Why Employees Resign, and Retention Tips To Hold Them Back

High staff turnover is a major cost for organisations and can also lead to continuity and motivation issues for those staying back. Use these tips to stem employee resignations and hold back your valued employees.

Why Employees Resign, and Retention Tips To Hold Them Back
Why Employees Resign, and Retention Tips To Hold Them Back

The last few years brought a lot of new events with them, good and bad. While COVID-19 locked us all into our homes, the Great Resignation in the USA and some parts of Europe created a shift in the employer-employee relationship. More companies began to realise the importance of employees, and began to research why employees resign and how to retain employees better. This has led to some companies making drastic changes for the betterment of their employees. Here we outline some of those findings and take a look at how you can retain your people.

Reasons Why Employees Resign

1. Lack of appreciation

Feeling underappreciated is one of the leading causes of employee turnover. Not being acknowledged for one's efforts, lack of recognition for achievements, not getting due credit, including promotions and salary hikes, also fall under the purview of being underappreciated at work.

Overworking/ burnout
Overworking/ burnout

2. Overworking/ burnout

Organisations and companies often take employee productivity for granted. More often than not, multi-taskers are rewarded with more work. Overworking makes employees lose out on their well-deserved breaks and vacation time, ultimately leading to exhaustion and burnout. Constantly working long hours with little to no compensation also leads to fatigue. Burnout may also happen in jobs that are tedious but poorly compensated for, and can negatively impact company turnover.

3. Lack of freedom

Lack of freedom or autonomy is one of the most common reasons why employees quit their jobs. Micromanagement of tasks, lack of flexibility in the choice of work, choice of place of work and time leads to excessive dissatisfaction among employees.

Also read: Principles of Providing Emotional First Aid at the Workplace

4. Degrading mental and physical health

In our daily work frenzy, we often forget to take care of our mental health. People suffering from burnout report higher levels of mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Other forms of mental health concerns may also be prevalent such as social isolation, addiction disorders such as alcoholism, insomnia are some other tell-tale signs of poor mental health.

Obesity, diabetes, health-related disorders and strokes can also result from too much work-related pressure. Sitting for long hours, with little to no activity, can lead to back and knee problems.

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5. Feeling disconnected

Employees tend to leave or quit their jobs when they feel disconnected from the others in the workplace. This kind of disconnect can also happen in managers and those higher up in the ranks.

In addition to not feeling a sense of belongingness in the workplace, employees feel ‘out-of-the-picture’ when goals and ideas are not communicated properly. Not having a sense of direction when it comes to achieving targets, affects how they view their job (and it is often negative).

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How to retain employees: 5 effective tips

To increase employee retention in the era of the ‘Big Quit’, you, as an organisation, must take some strong decisions. This includes developing and executing a well-thought-out retention strategy.

Appreciate employees
Appreciate employees

1. Take strategic steps to offer recognition

Employees, especially millennials, stay where their work is appreciated. As an organisation that has employees from all generations, it is important to improve and upgrade your staff recognition practices.

While most companies have the usual performance awards for high-performers, that’s not always enough. Why not make recognition a continuing process at all levels? Even small achievements can be recognised on your company intranet, social media feed, internal messaging app, or company newsletter.

Also read: How to Keep Your Employees Happy and Engaged

2. Change company policies

Burnout is one of the leading causes of high employee turnover. Hence, it is crucial to pay attention to your employees’ wellbeing and bring in employee-friendly policies to retain your valued employees.

As a first step, stop the practice of overworking by not rewarding over-time. Train managers and team leaders to identify signs of exhaustion, and to deal with employee burnout effectively.

Second, match employee compensation with their workload and the complexity of their jobs. Productivity, collaboration, and workflow management tools that help employees organise, automate and simplify their work will also help in reducing burnout significantly.

Team lunch
Team lunch

3. Encourage social gatherings

Help your employees feel connected with each other. Having a sense of belongingness can help your employees deal with work-related stress and not feel isolated.

As a manager or team leader, you can organise team meetups, which don’t always have to be over Zoom. Introduce change by taking the team out on lunch, vacations or planning an activity day to improve team cohesiveness.

Support groups where employees can discuss their problems – both work- and non-work-related – can help significantly. If need be, hire trained professionals to conduct directed sessions on various issues such as mental health issues, relationships, workload and stress, and time management.

Also read: 10 Workplace Wellness and Fitness Competition Ideas

4. Help employees upskill themselves

Providing your employees with the resources to upskill themselves resolves many issues apart from employee turnover, and helps keep them loyal to your company.

Ambitious workers who want to rise in the ranks can benefit from upskilling resources. Situations related to poor job fit, where employees are given work that does not align with their skills, can also be tackled by providing them with tools, guidance and mentorship to find the right role.

HR managers and organisational psychologists can come together to develop tools or assess existing tools to evaluate skill-to-job matches.

5. Make use of data

Collecting and using employee resignation data is crucial if you want to make a lasting change in your organisation.

Study the trends of resignation in your organisation. What kind of job roles have the highest retention, and which ones have the least. Assess the patterns in people from minority groups or varying cultural backgrounds as well as the majority groups. Are women more satisfied in their jobs than men? Is there equal distribution of workload among people in the same job role? Or do managers seem to be more dissatisfied with their work than team members?

These are some questions that could help you assess the root cause of resignation in your workplace and start taking steps to retain them.

There are a lot of things an organisation can do for the betterment of its employees. Rather than seeing employees as a tool to achieve organisational goals, leaders must appreciate and recognise the value that employees bring to the workplace. Leaders must view employees as part of the organisation, as one of the pillars.

We hope that this blog on why employees resign and retention tips to hold them back has shed some light on the growing concerns around employee wellbeing. For more such content, keep following the Manah Wellness blogs.

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