19 December, 2019 | Rebecca East

Why do employees quit?

Maybe they want a new challenge. A change of scene. A higher salary. Career development.  A workplace closer to home.

But in our experience, the reasons for a resignation usually boil down to one thing.

Management and their ability to understand an individual’s drivers.

They may not list it explicitly in their exit interview, but 75% of resigning employees cited management as their reason for leaving when quizzed by Gallup*.

And with resignations at their highest in 6 years, it’s becoming a problem – but one that’s entirely avoidable.

You see, even those reasons that skirt around the issue can often be traced indirectly back to management: or rather, to conversations that managers should be having with their teams but aren’t.

From salary expectations to a different work-life arrangement, many employee issues have a solution that benefits both parties. For talented, high-performing personnel, we’re willing to bet that most of you would rather make a few reasonable adjustments than lose skilled staff to a competitor – but you can’t tackle a problem that you don’t know exists.

Let’s take career development as an example.

Research by The Harris Poll found that one third of employees who quit their jobs did so because they didn’t learn new skills during their time there. The study found that 77%* of employees questioned felt ‘left alone’ to develop their careers (an important factor for millennials in particular) with many eventually choosing to take their talent to a business that focussed on education and progression.

Armed with this knowledge, a good manager could put a development plan in place, not only keeping the employee happy but also growing in-house talent that benefits the business. Without that information, they lose valuable opportunities to retain staff and improve their workforce.

So how can managers find out about these issues before they read them on a resignation letter – and take action before it’s too late?

By taking a people first approach.

When we talk about poor management, people have a tendency to jump straight to the idea of ‘horrible bosses’ and feel confident that they’d know if they had one of those in their business. Yet in reality, poor management is not a comment on the character of the manager, but on the method and structure they are working with.

There’s a difference between being ‘personable’ and being ‘people centric’. A friendly, upbeat manager might still only engage superficially with their teams, because they lack the framework and coaching to delve deeper and find out what really drives people. Taking a truly people-first approach needs more than annual appraisals: it needs the right conversations to take place regularly.

One-to-ones are the solution.

Routine engagement gives employees an opportunity to discuss issues before they become obstacles – but managers need to ask questions that instigate honest, open dialogue. A people-centric performance management platform like OpenBlend can coach and support managers through this process, providing a clear structure that makes leading and responding in one-to-one meetings simple and easy to replicate across teams.

By providing a tool to track results, both managers and talent are given full accountability: these aren’t just conversations to be forgotten, but actionable plans to retain your most talented staff.

Management may be the reason why most employees quit, but our goal is to make it the reason they stay. Find out how OpenBlend has helped businesses including Lacoste, Avios, Mediacom and more to benefit from a people-first approach to talent management and retention: call us on 01628 613040 or email hello@openblend.com.

Karen

Sources

The Harris Poll

Gallup State of the Global Workplace

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