Actual Comments on Why Employees Leave:
“The problem with my job duties were that they were inconsistent with what had been presented throughout the job interview process. I was being asked to perform management level duties as a supervisor, but not given the autonomy to make decisions. At the same time I was expected to continue holding a high productivity standard with my normal workload. It wasn’t the amount of work that was being asked of me, but lack of support to perform those duties and lack of trust to perform those duties independently.”
It is challenging to be given additional responsibilities when you are already busy and tasked with meeting productivity goals. However, most employees like having a chance to perform higher level work. It shows employees the organization thinks highly of their contributions. It also gives employees the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities potentially allowing them to move into new positions.
In this case, it appears the real problem was not so much the additional workload but rather the frustrations this employee had due to the lack of support at work and the perception of a lack of trust required to perform the additional duties independently. What could the manager have done to turn this situation around and avoid turnover?
In today’s work environment, it is best practice to have periodic one-on-one meetings with each direct report. The frequency is often determined by the job and the work environment but generally held on a weekly basis. The purpose of the meetings is to discuss the workload, review progress from the previous meeting, identify and discuss obstacles, make changes and/or reprioritize as needed, and genuinely show that you care about and support the employee. There may be times you need to intervene. Sometimes the only thing you will do is listen. These one-on-one meetings should be positive flow of two-way communication that allows the employee to share information about his workload.
Your employees are truly your best assets. Staying consistent with these one-on-one meetings shows your employees you are taking the initiative to treat them as valuable assets. Once they see this, you will have a better return on those assets and less turnover. A small investment of your time will improve retention of your employees. Isn’t replacing employees more time consuming than spending valuable time with existing employees on an ongoing basis? Time well spent is good for your employees, good for you as the manager, and good for the organization. A trifecta.
(Turnover Tuesday is a blog post brought to you by Human Systems Development, an exit interview company that helps other companies reduce employee turnover by providing automated reference checking, exit interviews and by measuring employee retention. The comments this blog is based off of are collected from exit interviews we have conducted in the workplace with ExitRight, HSD’s exit interviewing service. We put the privacy of our clients at the top of our priority list; therefore we keep the names of all involved completely confidential. Return weekly for Turnover Tuesday, to reduce employee turnover within your organization).