The expense of losing an employee is more than the cost of bringing one on board, yet companies continually let good workers slip through their hands. The reasons employees leave vary, but one thing is for sure, employers don’t hold all the cards, even in a tough job market.
“Companies can’t look at employees as expendable commodities,” says Pat Sweeney, human resource manager at Old Colony Hospice and Palliative Care. “There may be a high unemployment rate but it’s not all skilled people. If you’re just looking at your bottom line, you want to make sure your employees feel valued.”
Turnover can be expensive. According to Salary.com it costs a company anywhere from 120% to 150% of the person’s salary if they leave in one to three months. Not only do companies invest money and time orienting the new worker, there are also training, benefits and recruitment costs. Because of that, it behooves a company to create an environment where employees want to stay.
From employing bad managers to not providing career growth, here’s a look at four actions that are sure to push employees out the door.
A lot of companies pride themselves on promoting within, but sometimes that strategy can backfire if the person they are giving a management role to isn’t up to the task. According to career experts one of the main reasons employees leave a company is because of poor management or a bad boss.
“Leadership skills are not intuitive and well taught,” says Carl Robinson, Ph.D., a business psychologist and executive coach. “Really talented people will not put up with jerk bosses, they don’t need to. There’s a shortage of talented smart people.” Unfortunately Robinson says very few companies provide adequate management training so supervisors know how to interact and communicate with employees.
Lack of career growth
Nobody accepts a position with the intent of doing the same job for their entire career. People want to grow professionally and if they can’t, chances are they will eventually leave. If your company needs to attract and retain highly skilled workers, then you better make sure you are providing developmental opportunities.
“Companies owe it to their employees to invest in their development,” says Susan Heathfield, the guide to human resources for About.com. “It doesn’t always take an outside seminar or sending them away. There is much you can do internally.” Heathfield points to job shadowing of a higher up, mentoring programs and internal training as three examples that won’t break the bank. “Companies are not doing a good job of career development,” she says.
Letting employees fend for themselves
In every organization there are those go getters who make it known to anyone that will listen that they want to climb up the ladder and the introverted ones who do a good job but don’t possess the self-promoting skills. Often those in the latter camp will get passed up for promotions even if they are deserving of it, which will breed resentment and eventually result in their departure.
“Often companies may be guilty of saying ‘you own your career, go find the opportunity,’ but for people that are not outgoing they don’t understand the concept of finding a mentor or finding career growth,” says Abby Euler, general manager at Salary.com. Companies need to understand the different types of personalities and make sure there is clear communications as to how to find a mentor and move up in the organization, she says.
Not valuing and respecting workers
Let’s face it money and benefits do matter, but workers also want to feel valued, respected and that they are making a contribution. If a company can’t meet those basic needs, it will likely deal with lots of turn over. Feeling valued not only means recognition for a job well done but being kept in the loop about workplace issues. If all of the major decisions are made behind closed doors and the workers are the last to know it will create uncertainty which could result in departures, says Sweeney.
Employees also want to work for companies that actually care about their work/life balance. “Companies have to be sensitive to what employees need outside the office,” says Sweeney. They need to ask themselves are they listening to what their employees have to say, is there open communications and is their flexibility in schedules, she says.