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Why Employees Leave

Updated on January 14, 2013

Six Strategies to Get Them to Stay

A lack of advancement opportunities is one of the main reasons why employees leave their jobs. By helping your staff members understand their options, you reduce voluntary turnover significantly.

Here are six straightforward strategies to encourage, empower, and engage your team to stay with you and thrive.

1. Provide opportunities for cross training. Not only does cross training give employees the opportunity to experience different roles within the organization, it lets them "try out" positions that they aspire to and alleviates the boredom of conducting the same tasks on a daily basis. Cross training also benefits the employer by making it easier to get the job done when staff members are absent; it lessens the workload of the employee once they come back to work; and it creates camaraderie as employees understand the breadth and depth of each other's jobs within the organization.

2. Make career discussions a part of the employee review process. Ask your employees about their goals within your company. When an employee indicates that they are interested in moving up the corporate ladder, ask them specifically where they would like to end up. Together with your employee, outline a plan as to what the employee needs to do, and how their manager will support them in the process. With a plan in place, the employee will "own" their career development and know that management will be there to assist when needed.

3. Offer vocational testing. If an employee is struggling in their current position, vocational testing will help them gain self-knowledge about other options that might be a good fit for them. Because they have not had exposure to different departments, they may not realize that their talents are better utilized elsewhere. You will reduce turnover, and take full advantage of your employee's strengths.

4. Recommend a mentor. If one of your team members is showing interest in a position that is above their current skill level, suggests that they team up with a more experienced employee who will be their internal champion. The mentor should spend time on a regular basis with their mentee in order to show them the ropes and prepare them for future assignments. Gradually, as their skills increase, the mentor can allow their mentee to help on various projects. Not only does this enable projects to get done more quickly, mentoring builds the expertise of the employee, and it gives the mentor someone to replace him or her as they progress within the corporation.

5. Provide funding for training. When you invest in your employees, you create a true win/win situation. Your employees benefit because they feel that you value them enough to help them expand their knowledge base. Their newfound expertise will help them perform at a higher level than they were able to before the training. Your organization will win with a more educated, knowledgeable, and experienced workforce.

6. Applaud your employee’s efforts. When your employees go above and beyond the call of duty, make sure they know that you appreciate their contributions. In many cases, simply expressing appreciation for a job well done makes your staff member want to do more for you. "People are more starved for appreciation than they are for bread," according to Mother Teresa. Gratitude expressed is as valuable in the work environment as it is at home.

When you understand what matters to your employees and you consider what is possible within the organization, you create an inspired team of loyal employees who add passion, performance, and productivity and thereby boost your bottom-line profits.

What about you?

What is the #1 reason you left a job?

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