do you know the number one reason for turnover?

If I asked you what the number one reason is for employee turnover, what would you say?

Most people would say money. In fact 90% of managers believe their employees leave because of compensation. It’s not uncommon for companies to view employees as merely another cost. And therefore it would be entirely rational for one to believe that people leave their jobs in search of more money or more substantial benefits. However, you couldn’t be more wrong.

The number one reason for people to leave their jobs is actually their relationship with their manager. Managers are on the front lines for engaging and retaining employees. The Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) says that the key to enhanced employee engagement is the managers behavior and performance. Their analysis indicates that 15 of the top 20 drivers to improve engagement are manager related. 76% of employees could become actively engaged or disengaged very easily, and managers need to win over that group.

One of the ways managers can improve engagement and retention is by conducting what some professionals call a “Stay interview“. This is simply a conversation about the employees engagement. Managers who take initiative and show interest in how an employee is doing and what they are passionate about foster a meaningful and trustful relationship. These ‘Stay Interviews’ should not have anything to do with reviews. In fact they should be conducted at a time when reviews are not top of mind. Some of the questions a manager could ask are;

  • What do you enjoy most about your work?
  • What do you enjoy least?
  • Is there a different job you could be doing, what would it be?
  • How can I help you improve and achieve your career goal?

Clearly these are questions that happen between people who trust each other. Talking transparently with employees about their passions and needs will help.

These types of interviews should be conducted after the first 6 months of employment, when the employee has had adequate time to acclimate them self but early enough in tenure so that action can be taken to help them meet their goals.

Managers also need to be cognizant of their behavior and actions, as stated earlier.  Remember back to Psych 101 in college, the Pygmalion Studies! Well, yes, those apply here too. Managers communicate expectations that impact performance, and they need to be aware of that. If managers focus on weaknesses exclusively this message and emphasis gets communicated. Managers need to have high expectations and think about their employees strengths and positive contributions to the organizations.

The goal is to develop a culture in your organization that is transparent and honest. If employees and managers can learn to build these relationships then you will begin to experience the right turnover. Talent management is all about your greatest asset, your employees! Help them to develop, stay engaged, and remain with your organization.

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