Say Goodbye to These 4 Causes of Turnover

I remember those days when it seemed it would have been easier to hang the moon and write my CEO’s name in the sky with stars than to fill every position I needed with the right people. Turnover has always been a struggle for HR professionals, but it’s an increasingly overwhelming aspect of managing staffing needs. An employee who departs can leave a big dent in your business. From the increased workload of others to the hours and money spent on filling the position, its effects can be felt far beyond their now-empty office.

One of the hardest things about managing turnover is understanding why people shuffle out the door when everything seemed fine from your view. There are so many aspects to why an employee would leave that it can be difficult to pinpoint what the exact causes are. Even after you know why employees are so eager to say sayonara, it’s hard to know what is inevitable and what is avoidable.


Many companies see trends, such as better pay and opportunities elsewhere, and across their employee base that they can contribute the majority of resignations to. Often, those trends may not be the answer employees provide when asked why they are leaving, but instead may be the underlying cause. Though there are some causes you will never have control over, such as employees’ family issues, there are ways to head off some of the causes of turnover in your company and improve retention. Eliminating just these four causes can make the difference between spending your Saturday posting job openings and spending it on something more worthwhile, like enjoying an unlimited mimosa brunch.

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Feeling undervalued
Getting compensation right by precisely matching what the market is paying for equivalent jobs is the first step in showing your employees that you value them. Having a a pay-for-performance program in place is the second most important part of this equation to show them that you will reward them when they do well. Even if you and your company’s managers don’t pay for performance, employees still have an internal need to feel appreciated, which brings me to the third part of this – employee recognition. Hosting an employee appreciation event, encouraging managers to write a note of appreciation or even creating more of a vocal culture of feedback and praise all can go a long way.

Inadequate Communication
It’s so important that managers are keeping an open line of communication with their employees. From simply having the information they need to complete a task, to hearing about changes within the company, employees need to hear from their supervisor often and have the opportunity to ask questions. In other words, one-way communication isn’t enough. Though this may be something that’s harder to see if you’re not on the front lines every day, it can be a big contributor to your company’s turnover and a relatively simple fix.


A bad fitOften times, the job someone begins their career with is far from the one with which they end their career. It’s hard to know what path a person’s career will take, but it’s usually easy to see when a change is needed. When you have an employee in this situation, they may see leaving to pursue a different type of job as the only option. However, if an employee is valuable in their current role, they may turn out to be valuable in another position within the company as well. It can be time consuming to re-train for a new position and re-hire to fill their former position, but having an employee who is loyal, productive and happy can be well worth it.

Fear of becoming stagnant
Chances are, your employees want to be challenged. They desire to grow in their careers and that often means receiving training, being given new responsibilities and being promoted. If your company expects a shining star to remain in the same position for years with no growth or movement, they’ll likely be sadly mistaken. The fact is, they’ll go elsewhere and get what your company can’t provide. The major downside to this is that your employees who want to grow are your company’s future. If you can’t develop your people, you’ll never have a handle on succession planning.


High turnover may seem like a mystery at times, but honing in on its causes can make a monumental difference across the business. How do you handle turnover trends in your business? Let us know in the comments section below.

56% of companies used pay-for-performance strategies to reduce turnover in 2012. Do you pay for performance?

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Bruce Caspersen

We will be taking a maintenance workforce, as an outsourced service and would like to better understand pay for performance