Today, organizations realize that their most valuable assets are their employees. They know that it can be a significant setback when a good one leaves the company. In this article, Vice President of Human Resources in Omaha, NE, Ron Cardenas, examines some of the top reasons good employees move on.
Conflict with managers
As the cliché goes, employees don’t leave companies; they leave bad bosses. There is more to his platitude than the implied inference that managers would never lose a valuable employee if only they were better managers. It’s much more complicated than that, but there is a certain truth contained in this oft-quoted saying as well.
The root cause of many employees leaving their current job may be a conflict with their manager. It’s not always the manager’s fault, but the takeaway for company leaders is that choosing and training managers well is crucial to retaining valuable employees.
Just because an employee is a great worker and does their job with excellence, they are not necessarily prepared to be an effective manager. While a lack of growth opportunities is another common reason good employees leave their jobs, advancement to management without proper management training can mean the death knell for the careers of those they lead.
Lack of growth opportunities
Ambition and a desire to advance within the company are often characteristics of employees committed to the success of the company, shares Ron Cardenas. When the path to advancement looks dismal or non-existent, many great employees begin to look for other opportunities outside of their current company.
As mentioned above in the Conflict with managers section, bumping a good employee without proper management training up to a management position in an effort to satisfy their need for growth may submarine their career. It may also sideline the careers of some of those they lead.
Many employees benefit from a management training track that allows them to develop leadership skills before becoming managers. Other employees, and the company, are better served by growth opportunities that do not include having direct reports. Promotion to quality control inspector or training instructor may be a suitable option for individuals without an aptitude for management.
Poor work-life blend
Hard work and dedication to their job are also characteristics of the best employees. To retain good employees, company leaders must promote a healthy work-life balance.
Many dedicated employees will neglect meaningful relationships, hobbies, and relaxation to devote time to their jobs without being asked. They may feel that doing so is an important investment in their career. Still, if, in the end, they become burned out or suffer emotional or psychological injury from a poor work-life balance, the employee, their family and friends, and the company all lose. Cardenas believes a more modern solution to balancing work and personal life is a “Work-Life Blend” approach. “Blending” of work and personal life is more realistic and reduces the tension between choosing work and personal obligations over the other.
No discussion about why good employees leave their jobs would be complete without touching on pay.
There are many reasons why employees quit, but among those causes discussed here, pay is generally the least common reason. Everyone wants to be paid what they consider a fair wage and varying by locale, there is certainly a minimum amount that can be regarded as a living wage, but wages are not usually the primary reason good employees move on.
Working conditions, flexibility, good workplace relationships, and satisfying acknowledgment for a job well done motivate dedicated employees more than a pay raise.
Employee turnover is inevitable at every company, but leaders can mitigate this certainty by training quality workers to be effective managers, providing non-managerial advancement opportunities, promoting a healthy work-life balance, and paying a fair wage.
About Ron Cardenas
Ron Cardenas is the Vice President of Human Resources at an agriculture holdings company in Omaha, Nebraska. He is a versatile Human Resources professional with over 30 years of domestic and international experience. His track record includes creating and launching talent strategies for global organizations in varied industries.