How to lose an employee in 10 ways | Glassdoor for Employers
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How to lose an employee in 10 ways

In the movie "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," a man (Ben) and a woman (Andie) are in competition - one to make the other fall in love with them and the other to lose a lover in just 10 days. Both are in the dark about what each other is doing and what's motivating their actions. Losing employees can feel just as confusing. But you can spot the red flags by talking to your employees and paying attention to their responses. 

If you're stuck wondering why your employees are quitting, we have (some of) the answers. Using data from our recent survey of employees, we can show you how you're missing the mark and what it takes to keep employees from leaving.

#1: Undervaluing diversity, equity, and inclusion

More than 75% of employees and job seekers say a company's approach to diversity and inclusion is important. It can't just be a paragraph on your website or the company saying it's an equal opportunity employer. Your leadership team must prioritize sharing specific diversity and inclusion goals, and then regularly update employees on progress toward hitting those goals.

#2: Not asking for (and following up on) employee feedback

Employees want their voices to be heard. Asking for and responding to feedback is an important piece in the retention puzzle. This isn't about annual reviews, it's about regularly surveying your workforce, being honest about your shortcomings, and then taking steps to fix the gaps. Thirty-five percent of employees we surveyed are satisfied with their employer's follow-through and action on their feedback. 

Did you know? A 1-star increase in an employer's Glassdoor rating is associated with a 6 percent drop in the likelihood that employees apply to a new job.

#3: Creating a culture where people don't take time off

Burnout is real, and workers are quitting in droves because of it. A Deloitte survey of workers found that 77% of respondents have experienced burnout at their current job. Make sure your leadership and management teams are modeling and encouraging a culture of work/life balance from the top down, where employees are actively encouraged and supported in taking time off when they want and need it. 

#4: Holding onto bad/toxic managers

If you've had multiple exit interviews calling out a manager's toxic behavior and you're not doing anything about it, you're going to continue to lose talent. Managers need and deserve continuous training so they can coach and develop their teams appropriately. More than 90% of employees say they would have stayed at a job if their boss had simply had more empathy.

#5: Being inflexible

Life can sometimes spill into work - whether it's childcare, taking care of aging parents, or something else - it happens. An inflexible work policy with a butts-in-seats-every-day mentality will result in workers fleeing for more understanding work environments. Be as flexible as you can. Consider the quality of someone's work rather than the number of hours they spend working.

#6: Poor or unclear brand or communication with the public

Our research found that 69% of employees want to be proud of their employer's brand.  Clear, transparent communication with employees and a company's communication with the public rank among the highest factors driving employees' satisfaction with their employer. However, only 66% of employees report being satisfied with their employers' efforts.

#7: Keeping pay a secret

It's pretty straightforward: pay people what they're worth, pay them equitably and fairly across all races and genders, and practice salary transparency. While companies that practice salary transparency are still a minority (22%), that trend is on the rise in response to employee demand. Consider these ways to approach transparency and decide what's best for your company. 

5 ways to approach pay transparency infographic

# 8: Not offering an attractive benefits package

A lot of job posts say "competitive benefits'' but are still a far cry from what matters most to talent today. Your benefits package may place too much of a financial burden on employees, or it may not be comprehensive enough.

Additionally, if it doesn't offer any perks, extras, or retirement/investment instruments, you could be missing an opportunity to stand out to job seekers. Consider what your competitors are offering and make changes accordingly.

#9: Lack of career development

Most employees want a job with a career path that includes opportunities for advancement. That can mean promotions, pay increases, training, education, or other ways to increase their contributions to the company. Without a path forward, workers can get bored and frustrated and feel there is no future with the company. Career-conscious employees are more likely to stay if they are actively being developed.

#10: All (or most) of the above

For many workers, it's easier to stay with a job you know than to start all over from scratch with a new company. It often takes more than one of the above factors to push an employee out the door. The key to finding out how your employees feel and which of the above factors they're experiencing is communication.

Managers should regularly touch base with all their employees to see how they are feeling and to find out what could be improved to keep them happy. Leadership should take a vested interest in employee feedback and respond so that employees feel they are being heard. 

Employer branding report

Our recent employer branding report covers many of the disconnects between employers and employees, illustrating why employees are leaving and what you can do to help stop the exodus. Download the report today to learn more.