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Why Your Employees Want to Leave

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Amidst, dare I say it, ‘the great reshuffle’ it seems that many in the workforce are considering sending their ‘adios’ emails and changing jobs. 

Recent research conducted for SEEK revealed 31% of Australian workers are looking to move jobs in the next 6 months, citing four main reasons for their potential move:

  1. Career progression (44%)
  2. More money (42%)
  3. Poor leadership or culture in their current workplace (39%)
  4. Burnout or lack of work-life balance (36%)

Understanding the reasons employees want to jump ship and coming up with compelling retention strategies is crucial in this era where people’s attitudes towards work have shifted. Even if it’s too late to retain current staff, you’ll need to make changes to attract and retain new employees.

 

1. Career Progression

I’m sure we’d all love to be able to offer promotions to our amazing teams, but this isn’t always possible - particularly for small to medium businesses. But psychology tells us that doing the same thing for multiple years can get old, as can too much boring, repetitive work. Right now, some employees are one recruiter email, one catch-up with a friend, or well-timed job posting from changing jobs, leaving you to fill their role in a tight market.

But there are alternatives to straight up promotion. Challenges and new opportunities capture the imagination and excite people, so have a look at what you can offer that larger companies can’t and play to those strengths. Perhaps it’s mentoring, extra training, hands-on skills workshops or shuffling roles.

A change in responsibility or role can be just as refreshing and motivating as a promotion. Perhaps a shift in responsibilities is due. Look at the kinds of tasks the employee commonly takes on and where you can shift or swap responsibilities within your team. Never underestimate what even a small change of scenery can do to freshen things up (and make them delete that recruiter email).

The main thing is that employees feel like they’re progressing or developing in some way, so don’t forget to check in regularly to ensure they’re on track, offer assistance and congratulate them on their achievements. 

 

2. More Money

Mo’ money, mo’ problems… well, if you can’t afford to give sweeping pay rises to your workforce - which most of us can’t. Given interest rate rises are set to continue, along with the cost of living being well over the edge of reasonable, lots of people will be looking to their employers for a pay rise. 

But let’s not collectively panic just yet, there are alternatives! Recently, Glassdoor found that nearly four out of five employees prefer perks overpay increases, with this being stronger for younger age groups (18-34 year olds). PERKS! 

Get on board the perks train with top organisations offering options like:

  • Bonuses or profit share options based on performance
  • Health and wellbeing programs (e.g. gym memberships, discount programs and access to mental health services)
  • Longer paid parental leave, personal leave days or annual leave
  • Flexible work hours and location, work from home flexibility is highly sought after
  • Office perks (e.g. free parking, lunch or coffee) 
  • Employee training and development, including formal education

Check out our guide Perks? What Perks? and have a discussion with your team as to what they would value most, the more personalised the better. Mo’ money? How about mo’ PERKS!

 

3. Poor Leadership or Culture

People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave shitty bosses and/or toxic cultures. Often employers find it difficult to see the wood from the trees when it comes to leadership and culture, but when employees don’t feel seen, valued or that their contribution is meaningful 

A great culture invigorates your team, enhances collaboration, motivation, innovation, and growth. A bad one can stifle employees and lead to a poor reputation and high turnover, which, if you haven’t heard - can cost companies hundreds of thousands. 

We’ve written about leadership and culture before, make sure you have a read:

 

4. Burnout or Lack of Work-Life Balance

If you think an employee is experiencing burnout, try a conversation where you reflect what you’ve observed. Approach this conversation with genuine empathy, concern and in a way that will build trust.

Rather than work-life balance, think about the different domains of an employee’s life like parenting, work, health, time with pets and so on. These are all aspects that make our lives fulfilling and providing opportunities for your people to fulfil these needs is ideal.

Ideally these needs should be addressed before burnout becomes evident. You might find that an employee wants to exercise before work and would like to start 30 minutes later, or maybe they want to volunteer one afternoon a month. Whatever it is that makes them feel fulfilled, it’s important to ask what it is, and then see if opportunities can be provided.

It’s a tough time to find candidates (not just qualified ones, any at all…), so it’s more important than ever to retain the valuable staff you do have. While some workers may be thinking of moving jobs, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of them looking elsewhere and, as an added bonus, be able to recruit new talent easily when the need arises. Think creatively about ways employees can progress, be curious about their experiences and need (particularly how they could be improved) and offer real, personalised perks.

If your business needs support in making changes to attract or retain key talent, simply get in touch with us today for a no-obligation discussion of your needs.

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