75% of the causes of employee turnover are preventable

75% – yes, three in four – of the reasons why staff leave are preventable. That’s the rather shocking conclusion of a report by the Work Institute which canvassed some 240,000 employees who quit.

And what’s more, a separate report by the Employee Benefit News suggests that it costs 33% of a worker’s annual wage to hire and replace an employee that leaves.

With the average UK salary currently standing at around the £30,000 mark, that’s just under £10,000 it costs a firm each time a staff member hands in their notice.

So, the stakes are high, not to mention industries where available talent is in extremely short supply or expert knowledge could be passed on to your direct competitors.

Indeed, it’s well worth investigating the 75% of causes that prompt staff to quit in the first place and looking to address them.

10 categories of reasons for leaving

Overall, 65 individual reasons for leaving were listed which can be grouped into 10 categories.

These include:

  • Career development
  • Work environment
  • Management behaviour
  • Job characteristics
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Work-life balance
  • Wellbeing
  • Relocation
  • Retirement
  • Involuntary

Within these categories, the report noted that the latest trends suggest that it’s the more preventable reasons why employees leave their jobs that are on the rise. Lack of career development, poor working environment, mismanagement, low salary and rigid working hours are all potentially changeable, whilst staff looking to up roots or head into retirement can’t be helped.

Here’s a list of the top 10 reasons why people leave, combined into those 10 categories:

  1. Career Development (22%)
  2. Work-Life Balance (12%)
  3. Management Behavior (11%)
  4. Compensation and Benefits (9%)
  5. Well-being (9%)
  6. Retirement (8%)
  7. Involuntary (8%)
  8. Relocation (8%)
  9. Job Characteristics (7%)
  10. Work Environment (6%)

22% of those quizzed said career development, or lack of, was the most important reason for them leaving. Across companies, this was reflected in 86% as the top reason their employees left, predominantly broken down as opportunities for growth, achievement and job security.

Work-life balance issues at 12% stands as the second most common categories reason for leaving, focusing mainly on travel commitments and flexibility requests that weren’t met.

Third was management behaviour at 11% as a result of a negate employee-manager dynamic. Results like these really highlight the importance of an employee engagement strategy and motivation plans, both of which are proven to help reduce employee turnover.

Final factoids for thought…

Issues regarding career development have been on the rise over the last seven years, increasing faster than any other reason to hand in a notice.

Quitting due to management behaviour has also steadily increased.

Compensation and benefits is falling back as the primary reason for leaving, whilst job characteristics and work environment climb in importance.

And finally, and perhaps surprisingly, well being has been cited less and less as the predominant reason for leaving a job.

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