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6 Causes For High Employee Turnover In Your Organization

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Good employees are hard to find. It is even harder to retain those employees. That's why reducing employee turnover is fast becoming the primary concern among organizations.

Calculating employee turnover is easy. It’s essentially the percentage of the total number of employees who leave an organization, over a period of time, and are replaced by new employees.

Hiring top talent can be expensive, time-consuming and stressful. Things become more complicated when that very high performing person chooses to leave.

The high annual turnover rate has become even more of a pain point for growing companies. You have to worry about organizational growth while replacing a steady stream of departing employees.

We all know that employee turnover is a problem. But just how big of a problem is it?

According to a study conducted by the SHRM, employers will often end up spending six to nine months of an employee’s salary to locate and train a replacement for them.

Very stressful, isn’t it?

When an employee chooses to leave, it might be due to a various number of reasons. Some might be reasons you have no control like poor health of an employee. But most often, the answer to why turnover occurs lies in the very heart of some common management practices.

Here are the 6 causes for high employee turnover rates that we cover in this article:

1. Lack of the amount of training given.

2. The culture problem of ignoring diversity in the work environment.

3. A lack of an efficient hiring process.

4. Not defining the right roles in the organization.

5. Lack of opportunities for mobilities within the organization.

6. Lack of work-life balance.


Types of Employee Turnover

There are essentially two types of turnover. Voluntary and involuntary turnover.

Voluntary turnover occurs when an employee leave for any personal reason. But involuntary turnover occurs when the employer let goes of employees for being a poor performer.

Voluntary turnover involves some of the high performing employees leaving. Thus companies are more inclined to concentrate on improving the voluntary turnover rates as compared to involuntary turnover.

So why are your high performing employees walking away?

The reasons why employees leave a company, might not be the ones that you are thinking of.

According to a Gallup conducted survey, these following reasons drive employee turnover in companies:

  • Managers influence at least 75% of the reasons for voluntary turnover.
  • “Career Advancement” contributes to 32% of those voluntarily quitting jobs.
  • "Pay and benefits" was the second most common answer (22%) to why employees chooses to leave.
  • 20.2% said that they quit because they were not suited for that job.
  • Much smaller percentages quit because of flexibility or scheduling (7.7%) or job security (1.7%).

When an employee leaves, it affects the organization as a whole. Employee turnover shows its effects, not just for a period of time, but in the long run. It affects overall productivity as well as diminishes morale among those left behind.

While you can’t prevent your employees leaving for the greener pastures, you surely can take certain measures to ensure that it happens less frequently.

6 Reasons Why High Employee Turnover Rates Occurs

Understanding the problems due to which employee turnover occurs is preferable than conducting exit interviews.

Below are 6 symptoms pointing to a risk of high turnover, and what you can do about it.

1. Less Amount Of Training Results In High Voluntary Turnover

Employee retention strategies start when a new hire steps through the door.

Part of that experience is their on-boarding, which also counts as a part of their training.

Nowadays, companies are learning more and more about the importance of having a relevant onboarding culture.

The onboarding processes of companies like Facebook is almost legendary because it starts prepping their new hires even before their first day at work.
But what most bosses fail to understand is that even an outstandingly good onboarding process will not be able to make your employees stay if the learning opportunities don’t continue. That is, many a time we don’t realize that even the old-timers need constant training and development opportunities.

With changing technology, the need arises to keep on upgrading one’s current skills. Without significant means to keep up with the growing economy, their skillset becomes stagnant. This contributes to a whopping 32% of employees who chooses to leave because of this very lack of career advancement.

Initially, when you train your staff, it will cost you some amount of time and money. But once the employee gets skilled in their respective roles, they can provide you with even better revenue than before. It reduces the frustration level of both- the employee and the employer.

Expertise improves the quality of the work and ultimately helps in reducing the annual turnover rate.

Action Steps

  • Firstly, seek out to implement proper training planning for your employees. Determine what kind of training is needed. Determine who needs to be trained. Know the best resources to provide training with. About what period of time will training be provided. Draw up a detailed blueprint.
  • Conduct frequent seminars, presentations, workshops to help your employees build their skills.
  • At the start of the year, make it easier for them to get access to any learning resources like online educational programs. Also called as e-learning >, this gives the advantage of being faster, easier to access and being more user-friendly as compared to traditional training practices.

2. The Culture Problem (Work Environment Matters!)

According to a study from the Kapor Center for Social Impact, nearly 40% of “tech leavers” chooses to leave after experiencing unfairness and mistreatment related to their gender or racial/ethnic identity.

Diversity is now more important than ever. 47% of millennials, who constitute about half of today’s workforce, actively look for diversity and inclusion programs in their prospective employers before finalizing a job decision.

Employee turnover occurs when companies ignore the need for cultural diversity in the workplace.

To improve retention, companies have got to start making serious changes in the work environment. It can be measures taken to close the wage gap or combating inappropriate conduct.

