Why employees really leave their job and how to measure retention

A quick summary:

Despite us getting further into 2022, it seems the Great Resignation shows no sign of slowing down. Many employers are still left scratching their heads as to why employee retention rates continue to drop, and many more employees aren’t being heard in the workplace. 

The forward-thinking companies of today all have one thing in common… 

Their people-centric approach. Leaders of these companies are gradually putting people first and taking mental health, wellbeing and job satisfaction seriously.

In most cases, these are the tech giants such as Netflix, Facebook and Microsoft - however, there are much smaller companies who are turning employee wellbeing on its head. 

Proving that employee retention is possible, regardless of how much cash that’s poured into incentives, or the size of a business.

From poor relationships to a lack of business growth, here are a number of common reasons team members jump ship and hinder employee retention.

A toxic workplace culture

In recent years, the modern workplace has developed some pretty bad habits when it comes to hard work and progression. 

It seems everyone from assistant to officer must appear to be overworking beyond what is emotionally and mentally manageable.

To some extent, it is due to the rising costs of living, and flawed business performance that result in burnout culture.

These short-lived badges of honour often see the demise of teams in the workplace. For those colleagues who don’t agree with these working conditions, they’re hit with guilt. This fraction of your workforce, along with those suffering with burnout are the first to make a swift exit from their jobs - resulting in weakened employee retention.

Ultimately however, a toxic relationship is also built on many of the points made below, and can be hard to reverse once it spread through a company. To eliminate a toxic workplace culture, start by taking each of the following points much more seriously, and soon enough the tides will change.

The company isn’t growing quickly enough 📉

To a large proportion of people, it’s important their working lives make a difference; it’s also important they are able to see their efforts play out in the success of a business. However, as you’ll most certainly know, business isn’t always easy, and despite 600,000+ new registered startups each year in the UK, around 60% go bust in the first three years.

If there isn’t a progressive approach or culture of determination amongst your team, day-to-day lives can become stale for employees. Causing them to set about looking for greener pastures. 🌳

This doesn’t mean businesses can’t grow slowly, but it’s the companies who aren’t transparent enough and don’t inform their team about growth that cause impatient employees. 📣

Make it a regular thing to show your team what’s happening, and how much the needle is moving in terms of business growth. This will rally your team to keep going, knowing their efforts are making a difference.

Bad relationships among coworkers and managers ✋

It isn’t always easy to maintain happy relationships with everyone you encounter, and that applies to our working lives.  

This is especially true, considering the sheer amount of time, responsibility and collaboration we involve ourselves in with one another at work. 

According to a survey by job board Totaljobs, around 49% of respondents have quit due to a relationship with their boss going sour. Not only this, but less than one in five feel they can trust their boss. 📊

While there are many steps everyone can take to build better relationships, sometimes they just don’t work out - however, this can cause issues to much more than just people. When relationships break down amongst employees and managers, a lack of communication and trust can steer business success down a negative path. 

If, as a leader, you can see first-hand that some relationships of your own, or that of other employees and managers are falling apart, it might be a sign to step in. 🚩

Try to calm down the situation and bring people together through conversations. Only then, can you ensure your best employees don’t leave, and employee retention continues to rise. 🤝

Employees don’t feel challenged by their work 

Any new employee retention strategies should include career development opportunities and new challenges from time to time. It’s in workplaces that disregard the power of employee progression when it comes to retention, that ultimately lose their best talent. 🥇

We seek challenges in our everyday life, as it’s what brings us interest and joy. When we’re faced with repetitive tasks, or work we believe to be of low value or intelligence to us, we quickly become bored and uninterested. 

While the day-to-day duties you’ve set out for a particular employee sound progressive and meaningful to you, it’s important it also resonates with your team member. If you believe they’re bored at work, there’s a huge possibility that presenteeism is burdening them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. 🗓

Speak with your team and regularly check-in to ensure they are enjoying a varied role with a range of challenging aspects to it. Making sure employees feel challenged by their work should be in any employee retention strategies.  🙌

Lack of employee recognition and reward 🏆

Moving on to recognition and knowing how to perfectly reward your team. Employee recognition is one of those aspects of a managers role that often goes overlooked. 👀

This isn’t done maliciously for most managers, but happens to everyone in and outside of the workplace. Gratitude, praise and recognition are commonly forgotten about. Let this be a reminder as a manager, employee, customer and everyday citizen to occasionally praise or recognise someone for something they have done - try to make it a habit. ✅

As a leader, however, it is essential to employee morale and employee retention that you frequently recognise their efforts and results; even in times of failure, try to be uplifting and support your team. 

Micromanagement issues

Finally, let’s discuss micromanagement and its impact on employee retention. 👀

Despite people wanting a great leader that can show them the way to success, and empower them to improve themselves, most people do not like being micromanaged. Micromanagement happens when leaders are too specific about ideas, and unconsciously control all aspects of a project. 

Unfortunately, this results in a lot of people not contributing ideas or feeling their opinions aren’t valued by management. People need to have their ideas heard and considered, regardless of how great an idea it is - only then will people feel valued. 

If employees feel their managers are scrutinising and changing their every idea, it won’t be long before they flee and employee retention takes a significant hit.

How to calculate employee retention

Calculating employee retention is actually quite simple and an effective HR formula to know. You can carefully calculate your retention rates based on any new efforts you make to keep your employees. 

  1. Firstly, divide the number of employees that have stayed with your business throughout the entire time period, by the number of employees you began with on day one. 
  2. Then, multiple this figure by 100 to receive your employee retention rate.

As a formula, this employee retention rate calculation looks like the following:

(Remaining headcount during certain time period ÷ Beginning headcount during certain time period) x 100

Improving Employee retention with Heka

Improving employee retention is no easy feat, and it can take time to establish trust, loyalty and commitment - especially if you’re trying to reverse a toxic workplace culture. 

However, it shouldn’t put you off as a leader, as you will most certainly want the best for your company and its future. 

If you’re looking to boost retention, employee rewards and recognition is a great place to start, and we’re here to help with our employee benefits platform!

Heka is a platform of over a 1000 wellbeing experiences, services and products; from virtual yoga classes, on-demand fitness workouts, in-person therapy sessions and even axe-throwing in London. 

Through Heka, we’re able to deliver employee benefits that focus on building healthier, happier lifestyles for your team.

That’s because we thoroughly understand the benefits on employee retention strategies when you implement activities and incentives that boost health and wellbeing. 

If you’d like to speak with one of our wellbeing experts, please book a demo and find out more on how Heka can help transform employee wellbeing for your business.