The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave: How to Recognize the Subtle Signs and Act Before It's Too Late

Front Cover
American Management Association, 2012 - Business & Economics - 242 pages

People are four times more likely to leave a job because of something going on in the office than for an outside opportunity. Yet most managers blame employee turnover on the lure of other companies. . . even when the real factors are well within their control.

Based on research performed by the prestigious Saratoga Institute,The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave provides readers with real solutions for the costly problem of employee turnover. Now incorporating the results of the author's "Decision to Leave" post-exit survey, the second edition features new research in employee engagement as well as innovative best practices for engaging and retaining in a down economy.

Readers will learn how to align employee expectations with the realities of the position, avoid job-person mismatches, and provide feedback and coaching that breed employee confidence. The book examines factors such as manager relationships, lack of trust in senior leadership, company culture and integrity, salary and benefits, and more--revealing what can be done to hold on to the people who provide the most value to the organization.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Chapter 1 WHY CARE ABOUT WHY THEY LEAVE?
1
Chapter 2 HOW THEY DISENGAGE AND QUIT
11
WHAT THE RESEARCH REVEALS
21
THE JOB OR WORKPLACE WAS NOT AS EXPECTED
38
THE MISMATCH BETWEEN JOB AND PERSON
53
TOO LITTLE COACHING AND FEEDBACK
75
TOO FEW GROWTH AND ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
98
FEELING DEVALUED AND UNRECOGNIZED
126
STRESS FROM OVERWORK AND WORKLIFE IMBALANCE
156
LOSS OF TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN SENIOR LEADERS
185
Chapter 11 PLANNING TO BECOME AN EMPLOYER OF CHOICE
202
SUMMARY CHECKLIST OF EMPLOYEROFCHOICE ENGAGEMENT PRACTICES
223
GUIDELINES AND CONSIDERATIONS FOR EXIT INTERVIEWINGSURVEYING AND TURNOVER ANALYSIS
227
INDEX
235
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Why Care About Why They Leave?

CHAPTER ONE

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance--

it is the illusion of knowledge.

--DANIEL BOORSTIN

It was almost six weeks since Anna had resigned her position with her former

employer, but it was obvious that strong feelings were still stirring inside her.

"I was thrown into the job with no training. I asked for some one-on-one

time with my manager to go over the project inside out, but he never had the

time. I sensed he didn''t really know enough to be able to thoroughly brief me,

anyway.

"When I got feedback that certain work wasn''t acceptable, he wouldn''t be

specific about how to correct it in the future. . . . He actually enjoyed intimidating

people, and he had a terrible temper--he would ask me a question and,

if I didn''t know the answer, he would make fun of me in front of my coworkers.

As it turns out, he wasn''t following the right work procedures himself.

"Later, when I was working way below my skill set, I was told they

weren''t ready to give me a promotion, even though I had mastered everything.

"Finally, when I resigned, they didn''t seem interested in why I was leaving.

There was no exit interview.They never listened to me when I was there,

and they certainly didn''t care to listen when I left."

Anna went on to say that she loved her management position with her

new employer:"I''m still doing what I love to do, but in a much more professional

environment. There''s open communication and no game playing. I

know where I stand with them at all times."

One more thing--Anna went on to mention that she had hired away a

talented colleague from her former company.

In the post-exit interviews I do for client companies with employees they

regretted losing, these are the kinds of stories I hear. I know there are two sides

to every story and that Anna''s former manager might tell it differently. But I

also know that there is truth in Anna''s story, and in all the stories I hear--more

truth than many were willing to tell their former employers when they

checked out on their last day of employment.

The good news is that some companies do wake up and realize it''s not

too late to start listening to both former and current employees. Some grow

alarmed at the sudden departure of highly valued workers who leave over the

course of a few weeks.Others become concerned about protecting their reputation

as a desirable place to work, and most simply want to make sure they

have the talent they need to achieve their business objectives.

Why Many Managers Don''t Care

The fact is that many managers and even senior executives simply don''t care

about why their employees are leaving.Their attitude seems to be "If you don''t

like it, don''t let the door hit you in the backside on your way out!" If this

sounds familiar, it should, because it describes the prevailing mindset of most

managers in American companies today. Most are overworked, and many are

frustrated by their inability to meet the demands of the current workforce,

much less do exit interviews.And, increasingly, human resource departments

are so understaffed that they have little time to do more than ask departing

employees to complete perfunctory exit surveys on their last day.You care

about preventing turnover, or you wouldn''t be reading this book. So why do

you care? Why even take the time and effort to uncover the real reasons

employees leave? It would be much easier just to accept what most employees

say in exit interviews.You know the usual answers--"more money," "better

opportunity."

There are many ways to rationalize the loss of talent:

● Who has time to stop and wonder why they left, anyway? They''re

gone.

● They didn''t want to be here, so why worry about what they think?

● They were probably just disgruntled or had the wrong attitude or

just didn''t fit.

● We can''t expect to retain everybody we hire.

● There''s nobody that isn''t replaceable.

● Let''s just get on with finding a replacement.

Of course, we cannot hope to keep all our valued talent. But good managers

care enough to try to understand why good people leave, especially

when the departure could have been prevented.There will always be managers

who are too preoccupied, self-focused, or insensitive to notice the signs that

employees are becoming disengaged and too uncaring, complacent, blaming,

in denial, insecure, or ego-defensive to find out the real reasons they left.They

too readily accept turnover as "a cost of doing business." They are too willing

to believe the superficial reasons for leaving that employees give in exit interviews.

Why? Psychologists call it "motivated blindness"; they cannot handle

the truth--that the real reason the employee left may be linked to their own

behavior.These managers are actually choosing not to see, hear, or speak the

"evil" that plagues them.

As Brad, another employee, told me during an exit interview, "It seems

like most managers just don''t care enough to go to any effort to retain good

people."But many managers do care enough to coach, train, develop, and keep

their direct reports engaged. Now what we need are more organizations that

make heroes of these managers, not just by praising them but also by measuring

their contributions and rewarding them with serious money.

Managers Cannot Hear What Workers Will Not Speak

As we know, when exiting employees come to the question "Why are you

leaving?,"most are not inclined to tell the whole truth.Rather than risk burning

a bridge with the former manager, whose reference they might need,

they''ll just say or write "better opportunity" or "higher pay."Why would they

want to go into the unpleasant truth about how they never got any feedback

or recognition from the boss or were passed over for promotion?

So, it is no wonder that in one survey, 89 percent of managers said they

believe that employees leave and stay mostly for the money. Yet, my own

research, the Saratoga Institute''s surveys of almost twenty thousand workers

from eighteen industries, and the research reported in dozens of other studies

reveal that about 80 to 90 percent of employees leave for reasons related not

to the level of pay but to the job, the manager, the culture, or the work environment.

These internal reasons--also known as "push" factors, as opposed to

"pull" factors such as a better-paying outside opportunity--are within the

power of the organization and the manager to change and control. But you

can''t change what

Bibliographic information