Action Steps

  • Facilitating workplace diversity may mean creating system-wide new policies.
  • Allowing employees to take days off for religious holidays that may not be otherwise observed by the company. Offering on-site daycare for their children, and extending the option for flexible work hours. These are some of the many examples of diversity-friendly policies.
  • Clear communication and follow-throughs are necessary to ensure the policies are effective. Employees should feel comfortable coming to their managers with any concerns. Especially about their treatment in the company due to their gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, or other factors.
  • Create dedicated diversity task forces with team members from every department for candidate recruitment and training.

3. A Bad Hiring Process Affects Employee Turnover Rates

Developing an efficient hiring process is very often neglected. Mainly because companies are so hard pressed for time and resources that they want to fill in the vacant positions as soon as possible.

With this short-term view, they throw strategic planning out the window, and start interviewing candidates according to inconsistent processes and with a firm reliance on gut reactions.

Here’s the problem: the right people don’t get hired. This approach is a sure way recipe for high turnover. When the wrong people get hired, it creates big problems down the road.

However, with a systematic hiring approach, companies can hire better and faster by focusing on the first-minute, upfront work of hiring the employees who can best fit the role.

Action Steps

  • Before posting a new job listing, try to ask yourselves a number of questions. Ask about the role’s business need, high-level objectives, and needed skills.
  • Before releasing any new job listing to the public, first, share it internally with the team to see if it’s a good fit for an existing teammate.
  • Use sufficient tools to keep your hiring process efficient and help create a great experience for everyone involved.
  • Focus the interview at understanding the candidate and what they value.

4. Defining The Right Roles Influences Employee Engagement

Every employee has a role that he will fit into. A Harvard Business Review study reviewed:

In fact, when individuals feel their role is bounded in ways that allow them to do a significant portion of their work independently. Without such clarity, team members are likely to waste energy negotiating roles or protecting turf, rather than focusing on the task.

A clear role definition helps employees to exactly understand what’s expected of them. When employees know what’s expected of them, they tend to:

  • Feel confident about their contribution to the organization.
  • Focus their time and efforts on doing tasks that they have suitable expertise in.
  • Avoid working on tasks that are unrelated to their skillset.
  • Spend less time trying to get a grasp of their duties and responsibilities. They already know what their priorities are.
  • Feel less stressed.

To summarize, when employees know their place in the organization they become more assured, confident and find relevant tasks to showcase their skills. In such a scenario, it is less likely that they consider quitting.

Action Steps

  • Make a list of all the existing staff or employees of the company. Next, create another list of the roles and tasks that are required to perform in the business operations.
  • Another useful tool is a rough organizational chart. This will be useful in analyzing how the different departments or divisions of the organization interconnect with each other.
  • Think of the role description as your guide or map, for both the management and the employee. This will help your employees in their attempt to attain the goals of the organization.

5. Opportunities For Mobility Within The Organization

Without mobility, there are no real opportunities for growth. Gallup's research found that the primary reasons employees look for change is to have the chance to expand their knowledge and use their strengths.

In a nutshell, people want to do what they're good at. When these opportunities for growth stop coming, employees chooses to leave.

The answer to retaining your top talent may not necessarily be a move up the corporate ladder. Rather than upward mobility, many employees are searching for "internal mobility". Bersin by Deloitte defines it as a dynamic process for moving talent from role to role at every level, from top executives to operational staff.

Action Steps

  • Take into account both your high performing and high potential employees. High potential employees have the ability to be great assets to the organization. But they need further development and resources. Being able to identify these individuals is key to figuring out how to motivate and retain them.
  • Having the right learning and development resources in place for your employees.
  • It’s up to the organization to educate the management on the benefits of internal mobility. Just because this means you may end up losing an employee from your department, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t provide them with the right opportunities to grow and flourish in another part of the organization.

6. Work-Life Balance Is Fast Becoming A Key Tool For Retention

When you don’t sleep, eat crap, don’t exercise, and are living off adrenaline for too long, your performance suffers. Your decisions suffer. Your company suffers.
-Ev Williams

More than one in four employees at organizations, not perceived to support work-life balance, plan to leave their employers within the next two years.

Your employees have a lot of stuff to deal with every day. There are meetings, office parties, interviews, deadlines, work events and more. On top of that, employees are expected to stay at the top of their game. The daily commute. Children to look after. Relationships to maintain. Personal crises.

Striking a balance between your personal life and work life can be a daunting task. Employees feel that companies which offer a good work-life balance, are the ones worth investing their efforts to.

As an employer, the questions that you should be asking yourself is:
“Are my employees forced to miss out on major family events because of work obligations? Are they compensated enough for the things they are missing out on?”

If your answers are “yes” and “no” (in that order), a lot of changes has to take place.

Action Steps

  • If you’re a manager, and you tend to be an overachiever, encourage your staff to take breaks.
  • Offer a flexible work schedule.
  • Offer paid time off.
  • Set expectations that time off is indeed time off.

To Conclude: Bottom Line For Retaining Employees

High employee turnover has the capability of bringing an organization to a complete standstill. Retaining your employees is a long, overdue process and it’s okay! Good things require a period of time and effort to happen.

Thus if you work to improve upon the above 6 key problems for your high employee turnover rates, you might be in a position to retain your best employees.

This article is written by Barasha Medhi is a content marketer at Vantage Circle.She is always on the lookout for interesting tidbits about the current HR and employee engagement space. For any related queries, contact

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