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7 Most Common Reasons Why Employees Leave A Company

7 Most Common Reasons Why Employees Leave A Company

A steady, well-trained workforce is one of the many keys to a successful business. It’s always a significant loss when company time and resources are invested in an employee who then leaves prematurely. Some employees quit due to health problems or some other unavoidable reason; however, most leave of their own accord and many of these departures can be avoided. This is especially important if isolated incidents turn into an exodus.

In many cases, it is the working environment rather than low pay that prompts an employee to leave. Fortunately, a simple analysis may explain why employees are “voting with their feet” and choosing to leave a business. By talking openly with current and former employees, recruiters, managers and business owners can discover the reasons behind unhappiness and why people choose to leave. They can then work to rectify an unhappy working environment. Here are seven of the most common reasons why employees leave a company:

1. An inflexible schedule can be very problematic for an employee.

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    Employers and supervisors sometimes forget that employees have lives outside of the workplace and fail to offer or even consider a flexible schedule. A stringent, five-day, forty-hour working week leaves little time for conducting business outside of the business. Increasing hours Monday through Thursday so employees work four ten-hour days then have a long weekend each weekend, is one way some employers are addressing this problem.

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    Another option is to hire two people to share the role. Employers gain in having a broader perspective brought to the position, and the workload can be expanded. Telecommuting is also becoming highly favored in the workplace as more people take advantage of better technology. Productivity is increased and employees may schedule their own workday and week.

    2. Management may be causing problems rather than solving them.

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        Surprisingly, sometimes an employee advanced to management is a poor manager. A manager may also have poor habits, such as being too attached to his or her email, smartphone, or computer. Inattention to employee needs can cause an employee to leave out of frustration. Managers who are too busy or too distracted to listen to employee concerns are definitely a problem that needs to be addressed.

        A manager who cannot be bothered to assist employees, or who sloughs off their responsibilities, or who blames others for departmental problems is giving off warning signs of extremely poor management. Perhaps, even, the manager is failing to challenge his or her employees, or sets goals that are unrealistic or are all talk and no action. These are also indicators of a bad manager.

        3. Opportunities to advance are not available to talented and gifted employees.

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          Upward mobility is important to every employee and career stagnation can bring those dreams to a grinding halt. There is more to working than a paycheck. Of course, pay is a big motivator, but it is not a major motivator. People like to feel that they are being challenged or that they are the “go-to” person to resolve particular problems. No one likes to feel they are replaceable or mere cogs in a larger mechanism.

          Non-existent training programs or work delegations often contribute to this problem. Performance evaluations that are specific to work development may assist in stemming an employee exodus. If an employee knows where and how improvement can be implemented, the employee will likely choose to stay over searching for a new position.

          4. Employers sometimes devalue their workers, creating a hostile work environment.

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            Employees who do not feel valued or respected in the workplace will leave. It is simply an issue that employees do not and will not endure to stay in a workplace. Disrespect in the workplace causes a significant reduction in productivity as well. As the working relationship is dissolved, expensive high employee turnover is the result.

            Part of the work ethic, discipline, and enjoyment of work is derived from being a known and valued employee. A lack of appreciative respect on the part of the employer reflects poorly to potential customers and in the market as well. In other words, new and returning customers take note of this and will begin to wonder: If employees are derided, is the customer possibly undervalued as well?

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            5. Management has failed to provide proper support to employees.

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                Employees may begin to feel taken advantage of when support is lacking in the workplace. Perhaps, in order to cut costs, the employer has a single employee working in the role of two or even three people. Or an employee spends a great amount of his or her time on tasks outside his or her job description, such as copying, stuffing envelopes, or other unrelated clerical duties.

                Another example of lack of support is requiring the employee to ‘fill-in’ for other important roles. Inexperience quickly leads to frustration as the new tasks go undone or are so demanding that the role the person was hired for goes unfulfilled. A lack of support feeds into an employee’s feelings of disrespect, further causing the employee to feel alienated and ultimately leave the company.

                6. An out-of-date policy may cause an employee to walk.

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                  A failure to address employee concerns in a timely manner leads to overwhelming frustration. Problems can and should be addressed quickly and soundly. Another frustrating aspect is that the employee may find themselves constantly addressing a problem that could easily be solved with updated policy. Policies that address the conduct of teamwork, supervisor-employee relationships, access to social media in the workplace, or the length of time it may take to resolve an issue are all examples of this. Policies that are outdated, or compliance and implementation procedures that seem to take forever, can often encourage an employee to look elsewhere for employment.

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                  7. A shift in core values can cause an employee to quit.

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                    A change in the central core values of a company often has a negative effect on an employee. The employee may find that his or her personal values are now incongruent with those of the company. An employee may find that the value change is not something he or she had signed on for when choosing to work there. Rather than compromise, very often the employee will simply leave.

                    An example of a core value shift may be witnessed at a political scale. Health plans that protect women are now federally mandated, and private organizations are finding themselves at odds with the sweeping change. Companies are choosing to ‘walk away’ from the mandate by suing and refusing to implement the new policy.

                    Have you ever found a working environment so bad you felt you had to leave? Have you ever had your complaints to management heard and successfully redressed? What do you find intolerable in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below.

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                    Published on March 20, 2019

                    How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

                    How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

                    Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

                    As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

                    While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

                    What is a Mission Statement?

                    Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

                    In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

                    “Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

                    In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

                    Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

                    While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

                    First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

                    While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

                    While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

                    “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

                    This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

                    What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

                    When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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                    Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

                    When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

                    • What we do?
                    • How we do it?
                    • Whom do we do it for?
                    • What value are we bringing?

                    Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

                    After all, that did check off all the boxes:

                    What we do? Provide widgets.

                    How we do it? Online.

                    Who do we do it for? The consumer.

                    What value we bring? The best widgets.

                    The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

                    Compare that mission statement to this one:

                    “We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

                    What’s the difference?

                    Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

                    Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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                    You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

                    A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

                    Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

                    1. Keep It Brief

                    Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

                    You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

                    2. Have a Purpose

                    A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

                    Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

                    3. Include a “How”

                    Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

                    How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

                    4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

                    This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

                    Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

                    5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

                    It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

                    Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

                    6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

                    Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

                    7. Think Long Term

                    A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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                    8. Get Feedback

                    This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

                    Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

                    9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

                    You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

                    First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

                    And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

                    For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

                    The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

                    It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

                    First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

                    If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

                    Strategic Planning

                    A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

                    Measuring Performance

                    By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

                    Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

                    Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

                    Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

                    As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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                    Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

                    To Hold Management Accountable

                    By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

                    So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

                    If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

                    To Serve as an Example

                    This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

                    After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

                    Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

                    Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

                    Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

                    That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

                    By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

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                    Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
                    [2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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