Five Reasons Why Employees Leave and How to Boost Engagement

HR teams invest a lot of energy into employee engagement, using employee benefits like language learning for business to create “sticky” cultures teams feel committed to. Fostering these cultures improves employee satisfaction, yielding better teams, better results, and happier clients. Failing to do so costs companies money, slows down workflows and sows organizational chaos.

Though common managerial wisdom holds that employees mostly leave their jobs over compensation, a 2017 study by Office Vibe showed that salary makes up just 12% of the “why” behind employee churn. HR teams still puzzle over the reasons behind high employee turnover rates, but the real answers are surprising.

With a greater awareness of new work trends, companies can maintain employee engagement and avoid brain drain. Keeping this in mind, here are the top five reasons employees put in their two weeks:

1. Inflexible work arrangements reduce employee engagement.

The arrival of the pandemic has made digital work environments and remote teams the new normal, but office workers were already looking for flexible schedules and the option to work remotely long before Covid-19. Now that the workforce has seen these shifts, it’s clear to employees that there’s often no good explanation why they shouldn’t be allowed to work remotely… other than a lack of trust from management.

In the post-pandemic work environment, inflexible schedules can create resentment and decrease employee engagement. In their study, Office Vibe found that 37% of employees would quit their current position for a role that offers more flexibility, and 82% said that a more flexible work schedule would increase their loyalty to their current company.

2. Feeling valued is an employee benefit on its own.

In a 2017 study by Forbes, 66% of employees said they would quit their job if they felt under-appreciated, a number that rises to 76% among millennials. These numbers are staggering, especially considering what a cheap fix this issue can be with the right management.

To make sure your employees feel valued, hold Friday weekly meetings that champion the good work they’ve done that week. Allow team members to nominate employees of the week and read out reasons why their achievements should be celebrated. The bottom line is employee engagement and recognizing good work are directly related — and a simple “thank you” or “well done” goes a very long way!

3. Progression doesn’t always mean promotion

Some employees feel that to progress, they need a promotion or a salary increase. This can be difficult to accommodate in the pandemic era, as many companies have been forced to tighten their purse strings.

However, progression can also be provided by offering professional and educational development, helping employees prepare for future opportunities. There has never been a better time for companies to invest in these kinds of employee benefits: digital language learning for business contexts with Babbel for Business can empower employees to work with international clients as the working world becomes more global.

4. Companies lack trust and don’t give enough autonomy.

Building up and maintaining trust is crucial for positive employee-manager relationships. Allowing employees to work autonomously can help foster a trusting workplace relationships.

When team leads micro-manage their employees, it betrays a lack of trust. If managers don’t give their employees the autonomy to take charge of their own role, they will feel demoralized — though they will be motivated to find another company to grant them the freedom they’re looking for.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, management should guide employees through their roles rather than telling them exactly what to do. Learn to trust your teams and provide support only when they need it.

5. Nothing hurts employee engagement more than bad company culture.

A good company culture is one of the most crucial ways to retain staff, and creating one starts at the top. As ever, the reverse is also true: if a company culture is unwelcoming or bullying, there’s a high chance staff members will leave. In fact, a study conducted by Hays in 2017 shows that 47% of people who are actively looking for new positions are motivated primarily by a negative company culture at their current workplace.

So, how can your management team develop a culture that promotes employee engagement and satisfaction? One sound solution is a strong employee benefit package, including things like fitness benefits, flexibility, and development opportunities like language learning for business settings. Weekly meetings and social events can also encourage inter-departmental bonding. Above all, ensuring that management teams are communicative, open, and approachable will go a long way in making employees feel comfortable, relaxed and valued in the workplace.

There are many non-financial ways to help employees advance and develop — and for international companies considering language learning for business contexts, Babbel for Business is a great place to start.

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