HR Management & Compliance

Reasons Your Turnover Is High

As unemployment levels continue to inch ever lower, turnover levels continue to be a growing concern for employers. We all know that turnover comes with costs, including recruiting and training costs, lost productivity, and increased short-term costs like overtime for other employees—all of which can add up quickly. And none of this takes into account the less tangible costs like lost customer relationships and lost team cohesiveness that can result when a valued employee leaves. It’s easy to see why we all want to reduce turnover wherever possible.

One of the first steps in reducing turnover is assessing the reasons behind it. Once the drivers that are affecting turnover in the organization are identified, additional steps can be taken to turn it around.

Let’s take a look at some of the various reasons your turnover might be high.

Here are some of the common reasons for high turnover:

  • Compensation and benefits are not meeting the market norms, and employees go elsewhere for better pay or benefits. It’s important to not only hire at the right levels, but also to review the market and give increases to current employees where appropriate.
  • Lack of training and/or development opportunities, including no clear career development paths. This could even include lack of appropriate training in the onboarding process.
  • Workloads are too high. Employee burnout can easily cause employees to start searching for new opportunities.
  • Bad managers, especially if they’re unfair and/or inconsistent in how employees are treated, which can quickly lead to resentment and even open up the organization to claims of discrimination.
  • Not handling problems in a timely fashion. If employees see that someone or something is causing a problem, and the organization does nothing about it, it can quickly lead to frustration and lowering of morale—which is a fast track to putting employees on the job hunt.
  • Poor work/life balance for employees, which can come from schedules that do not take into account employee needs. This can be from lack of flexibility or it can arise from expecting employees to work too many hours.
  • Low morale among employees and/or low employee engagement levels, especially if concerns are voiced and nothing is done about them.
  • Hiring the wrong person for the role. There are many ways this can happen, and when it’s a bad match it can mean frustration on both sides. This could happen when the employee is not a good fit with the organizational culture. It could also come from hiring someone who doesn’t have the right skills for the job—or someone who is overqualified to the point of boredom and doesn’t see room for advancement. It could even be as simple as not screening for the soft skills required for the role.
  • Not giving enough employee feedback. While pay and benefits matter, so does recognition for a job well done. Likewise, underperforming employees need to hear how they can improve in a timely fashion.

Do any of the items on this list strike a chord with you? What other factors have you discovered in your exit interviews that can be addressed to lower turnover?

*This article does not constitute legal advice. Always consult legal counsel with specific questions.

About Bridget Miller:

Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges. She’s been working in the corporate world for over 15 years, with experience across multiple diverse departments including HR, sales, marketing, IT, commercial development, and training.