becomes the only path forward.
When hard work and dedication go unrecognized, it communicates to employees that they are expendable commodities. This erodes motivation dramatically. Salary alone does not compensate for lack of appreciation. Everyone needs affirmation to thrive.
Long hours and unreasonable expectations lead to increased stress, fatigue, and burnout over time. This prevents people from fulfilling responsibilities and enjoying life outside work, putting strain on family and health. No job is worth complete life imbalance.
Negative office environments with toxic colleagues, gossip, and cutthroat politics wear people down. Lacking camaraderie and inclusion, people become withdrawn which hinders engagement, innovation and productivity. Poor culture steals joy, fulfillment and purpose from work.
Loss of Trust
When leadership shows blatant self-interest through dishonesty, covering up mistakes, or shifting blame, they erode critical foundations of trust. This sends people searching elsewhere, as no amount of perks can override integrity concerns. Trust is essential.
Lack of Autonomy
Micromanagement and overbearing bureaucracy constraint talent and sap intrinsic motivation. The most competent employees need freedom and authority to apply their skills. Without autonomy, passion and potential get suppressed under layers of mundane bureaucracy.
Specialization can pigeonhole talented people, giving them little option to progress besides leaving. Similarly outdated hierarchy structures may limit mobility. When people feel trapped in positions not matching ambitions or experience, resignation is inevitable.
When leadership leaves people in the dark on decisions affecting them through secrecy,clide exclusivity or constantly shifting strategies, it breeds confusion, rumor mills and disengagement. Transparency and inclusion in communications prevents disconnects.
Lacking clear direction or reassurances during restructuring or economic troubles understandably unsettles employees. Feeling at the whim of unpredictable management leads people to pursue more secure opportunities even reluctantly. Confidence in leadership steer through chaos is vital.
Summing It Up
The common root issue underlying all these turnover factors is breakdowns in human-centered leadership, transparent communication, trust building and supportive culture cultivation. My book will provide frameworks, case studies and diagnostic tools to help leaders understand and address the deeper intricacies behind employee turnover.
In our following posts, we will begin to analyze how to overcome these turnover causes.
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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.