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Seven reasons why your staff don’t stay

Seven reasons why your staff don’t stay

Is yours a company that people join and stay with forever or a revolving door, where Friday farewell lunches are par for the course?

While some degree of staff turnover is normal and desirable – think 10 to 15 per cent a year, according to workplace specialist Dr Tim Baker – constant churn is a clear signal that workers aren’t happy.

It’s also expensive. Recruitment and Consulting Services Association research suggests replacing a staff member can cost up to 150 per cent of their salary, so keeping good people for as long as you can makes economic sense, Baker says.

Small Business asked workplace and careers experts to share the most common reasons why staff say a speedy “hello, goodbye”.

It’s not you, it’s me

Wondering why your team is collectively stampeding for the exit? Look in the mirror, Baker advises. Working for an autocratic or unreasonable boss is the standout reason why people hand in their notice. So rather than blaming your industry, a bad patch or the superficial causes you’d like to believe prompt the ongoing exodus, it might be time to take a hard look at the way you do things.

The road to nowhere

Nice company, OK people – but where to from here? If you don’t have a decent answer to this one, then the best of British getting anyone decent to stick around, recruiter Peter Acheson, the CEO of Peoplebank, says.

“Good people want training and development and will simply leave if consigned to a dead-end job,” Acheson says.

Working with staff to determine a career path and the skills they need to take the next step keeps them engaged and looking to the future – with your company, rather than the competition.

The young and the restless

Like to have lots of young faces on the team? No problem – providing you’re aware your Gen Y workers may be there for a good time, not a long time, trainer and business coach Maureen Pound says.

“Young people have a different attitude to employers,” she says. “They never see themselves staying in a role very long. They have never seen or experienced high unemployment so there is no fear there.”

Play together, stay together

No after-work drinks, no social sports, no celebratory dinners when project milestones are reached? Teams that play together, stay together, Nourish Coaching’s Sally-Anne Blanshard says – and employers that don’t make a little extracurricular effort may make the decision to decamp easier for staff.

“Rewards for people can come in various shapes and sizes – it doesn’t always have to be a ‘card behind the bar’ massive event,” Blanshard says. “Sometimes people would appreciate smaller gatherings or activities.”

The devil for details

Got someone running things who just can’t cope unless they’re across every. Little. Detail? It’s likely those in their team will be sneaking a peek at Seek every chance they get, CareersCoach founder Lisa O’Brien says.

“Being micro-managed makes employees feel as though they are not trusted or valued,” O’Brien says.

“It is not uncommon for a new manager to come into an organisation and start micro managing staff as they find their own feet . . . but it can cause havoc to staff morale, which in turn can lead to staff leaving.”

Have faith

Can’t be cheerful and optimistic and make your staff feel that you trust them? Then watch them walk to someone who can, careers consultant Dr Edwin Trevor-Roberts says.

People want to work for a boss who gives them a sense of optimism and self belief – and if it’s not there, they won’t be either.

The culture

Get the workplace culture right and candidates will be banging down your door, a la Google, which receives thousands of applications a day for the few thousand gigs a year on offer. Don’t put the effort into building one and the workers you have may be less than enamoured about the prospect of staying long term.

Engagement with employees is vital and it’s about more than just the “vibe”, Baker says.

“People have new values about what work means – gone is the boomer mentality about a job being a job,” he says. “People want to get some meaning out of work . . . People need to feel respected, be given a choice, be given meaningful work wherever possible.”

Is your company a revolving-door organisation, or have you worked for one? What do you think drives staff out the door?


*Original Article by Sylvia Pennington:

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