Trillium Insights

Thoughts and Insights from Trillium's Practice Leaders

Why Do People Leave Jobs?

Why Do People Leave Jobs?

Employee turnover is something every employer faces.  But why do people leave their job?  As the old saying goes, “people quit their bosses, not their jobs.”  The more companies can learn about why employees leave, the better positioned they are to reduce it.  Here are a few reasons.

Responsibility Overload:  Companies are continually under pressure to do more with less and have reduced staff over the last several years.    The work the former employees were doing still needs to get done, so employers are distributing the work to their remaining employees putting an additional burden on top of their regular job responsibilities.  Overworking good employees is counterproductive.  If you must increase the workload for your key employees, make sure you are providing them some incentive for taking it on.  Simply increasing workload without providing incentives will likely lead to your employee seeking another job that gives them what they feel they deserve.

Micromanagement:  Retention issues are also caused by managers who are persistently over-involved in the day to day working of employees.  It is a good course of practice to have your fingers on the pulse of what’s going on in your company, but leaders often cross the line into micro-managing.  Your best employees want to feel empowered to enable them to use their skills and experience to get the work done.  Good employees want to work in an environment that allows them to embrace autonomy and independence.  Without this, your best employees will leave.

Lack of Professional Growth:  Employees should be in a constant state of learning.  Ambitious individuals have a desire to learn and grow, and when they don’t see these opportunities, they will be inclined to seek more rewarding opportunities.  Help your people gain a little knowledge every day.  Encourage training within your organization and provide opportunities to learn and produce new information.  When you have a talented employee, it’s up to you to keep finding areas in which they can improve upon or expand their skill set.  This will ensure that each employee is engaged, excited, and challenged to contribute, create, and perform.

An employee’s skills and abilities make them very marketable and gives them career options.  If you want to minimize turnover and retain your top talent, you need to think carefully about how you treat them.  You need to make them “want” to work for you.  Take these three tips to heart, and you will reduce turnover and retain your most wanted employees.

Employers: Can You Influence Glassdoor Reviews?

Employers: Can You Influence Glassdoor Reviews?

Glassdoor is a social media site where potential employees can go to investigate salaries and company reviews for firms that they are interested in working for.  It also provides companies the opportunity to engage their current employees and to reinforce their company brand in ways that no other social media site can.  To date, over six million reviews have been posted to Glassdoor.  It is hard to believe that this site is often overlooked.  Do you know what your current and past employees are saying about your company?  Do you know that there are ways that you can influence it?  Here are some possibilities:

Invest:  Spend the money to have your company’s site unlocked, which will allow you to add more detailed content about your company, including job postings and photos.  This is a great and inexpensive way reinforce your company’s brand and culture to current and potential employees.

Encourage:  Encourage your employees to engage and post reviews.  When a current employee is promoted or celebrates an anniversary, it is a great time to encourage them to post a review about their experience.  This will almost always be a positive review. You can also attempt to encourage your interviewees to post a review of their interview experience.  This can be more difficult, but if they are really interested in the role, they will be compelled to do so.

Comment:  It is a good course of practice to comment on both positive and negative reviews.  This shows that you genuinely care and appreciate people taking the time to provide constructive feedback.  This level of engagement can set your company apart from its competitors.  Take the time to understand the intent behind a negative review.  Your comment to a negative review can say something along the lines of, “We appreciate you sharing your views and we take these comments very seriously.  We are always committed to improvement, and your honest feedback helps us accomplish that goal.”

Provide Outlets:  Provide your employees sufficient outlets to voice issues and concerns (i.e. town halls, internal discussion boards.)  It not only shows your care and concern for your employees, but it significantly reduces the chances that an employee will post a grievance on a public platform.

Glassdoor is like any other social media stage in that it’s capable of a lot but requires a clear strategy and sustained engagement to get the most out of it. Companies seeking to recruit the best talent cannot afford to ignore sites like Glassdoor because it’s quite likely that your competitors aren’t.

Don’t Let Growth Get in the Way of Success

Don’t Let Growth Get in the Way of Success

Over the last 4 years, I have helped over 170 people, either in transition or looking to go into transition, figure out what their next career move is.  Regardless of economic conditions, one of the key reasons why people are looking to change jobs is because the culture of the company does not align with their personal beliefs. 

An example of this occurred today.  A long-time friend and business associate who took a job with a SaaS-based implementation firm two years ago called me out of the blue.  She told me that she is ready to make a change.  This firm is not the same place she joined 2 short years ago, and she feels that they are compromising their values and culture in order to take advantage of their growth curve.  They have a great deal to offer – they are a gold partner for the SaaS product that they implement, they have great case studies for the work that they perform, and they are actively hiring more and more delivery people every day.  What is wrong with this situation?  The phrase that “culture trumps strategy” completely applies.  The company is growing at a rate of over 25% a year.  As a result, over 50% of the people at the company were not there two years ago.  This growth has put pressure on the company to reduce the initial training time that consultants have to get up to speed on their product which has led to development issues on projects.  This action has led to firefighting at client sites in an attempt to meet client expectations, which has led to consultants being moved between projects mid-stream to meet those client expectations.    The result of being reactive is that the culture of the company giving back, being focused on their employees, putting the client first, and being prepared is nowhere to be seen.  It is now get it done at all costs, focus the consultants on the client that is screaming the loudest, focus on today, don’t push back, don’t question – just do!

It is unfortunate to see, but when a company gets into this mode, it quickly becomes a downhill spiral that includes key people leaving.

Remember, it is ok to say no and be true to who you are as a person and a culture.  It is a journey not a sprint.