Thursday, June 9, 2011

The 7 Hidden Reasons Why Employees Leave a Company...

Employees don't leave a company, they leave the managers..
About the author of The 7 Hidden Reaons Why Employees Leave a Company

Leigh Branham is the Founder/Principal of consulting firm Keeping the People Inc. and is an author, speaker and consultant on workplace best practices. He has been widely quoted in the media including Fortune, Business Week and The Associated Press as an expert on employee retention.

As we know, when exiting employees are asked, ‘‘Why are you leaving?’’ most are not inclined to tell the whole truth. Rather than risk burning a bridge with the former manager whose references they might need, they’ll just write down ‘‘better opportunity’’ or ‘‘higher pay.’’ Why would they want to go into the unpleasant truth about how they never got any feedback or recognition from the boss, or how they were passed over for promotion?

So, it is no wonder that, according to one survey, 89 percent of managers said they believe that employees leave and stay mostly for the money. Yet, my own research, along with Saratoga Institute’s surveys of almost 20,000 workers from eighteen industries,2 and the research of dozens of other studies, reveal that actually 80 to 90 percent of employees leave for reasons related NOT to money, but to the job, the manager, the culture, or the work environment (Figure 1-1). These internal reasons (also known as ‘‘push’’ factors, as opposed to ‘‘pull’’ factors, such as a better-paying outside opportunity) are issues within the power of the organization and the manager to control and change.

Employee turnover is not an event — it is a process of disengagement that can take days, weeks, months or even years until the actual decision to leave occurs. There are several sequential and predictable steps that can unfold in the employee’s journey from disengagement to departure. These are:

● Question the decision to accept the job.
● Think seriously about quitting.
● Try to change things.
● Resolve to quit.
● Consider the cost of quitting.
● Passively seek another job.
● Prepare to actively seek.
● Actively seek.
● Get new job offer.
● Quit to accept new job, quit without a job, or stay and disengage.

About 90 percent of departing employees leave because of issues with their "job, manager, culture or work environment," Leigh Branham reports, yet nearly 90 percent of managers believe that "employees leave and stay mostly for the money."

One appendix summarizes all the specific practices Branham suggests throughout the book, and another provides guidelines for successful exit interviews and turnover analysis.
So why do people really leave?
  • There's not enough feedback or coaching. The root problems are managers' inattention to people they supervise, irregular or nonexistent feedback, criticism instead of praise, and other indicators that feedback isn't valued or valuable. Practices to improve coaching and feedback include focusing it on new hires, setting up buddy or mentor programs with experienced employees, and holding managers accountable for feedback.
  •  Employees feel "devalued and unrecognized." Managers, fearing charges of favoritism or not knowing enough about an employee's job to judge performance well, may balk at recognizing employees. But a manager should be aware that problems may arise if good employees are overdue for pay increases or are paid the same as poor performers, or if new recruits make more than experienced workers in similar jobs.
  •  Loss of trust and confidence in senior leaders. Leaders who don't provide a clear vision and understandable path for execution are at risk. Leaders who are unethical and narcissistic (extremely self-centered) will chase good employees out the door.
  • Stress from overwork and work-life imbalance. "Company leaders must determine whether their organization’s culture is unhealthy, or even toxic. When you force workers into choosing between having a life and a career, your organization has a toxic culture," according to Leigh. Hire good people, treat them respectfully, and give them latitude to act like adults.
The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study surveyed over a million employees and 80,000 managers and was published in a book called "First Break All The Rules". It came up with this surprising finding:

If you're losing good people, look to their immediate boss.Immediate boss is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he 's the reason why people leave. When people leave they take knowledge,experience and contacts with them, straight to the competition. “So much money has been thrown at the challenge of keeping good people - in the form of better pay, better perks and better training - when, in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue.” If you have a turnover problem, look first to your managers. Are they driving people away?

"People leave managers not companies," write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.

Mostly manager drives people away?

HR experts say that of all the abuses, employees find humiliation the most intolerable.
The first time, an employee may not leave,but a thought has been planted. The second time, that thought gets strengthened. The third time, he looks for another job.When people cannot retort openly in anger, they do so by passive aggression. By digging their heels in and slowing down. By doing only what they are told to do and no more. By omitting to give the boss crucial information. Dev says: "If you work for a jerk, you basically want to get him into trouble. You don 't have your heart and soul in the job."

Any company trying to compete must figure out a way to engage the mind of every employee,” Jack Welch of GE once said. Much of a company’s value lies “between the ears of its employees”. If it’s bleeding talent, it’s bleeding value. Unfortunately, many senior executives busy travelling the world, signing new deals and developing a vision for the company, have little idea of what may be going on at home.
That deep within an organization that otherwise does all the right things, one man could be driving its best people away.

Different managers can stress out employees in different ways - by being too controlling, too suspicious,too pushy, too critical, but they forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are free agents. When this goes on too long, an employee will quit - often over a trivial issue