If you have been a business owner for any amount of time, you know that the challenges of sales and marketing pale in comparison to the challenges of… employees!
It is hard enough to find the right people to hire. When you do hit the nail on the head and bring in someone that is a perfect fit for your team… it is only a matter of time before they are moving on to something else.
We’ve all been there. You finally hook a great guy, he fits the culture, he’s driven to make things happen, and he knows your business in and out! Then one day, he’s gone! What causes this? What can you do about it?
It may be one thing, or it may be a combination of several things.
Here are the 7 most common reasons people leave a job, and what you can do about it!
1: They are Entrepreneurial
Your people are leaving because they want to start their own business. This is a great problem to have. It means you are cultivating leaders. The down side is your best people keep leaving.
So what can you do about it? Not much!
If you are leading people, you should not be holding anyone back from fulfilling their dreams. Be encouraged that your company culture if fostering this kind of growth and use it to recruit stronger people into the team.
2: They Want More Money
Okay, so everyone wants more money. When someone tells us they are leaving, the first thing we offer is more money. We think that money will solve everything, but it rarely does.
Let’s assume you are paying somewhere along industry average for your employee’s position and experience. If not, you need to get up to par.
With a healthy baseline established, I’ve got one strategy that will take the money issue off the table.
It is actually pretty simple. Let them in on the upside. If your company makes a profit, share a portion with your team.
I get a lot of push-back here. The biggest objection is that a company is not profitable enough to make it work. That is missing the point.
You don’t share profits as an entitlement. You share profits as an incentive and reward.
If you are not giving them a piece of the upside, they will not be driven to make your company more profitable. If you tie them to the bottom line, your company will grow and your employees will be much more satisfied. Guaranteed!
It takes a little work on your end, but a fully transparent profit sharing system will work wonders in your organization. To get you started, download my Profit Sharing Worksheet. It will give you the framework for creating a system to motivate your team and give them ownership in a powerful way.
3: They are Unfulfilled
One of the more trendy reasons people are leaving is because they don’t feel like the work they are doing matters. It’s a valid point. We all want to know that we are making a difference somewhere in the world, and are not just working for a paycheck.
If you struggle with this in your company, I understand. Part of what my company does is asbestos removal. Whoever dreamed of removing asbestos for a living? No one.
So how do you connect this type of work to a bigger purpose in life? You must help your employees understand the needs of your customer and how your service solves a problem. How does your service make their life less stressful? How does it bring happiness and fulfillment? How does it provide safety and peace of mind?
Whatever you are doing, work with your employees to see it through your customer’s eyes and to identify with the pain point you are solving.
4: They are Stressed
Another reason people leave your company is that they go home stressed every day. Most of the time, the root of this kind of stress is constant conflict with a supervisor or coworker.
If there is conflict, you must stop what you are doing right now and go take care of it! Don’t allow it to fester any longer. A culture full of conflict can destroy your company in no time at all.
Assuming any active conflict is defused, the DISC Personality Assessment is one of the most valuable tools for creating a cohesive team that works and communicates efficiently together. This tool has become foundational in our company culture.
5: They are Overworked
Your team should be able to carry a fairly heavy work load if they are proficient in their skill set, have daily goals, and interruptions are limited. It is your responsibility to know if any of these areas are falling short.
Interruptions killed our efficiency for many years and prohibited employees from being able to complete their daily assignments. We implemented some simple strategies to curb distractions. Everyone was more empowered to finish their work and went home more satisfied at the end of the day.
If your employees struggle with efficiency, then you need to step back and see if they are working in their areas of strength. I’m not talking about skill-set, I’m referring to personal strengths.
I have found that the best tool to assess if someone is in the right position is the Strength Finders Assessment from Gallup. This tool will immediately help you align your people with the best position. When people are in positions that do not align with their strengths, they waste energy and effort just to overcome a natural weakness.
Invest time into helping people get in the right place in your organization. You will be amazed at how much your team can accomplish when they are properly aligned.
6: They are Frustrated
This one is usually the result of poor communication. If an employee is proficient at their job and believes in what they are doing, but is unclear of their role in the big picture, they end up frustrated.
It is all too common but easily cured.
Slow down and make sure everyone understands what is going on. Don’t assume people receive information the same way you give it. Everyone has a different communication style and understanding how to effectively communicate to your team is one of the best ways to minimize frustration.
That’s not to say there will not be other frustrations with customers, technology, etc. Those are easier to deal with. Frustrations around communication compound and can easily result in losing your best people.
For this, I like using the DISC Assessment Tool. With the DISC you quickly understand each person’s communication style so that when you speak, they actually hear what you said.
Everyone on my team has a DISC profile, and it is summarized on a wall hanger outside their door. With a quick glance, I can adjust my delivery to the person I am about to speak to.
Better communication equals less frustration.
7: They are Unappreciated
Are you allowing people to enjoy their life, or are you taking their life from them? You can not let someone’s family to suffer just so you can grow your company.
That leads us to the #1 reason employees give for leaving their jobs. Lack of recognition or appreciation.
No one wants to feel like they are just a number or that they don’t matter. No one wants to feel like their only role is to make you rich!
At the core of every person is a desire to feel loved, appreciated, and like they are making a difference. It’s unfortunate that so many employees feel unappreciated because it is fairly simple to eradicate from a business.
Simply let people know that they matter. Tell them you appreciate them and show them how they are making a difference in the company.
In the book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, authors Gary Chapman and Paul White explain how to let your employees know that they are, in fact, appreciated. They provide powerful tools to truly connect with your team and to eliminate the number one reason employees leave their jobs.
Summing it All Up
I don’t want to suggest that following these tips will stop people from leaving your company. Far from it. People are complicated and out of our control.
As leaders, we can do our part to make sure that when they leave it is not a result of our naivety or poor leadership. As part of being a great leader and creating a great business, we must learn how to effectively influence those that work for us. I firmly believe that you will motivate people to perform at their best and to stay with your company if you simply care and treat each as you would want to be treated!