10 Reasons Employees Stay with an Organization

If you are experiencing angst over the upcoming “turnover tsunami”, then remind yourself that focusing on the basics is still best. While COVID-19 may come and go (we hope), the reasons that employees come and go do not change all that much. COVID-19 and remote work opportunities have simply underlined the need to address employee concerns and meet their life and career needs whenever you can.
If employee retention is a focus area for your organization, you may want to consider asking this question during the discussion phase when giving your next employee performance review:

“What would it take for you to leave?”

In fact, you may want to do it sooner. You might be very surprised at the responses you hear. Some employees may say “I would never leave!” This may be a reflection on your culture (do they feel they have permission to tell you their true feelings?) or it could also mean they are happy where they are, which says a lot about your organization.

However, hopefully other staff members will feel open enough to respond with the reasons they would consider leaving your company since this will provide valuable insight into how you can make improvements to retain your most valued employees.

Why wait until an exit interview to determine why an employee decided to leave? Engage your good performers when the opportunity presents itself and find out what might cause them to leave before they really do leave.

Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans surveyed more than 17,000 employees with various organizations for their book Love ‘em or Lose ‘em about reasons why employees stay with an organization. Below are the top 10 reasons from their survey:

    1. Exciting work and challenge
    2. Career growth, learning and development
    3. Working with great people
    4. Fair pay
    5. Supportive management/good boss
    6. Being recognized, valued and respected
    7. Benefits
    8. Meaningful work and making a difference
    9. Pride in the organization, its mission and its products
    10. Great work environment and culture

Notice that in several of these cases (underlined) and maybe a few more, remote work can have an impact on job satisfaction. Are staff getting opportunities to develop and meet with leaders? Are they able to develop relationships with their team and their boss? Has the culture changed now that the company is remote, or wearing masks 24-7? What about recognition? Is everyone just too busy?
It’s often assumed that pay is the chief lure for an employee to jump ship. However, that is clearly not the case. Even if you’ve had to freeze salaries over the past couple of years, if you can provide your employees with challenging work, give them the opportunity to learn and grow, and have created a work environment of support and camaraderie, you have a very good chance of being able to retain your top performers.

But, of course, the best way to find out where you stand is by asking your employees directly. Take some time to find out from your employees why they stay with your organization and, more importantly, why they might leave. If you have questions regarding employee retention, please contact a member of Catapult’s HR Advice team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

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