Employee retention is one of the most important tasks in a company. Recruiters know this well because people quitting means you must start obtaining talents all over again. This unnecessary work can be avoided by focusing on and addressing a key question: why do people leave my company?
In employee retention, managers play a crucial role. According to a survey by Gallup, over 75% of the reasons (including career advancement, work environment, flexibility and job fit) why people quit have something to do with managerial work. In other words, those are reasons over which managers can have an influence.
So, bad management or lack of leadership is the biggest reason people leave companies. This is also quite understandable because of the influence managers have on employees’ overall work experience, satisfaction, and the workplace culture in general.
Satisfaction & safety
Imagine you are doing something new. Depending on how satisfied and happy it makes you feel, you probably will or will not do it again, and even if you enjoy it at first, something can make you want to stop doing it.
The same thing is with companies: people who feel satisfied stay in a company, are those who don’t quit. According to a 2016 report by SHRM, number one aspect related to employee satisfaction was “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels”. Aspects such as “trust between employees and senior management” and “opportunities to use your skills and abilities in your work” also ranked high in the report.
Also, people who don’t feel safe, people who don’t feel that they belong in the organization and are dissatisfied because of that, those are the people who quit. Simon Sinek sums this up very well in his TED Talk which I highly recommend.
It’s a cultural thing…
…and with this I mean the company culture. Already in the recruitment phase, you can focus your efforts on people who share the company’s values, work ethic and methods in which managers have had an influence. People who don’t share these characteristics are more likely to quit.
Be a leader
Leaders have the ability to influence other people’s lives positively; this is also true in the workplace. Good leaders (such as the ones AIESEC creates) make everybody feel like they belong, they make sure that everybody is treated equally and care about their employees’ wellbeing. They are on the frontline in creating trust, safety, and satisfaction in companies and organizations.
The lack of these leaders or leadership qualities in general creates dissatisfaction, which will eventually lead to employees quitting. Because to be honest, nobody wants to work in a place they don’t like, right? By ensuring these aspects, you can make sure your work has not been in vain.
In the end, it all boils down to management and what managers can do for employee retention. You can ask yourself: am I or are my managers able to create employee satisfaction properly? Do they trust me? Do they feel safe? And most importantly: if not, what do I need to do?2