Scott’s Guide to why your Employees keep leaving

By Scott Millward MBA’s Marketing Director

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

You’re that weird marketer who posts random, pointless stuff online.

Yes, yes I am.

But I’m also part of a recruitment business, and we know a bit about attrition.

Not because we lose staff. More because we’ve helped others to keep theirs. In fact, one client reduced their staff turnover from a whopping 29% (Jesus eating a cucumber, that’s high!) to just under 9%.

How? Well, read the bloody PDF.

SO, GO ON THEN, SCOTT, WHY DO MY STAFF KEEP LEAVING?

Because they don’t like you, you have coffee breath and wear too much Old Spice.

Jokes. Well, sort of.

But we’re going to start with the first and, in my mind, one of the most common reasons.

Drum roll please…

YOU SET UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT IT’S ACTUALLY LIKE TO WORK FOR YOU.

Yep. Categorically, the worst thing you can do when trying to attract new talent is paint a picture of your workplace that is unrealistic.

Building a good EVP (employer value proposition for you non-recruiter-y types) is about highlighting the great parts about working for you, whilst being fully honest about the role.

And yes, ladies and gentlemen, that means warts and all.

Because if you’re honest and transparent…

YOU’LL ATTRACT PEOPLE WHO STAY WITH YOU.

Because they have the right expectations.

Because there won’t be any surprises when they start.

Because they’ll be the type of people that fit into your culture.

Because they’ll think your company is sexier than Brad Pitt’s knees.*

*Completely made this up and I’ve never seen Brad Pitt’s knees.

SEEMS PRETTY OBVIOUS, THAT, SCOTT.

Well, it is.

But then, why do so many companies get it wrong? Good question, Scott. Thank you,

Scott. I’m talking to myself again, aren’t I?

Anyway, that’s not the only reason staff leave.

Here comes another retention clanger that’ll cause you to lose people quicker than an office-based plague…

YOU HAVE NO UNDERSTANDING OF THE MARKET .

Yeah, big one this.

If you don’t keep up with market trends for the roles you regularly hire for, you’ll make several mistakes that’ll cause your best employees to question their current job.

You’ll pay the wrong salaries or won’t increase wages in line with the market.

You’ll offer benefits that aren’t as good as your competition.

You’ll stick to outdated working practices.

And, just like a partner who’s bored of your relationship because you don’t take them to TGI Fridays on a Tuesday for ‘date night’ anymore, and sets up a secret Plenty of Fish profile to see if there’s anything better out there, your employees will start chatting to recruiters and popping their CV across to your competition.

OH, THAT’S NOT GOOD, SCOTT.

No. No it’s not.

WELL AREN’T YOU FULL OF WISDOM, SCOTT?

I can’t deny it, I am pretty wise. Like an eclectic mix of famous philosophers. Like Plato and…erm, that’s the only one I know.

And because I’m wise, I’m going to give you one more pearl, because I’m a blinkin’ nice guy.

Y’see, another reason employees leave is…wait for it…wait a little bit longer…

BECAUSE YOU GIVE THEM A LACK OF FLEXIBILITY.

And no, I don’t mean this ‘work/life balance’ thing everyone keeps going on about.

In my eyes, the term ‘work/life balance’ implies that they’re separate things. But I think it’s less about separating them, and more about being flexible.

Because there’s no reason Sally can’t leave the office early, and answer calls in the car on the way to pick her kids up from school.

And, in most jobs, the place won’t burn down if your sales reps get a longer lunch to fit in a trip to the gym, or if they leave early to catch up on emails at home.

It’s less about forcing people to switch off, and more about offering them the flexibility to fit work around their lives and vice versa.

It’s about realising that your employees all have different needs and creating an environment and infrastructure that allows them to fit that stuff in. Because they’ll be happier and, I may be going out on a limb here, but…

HAPPY EMPLOYEES ARE MORE LIKELY TO STAY.

SO, THERE YOU GO. A FEW SNIPPETS OF ADVICE ON IMPROVING YOUR RETENTION.

I also appreciate that the advice was pretty brief, and didn’t really go into the best way to do it. In fact, it’s more like the wishy-washy advice I’d give someone over a beer. (I love talking about recruitment over a beer. Proper interesting convo material.)

But, if you need help with improving your attrition figures, we have a ton of people here who know their stuff.

Give me a shout and I’ll introduce you.

Scott.millward@mattburtonassociates.co.uk