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The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that approximately 3.5 million Americans had quit their jobs each month in 2018. This turnover rate was predicted by the Work Institute as they noted an uptick and a large volume of workers quitting their jobs within 12 months of being hired (40 percent). The key reasons for these turnover rates include several key factors that could have been prevented.

The Top 5 Factors of Employee Turnover:

  1. Lack of professional development
  2. Burdensome work-life balance
  3. Unprofessional managers
  4. Personal or familial health issues
  5. Stagnant pay and lack of benefits

Employee turnover is estimated by some studies to cost employers $15,000 or more per worker. This is chiefly due to a lack of productivity that follows the days between finding a new hire and getting their productivity up to speed. In other words, it takes time for any rookie to overcome the learning curve and start producing a respectable quality of work.

How Can HR Managers Solve the Problem?

Be as Flexible as Possible

Because the problems tax large businesses and stunt the growth of any business, it is important that HR managers realize that it is a job-seekers market right now. People are not as desperate for jobs as they may have been during the recession. In this era, workers are tired of acting like they are still in recovery mode and clinging to reliable work when there are so many options on the table. In order for employers to retain manned positions long-term, they have to be flexible to create a workplace environment that fits the needs of the worker as opposed to searching for workers who will make the right fit.

This means that employers need to give their workers as much independence as possible. Although it may seem on one hand that workers should all arrive, eat, and work at the same schedules, life is more random than this. Letting workers find their own natural work and life balance can solve a myriad of problems. Furthermore, the employer who builds the right environment to foster the growth and well-being of their workers by respecting their needs for flexibility is the one that retains the most workers. This allows employers to cut down on the losses from employee turnover and makes the job competitive even against jobs that pay better in more restrictive settings.

Remove the Glass Ceiling

The most common issue is a lack of upward mobility. When there is no manner for workers to advance their professional skills, a job will become a mundane task. Eventually, it will become an overwhelming burden. Workers don't want to be trapped in a dead-end job that never rewards them with promotions, benefits, or rewards. They want to continually progress as they get jaded.

When you train your workers with special skills, they will also feel like they are receiving something of value that would cost them a lot to learn on their own. Paying for training to increase their skills sets with technology also brings workers into the digital age with higher earning capacities. Investing in a CNC machine, implementing the use of specific time-saving software, and replacing traditional methods with digital ones are all good ways to upgrade the quality of jobs.

Make a Full-Disclosure from the Door

Many new hires had different expectations before they started doing the actual work. There is usually a catch in positions that have high turnover rates. HR managers have to examine the reasons behind a lack of job satisfaction by conducting regular digital surveys and exit questioning to determine the problem.

For example, a business may burden its workers with certain job obligations that aren't regularly required. This occurs most often when the location of the business and its aging infrastructure are the brick wall. A building that was built too long ago may have poor climate controls or may be too uncomfortable to do the work.

Eliminate Unethical Conduct

In the cut-throat world of business, it is not uncommon for workers to cut corners at the expense of safety or fairness. Workers have cited knowledge of unethical business practices as one of the key reasons for leaving. In most cases, employers are not disclosing the hidden demons and difficulties that complicate high turnover jobs and burn out workers. If the food being served in your high-end restaurant comes from a kitchen that is regularly infested with cockroaches, this dirty little secret can cause some workers to lose morale.

In more serious cases, the company may be semi-legitimate and charging different prices for different customers or outright scamming customers. A car shop, for example, may try to take advantage of women and elders. They may also try to sell services that customers don't need or push inferior parts that compromise the integrity of the automobile. A law firm may have dishonest practices such as bait and switch methods that mislead customers regarding the nature of the services and billing.

Employee Experience Platforms

Many employers are turning to online platforms like PerkNow to figure out what the problems are in their businesses. They can conduct anonymous surveys that allow employees to be honest. If machinery is worn down to the point where they feel frustrated or don't feel safe operating it, this may alert a Human Resources manager to an infrastructure issue in critical need of solving. A few alternative software vendors this are Officevibe, TINYpulse and CultureAmp.

Armed with a survey where employees agree that the infrastructure is lacking may be just enough evidence for managers to ensure repairs and replacements. It may also solve problems quickly if managers simply fill in on lower paying jobs at whatever place they are employed to see how difficult the job is from an employee's perspective.

They can also shape the overall workplace environment by using benefits and perks to keep workers interested even when it is not possible to hand out big bonuses or promotions. Creating a focal point and goal to increase upward mobility and earnings starts with symbolic gestures like perks and reward cards. Using the PerkNow platform, employers can give all their workers a light at the end of the tunnel. They will have some reason to progress in their positions for the chance at a bigger paycheck.

Removing Bossy Bosses

Some managers try to stress out their workers to be overproductive. When a boss is pushy, arrogant, and ignorant, it won't be long before the worker starts to hold a personal grudge. Managers have to be trained to show personal value for their workers and their individual skills. Managers cannot expect to intimidate everyone and hang termination over everyone's heads by being hypercritical and miserable. Managers have to humble themselves and see everything from the employee's perspective if they want to truly build a harmonious well-oiled machine.


Employee turnover is a problem that can be solved. Human Resources managers have to put themselves in the shoes of the exiting employees by obtaining as much information as possible. They have to be realistic about the current job market and remain flexible to gain an advantage that goes beyond salary and adds a bright side to an otherwise uncompetitive job.

Furthermore, employers have to invest in their workforces to reap the maximum rewards. A lack of upward mobility is sure to make any worker reconsider their options when anything better comes along. Using technology and online management platforms to shape workplace behaviors with rewards makes it easier than ever to keep workers interested in jobs that make it hard to earn a promotion.

At the end of the day, most workers feel that they are being exploited if they see that they are earning a lot for their employer and do not receive any share of the booty. Employers have to be reasonable about the equity and value that employee retention builds in a company. Managers often gloss over the problems when an employee quits and wind up blaming the worker to protect themselves from accountability. For this reason, business owners should look past the finger-pointing and consider the big picture themselves like the Undercover Boss TV show.

Although it is tempting to continue the status quo and merely replace dissatisfied workers, one dissatisfied worker may represent a general lack of employee engagement and diminished productivity in the entire workforce. Waiting until there is a manifest problem across the board is the worst path that any employer can make. Simply retaining a workforce is not nearly as good as retaining a motivated and eager workforce.
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