I often hear leaders talk about their high turnover problems as if they exist completely removed from anything that is going on in the workplace. I'll get a well-meaning but completely baffled leader tell me that she simply can't figure out why she can't hold on to her best employees or that people just keep leaving for some reason. Here are twenty ways that leaders guarantee high employee turnover.
- Keep asking employees to do more and more work in the same amount of time.
- Don't praise employees.
- Don't give people adequate breaks.
- Nobody is available to listen to employees if they have an idea or an issue of some kind.
- Low pay.
- Poor benefits.
- Limited or non-existent opportunities for advancement.
- People aren't able to use the talents and abilities that are meaningful to them, they're just hired to fill seats.
- Everything in the workplace is geared toward productivity and money, not people.
- No training opportunities beyond those that make you do more work in less time.
- Employees are treated as if they're expendable.
- Continuously reminding people that at least they have a job and, if they don't like it, there's the door.
- Leadership is distant and not genuinely engaged with employees.
- People only hear about their performance when it's something negative.
- The organization doesn't seem to care about harassment, bullying or conflict.
- Leaders say one thing and do another as in proclaiming that they care about employees and then working them to exhaustion for little pay.
- Leaders create an environment where people are afraid to take a vacation because they think they'll lose their job.
- No two-way communication, leaders simply talk at employees and direct them to do things.
- Lack of kindness and compassion.
- Top leadership doesn't believe in treating employees well.
There are many reasons why employees leave their jobs but most of them have to do with not feeling valued, important or fulfilled. When your job doesn't matter to you and your employer doesn't care about you it's much easier to leave the organization.
The perplexing thing is that many leaders practice these behaviors and design these types of workplaces even though they'd get better results if they made minor adjustments to build happier workplaces. The starting point is for the leader to realize that he or she can create a workplace that values people. What suggestions do you have to celebrate employees and reduce turnover?