Many people mistakenly believe that employees leave jobs primarily for better wages, benefits, or both. The cause is more likely to be one of the following:
Lack of communication
Poor job fit
Understaffing Employees who survived layoffs and recessions with their jobs intact are working harder than ever. The reduced number of workers still shoulder the same (or larger) total workload that existed before staff-cuts. In 2002, worker productivity in the United States was at its highest level since the 1950s — 4.7%.
When productivity is high, organizations don't need to hire as many people. But it's hard for employees to be happy when, no matter how hard they work, they never catch up.
Most professionals have a backlog of 200 or more hours of uncompleted work, in spite of working harder. As a result, employees experience a strong need to balance the urgent demands of work and personal life without sacrificing either.
Lack of communication In focus groups, employees identified leadership's failure to provide a clear picture of the company's direction as a major reason for leaving a company. If you want to achieve better results and improve morale, clearly communicate where the company is going and why.
Employees want to know your vision and what, specifically, you want them to accomplish. Employees also want to know how you think they're doing — and not just during annual reviews. Regular and consistent feedback is essential for your workers to do the job you expect.
Poor job fit Many employees feel unfulfilled, bored, or "stuck" in their current positions. Cross-training gives employees more variety and managers more flexibility in the workforce. Adjusting job tasks can also increase worker satisfaction.
For example, UPS had a high turnover of drivers, a key position for the company. In talking with the drivers, UPS discovered that they hated to load their trucks but enjoyed the driving. So UPS designed a job classification of loading the delivery trucks, which cut turnover dramatically, because drivers no longer had to load trucks.