Five reasons why staff leave and salary isn’t one of them

Five reasons why staff leave and salary isn't one of them

Advice from the founder of Cloudfm and number 1 best-selling author Jeff Dewing looking at why employees quit and how to improve retention. 

The UK Labour Force Survey shows resignations and job-to-job moves in the UK are at the highest level in 20 years. With there being job shortages across various industries the ball truly is in the employee’s court. The big question now is how can you retain staff in this competitive market? The reality is your current staff are probably getting regularly approached by recruiters from all directions. Sure, the more rewarding salary packages being presented to them can cause temptation to leave but money isn’t everything. Increasing wages are a start, but that alone isn’t enough and can still result in staff leaving (even if the new offer may be lower than their current salary). Here are some of the top reasons people leave:

Not feeling valued

Work shouldn’t just be transactional. Humans don’t want to be treated like another number and feel that they are replaceable. Taking employees for granted can be detrimental and even create resentment especially if they often go above and beyond their responsibilities. Staff want to be valued and research shows employees look for this more than employers think. 

Businesses can help retain staff by making sure that they feel appreciated by their manager and by showing that they care. Actions always speak louder than words. Putting colleagues’ welfare and happiness before your own will foster loyalty. Also, recognition and true appreciation is both key and vital. 

Remember, people join a business and leave their manager

No common purpose or team morale

If staff are not passionate or don’t align with your values, they likely won’t care as much or be that driven. I’ve employed senior executives who have been way out of my league in terms of capability, knowledge, network and salary, yet they’ve all joined this business for less than half of their salary. This is all because they passionately believe in the purpose and the company values.

Making sure teams are aligned with the companies’ long-term goals, purpose and understand the brand principles is crucial. Equally, it’s also important to create a team spirit. It can’t be all work and no play. Lack of connection and belonging can be demotivating and result in detachment. Therefore, having fun is necessary for building relationships to create stronger bonds and boost morale.

Leadership issues 

A key factor for why people leave is bad leadership and management. This can come in many forms from being unprofessional or just down to being unlikeable. Therefore, it’s crucial managers realise it’s a two-way relationship and are both respectful and approachable. 

However, this doesn’t mean being overly nice to the point it’s fake. People can smell insincerity from a mile away. Instead, being vulnerable and authentic is much more effective. People will stay longer if they can relate to you and actually genuinely enjoy working with you. 

Lack of development

The Employee Retention Report has found that career development is the number one reason why employees leave their jobs. Lack of growth and development opportunities can cause job dissatisfaction leading to staff leaving their role in search of better career opportunities. 

It’s important to ensure people have a sense of advancement within the organisation. Invest in your people. If you don’t invest in your staff, they won’t invest in your business. You get what you put in at the end of the day.

Absence of flexibility

The pandemic has changed the way we work forever, a third of millennials said they would leave their job if they had to come back into the office more. No one wants to go back to the old normal. People have gotten used to the freedom that flexible working provides and don’t want to give up the benefits such as time and money saved commuting.

Firms should be flexible to enable the better work-life balance that employees seek. It’s proven to be efficient for many and can improve productivity. If they can get the job done quicker and faster remotely then why not let them?

To reduce risks of staff jumping ship, firms need to listen to staff to create an environment where people feel valued, trusted and can grow whilst also promoting freedom and fun. Investigating the reasons people leave is paramount in order to both attract and keep people. Retention is key to growth, therefore, it’s important to put in place a process for identifying key issues and preventing them going forward. 

Jeff Dewing
Jeff Dewing

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