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Home » Leadership, Talent

Why people REALLY leave their jobs – and what you can do about it

Submitted by on Friday, 7 September 2012No Comment

We get asked a lot why people leave their jobs – often with the well-used quote ‘people join companies and leave managers’. And as skill gaps increase and the job of talent retention gets more and more challenging by the day, we thought it was time to put the record straight. But first…

…Why care about talent retention?

staff turnoverIt’s amazing (especially in Asia) how many companies, especially in high skill gap industries, carry on blissfully with staff turnover rates of over 25%, year-in, year-out. Some of these industries are considered lucrative (say Oil Field Services, and Pharmaceutical sales), so it’s possible that management just ascribe this staff turnover as a ‘cost of doing business’.

More alarmingly perhaps, many of these companies do not even measure the cost of this staff turnover. So we’d like to share this now.

It’s often estimated that replacing an employee costs a business one-half to five times that employee’s annual salary. Using these parameters, if 25% of a company’s workforce leaves and the average pay is Baht 400,000 ($12,500), it could cost a 200-person firm between Baht 30 million and Baht 100 million  a year to replace employees!

This is why companies absolutely must have employee engagement strategies in place.

Do people leave their companies or their managers?

Why people leave their jobs | Talent RetentionSo what is it – company or manager?

Research from Gallup (please click the pie chart on the right) indicates that ‘career advancement’ is the #1 reason employees leave. So who is responsible for that?

Answer: both company and manager.

And if you look at the other factors including: job fit, management and general work environment, and job security – these also are the combined responsibility of company and manager.

So what do most companies do? They put up a Berlin Wall between the responsibilities! Managers are powerless and indeed feel threatened if they venture into the ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ of Pay, Benefits and Career Advancement. While companies in turn leave the ‘practise of management’ entirely up to the discretion of managers on the front line.

The model is not too dissimilar to the old Soviet one of trying to keep people in East Germany!

It’s time companies got serious about employee engagement

Employee engagement is a total strategy that aims to achieve three behaviours among all workers:

· Employee Say – or advocacy. Example: ‘This is a really cool place to work.’

· Employee Stay – or loyalty. Example: ‘Next year I plan to do this in my job in this company.’

· Employee Strive – or discretionary effort. Example: ‘Hey I love this challenge!’

Yet how many companies even mention any of this to their managers?

What kind of partnership is that?

How to kickstart employee engagement in your company…

If you would like to beat the employee turnover hoodoo and kickstart employee engagement in your company, we have just the programme for you.

Engagement Factor is a powerful, two day training course that makes employee engagement everybody’s business and helps you implement an employee engagement strategy.

Simply click here for programme details or contact us for a quotation by using the form here.


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See also:

Motivation at Work – what you need to know


Talent Technologies :: Taking your Talent to a Higher Level



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