March 24, 2022

Why workers leave and how to boost employee retention and engagement

Knowing what’s driving employee turnover can help you retain top talent. Explore our latest research and insights for long-term employee engagement.

No company wants high employee turnover rates. When employers can’t retain high-quality staff, this indicates issues beneath the surface. One unfulfilled employee seeking a career change is one thing. A swath of staff members leaving with similar complaints about company practices is quite another.

Why employees leave their current positions

The reality is that many unsatisfied employees are ready and willing to jump to the next position. In fact, 66% of Australian workers are a flight risk, according to Ceridian’s 2022 Pulse of Talent research, with more than a third open to the right opportunity. If you want to harness the benefits of employee retention, you’ll need to address your workforce’s needs – and soon.

The top reasons employees quit

Given that workers are ready to quit, it’s imperative to understand why. Here are the top reasons employees quit based on our global Pulse of Talent data:

  • 41% of respondents say they want better compensation
  • 30% say they don’t have growth opportunities
  • 19% mention they don’t have job security
  • 18% say their work isn’t aligned with their skills
  • 18% note a poor relationship with their manager

While these statistics may feel alarming, they aren’t the end-all be-all. There are counteractive measures you can begin implementing today to address your employees’ needs.

Tips and tricks for boosting employee retention and engagement

Any employer can notice a problem with employee retention rates. A thoughtful, introspective, and innovative one will look for ways to boost engagement and recapture employees’ imaginations. After all, people did sign employment contracts for a reason – they were on board at one point. If you’re ready to rethink the future of employee experience at your business, start with these innovative employee retention strategies.

Start with holistic compensation packages

While many employees will assert that money isn’t everything, it certainly does impact the employee-employer relationship. If people feel they’re drastically underpaid, it will impact their job satisfaction and subsequent performance. As an employer, it’s up to you to acknowledge your staff’s skills with a competitive compensation package.

One thing to remember is that a salary isn’t the only way to encourage employee retention. You should consider revamping your benefits offerings and see where you can meet immediate needs. For example, the pandemic brought about a slew of physical and mental health challenges. While you might have a medical benefit, do you have mental health services available?

Our 2022 Pulse of Talent survey revealed that employees in the U.S. are interested in holistic health support that includes mental health days, workspace flexibility, and employee assistance programs. These ideas come from the mouths of burnt-out employees across the nation, asking for a more targeted approach to their employee compensation. If these flight-risk employees see an all-encompassing compensation package elsewhere, they may pursue it.

Invest in leadership and relationship-building

Middle managers fulfill an essential role in organisations, serving as the face of executive policies and advocating for lower-level employees. When either of these functions fail, you can expect employee to notice. Middle managers have the power to make or break your employee experience, which directly affects retention, productivity, and your employer brand.

Nearly one in every five employees (18%) of respondents to our 2022 Pulse of Talent survey say a poor relationship with their manager is influencing their decision to seek a new job. Furthermore, 25% of respondents noted unsupportive and unempathetic leaders as the reason they’re experiencing burnout. Job satisfaction, emotional wellbeing, cultural cohesion – leadership at every level is vital for a resilient workforce.

If you want people to stay, you should invest in your middle management and empower them to bring the best out of their direct reports. Conduct leadership seminars, improve manager evaluation techniques, and address poor management styles before they cost you great talent.

Reassure employees about job security

As previously noted, 19% of our Pulse of Talent respondents mention job security as a reason they’re looking for new work. When your employees feel a sense of impending doom, you know something’s wrong. Don’t let a mere communication issue leave staff on unsure ground.

Build a solid foundation today and clearly communicate about role stability at your company. Additionally, you should try setting measurable key performance indicators that employees can refer to over time. With this knowledge in hand, they can assess their work product within crystal clear boundaries.

Offer opportunities for culture change

Many flight-risk employees want their voice to be heard, especially when it comes to company values and culture. Offer opportunities for your staff to change your workplace culture for the better. That way, any previous clash in values has a definitive path for resolution.

Another great way to affect culture change is with diversity, equity, and inclusion activities. The more you encourage dialogue about DEI initiatives and implement equitable policies, the more your top talent will feel seen and heard.

If your culture isn’t inclusive, talented people from diverse backgrounds may leave your company. And if you fail to address social issues as a company, younger generations may seek out other employment opportunities. The future of employee experience – from recruitment to retirement – is intimately connected to your diversity and inclusion initiatives, so don’t let DEI best practices fall to the wayside.

Leverage untapped skills, and reskill for the future

Truly innovative employee retention strategies assess what’s already on the table: employees’ pre-existing skillsets and abilities. No matter their level of experience, each employee has untapped potential. Give people a chance to offer their hard-earned skills from previous roles and experiences.

Consider the mid-career worker making a lateral transition to a new role. They can now offer transferrable soft skills and give a fresh perspective. Or consider the fresh-out-of-college employee who’s new to the workforce – they can offer insights from their academic studies, even if it’s not directly related to their current duties.

As you unearth the capabilities of your workforce, you’ll also notice gaps for further education. Create opportunities for upskilling and reskilling your employees, so you can invest in continued growth. The future of your employee experience will look bright when you give top talent a way to channel their aptitude and aspirations.

Regardless of where your workforce satisfaction is, the undeniable benefits of employee retention are worth pursuing. Don’t let miscommunication or inattentiveness force employees down and out. Try these employee retention and engagement strategies for a happy and long-lasting workforce.

Jack Meeker

Jack Meeker is a Content Marketing Specialist at Ceridian, where he writes about the HCM industry, HR trends, and how Dayforce adds remarkable value to businesses of all sizes.

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