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Why staff leave within first 12 months

05 Sep 2016

Replacing staff can be a real burden on organisations, especially when they decide to up and leave within their first year of employment.

That’s according to REFFIND, who says the expense of finding and retaining top-performing talent can challenge organisations’ profitability.

“Research shows that only 12% of employees leave their employer to earn more money. That means most employers can take action to prevent staff turnover,” says Rob van Es, acting CEO, REFFIND.

“One of the most common reasons staff leave a company is failure to fuel the intrinsic motivation that most new hires feel,” he explains.

REFFIND has identified five key reasons employees leave during the first year: 

1. Excessive workload 
New hires are often more productive but if you give them more work than you give their peers, they are bound to feel resentment. Instead of making new hires feel penalised for outperforming their co-workers, set realistic expectations for all employees and find ways to elevate the productivity of underperforming workers. Reward employees with extra time off or promotions when they do well, so they don’t leave the company feeling overwhelmed and unfairly treated. 

2. No acknowledgment 
Staying silent when employees do a good job or, worse, vocally criticising poor performance then refusing to acknowledge a job well done, de-motivates workers. To improve retention, organisations need to show appreciation for employees. Accolades don’t impact the company’s bottom line. Adding financial rewards or extra time off where possible makes employees feel appreciated and encourages them to repeat desired behaviours. 

3. Lack of flexibility 
Insisting your staff keep a traditional schedule is out of step with most organisations in the age of mobility, and it can make employees resent you for making them miss important moments in their personal life. The more flexible you are, the less likely your employees are to go work for your competitors. 

4. Poor transparency 
When workers don’t understand your company’s goals and future plans, they can feel uneasy and unimportant. By communicating openly and honestly with employees, and including them in tactical and strategic decisions, they become more loyal and invested in making the company succeed. 

5. No communication and engagement 
Poor communication makes staff guess what they’re supposed to deliver, and this can lead to employee dissatisfaction. It’s important to listen to complaints and requests from your team, then address them directly. It’s also critical to let your team know they won’t be punished for providing feedback, even if it’s negative. 

6. No growth opportunities 
Employees leave a job sooner when they sense they have little or no opportunity for growth and advancement. Giving workers a clear path to promotion and providing training opportunities will make them less likely to move to a competitor. 

“To keep employees engaged and positive, it’s important to make your company a great place to work,” van Es says.

“That means eliminating the factors that cause high employee turnover to improve retention and reduce recruitment costs.” 

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