Employees leaving? Take a look at your management team

A high employee turnover rate is costly to companies. It not only affects a business’ productivity and financial performance, but is also damaging to its image. As a human resources manager, what should one do when the turnover rate is skyrocketing?

As it turns out, it’s often more important to look at the management team rather than employees to understand why workers are quitting their jobs.


According to the Conference Board of Canada, voluntary turnover continues to rise year after year. Recent statistics suggest the latest turnover rate stood at 7.3 per cent for 2012 and 2013, “about 1 per cent higher than the rates seen during the economic downturn,” states the Conference Board.

The retail sector faced the greatest challenge with an average of 20.6 per cent. The large turnover rate in the retail industry can partially be explained by exceedingly long working hours while offered salaries remain relatively low.

Most other industries, however, can attribute high turnovers to ineffective leadership.

A recent Forbes magazine article states that employees are more likely to quit when “bad managers don't communicate regularly with their team members, or express appreciation for their work.” In fact, poor management is an even more important factor for quitting than low salaries.

Examples of toxic leadership cited by the Conference Board include incompatibility between employees and the organization, little coaching or feedback, work overload, and lack of support from supervisors.
To attract and retain labor, management teams must put forward the positive aspects of their business, such as their products, benefits or working environment.

Another important factor for retaining workers that supervisors must pay attenton to are advancement possibilities. The Conference Board states that almost 21 per cent of employees consider low advancement opportunities as a decisive factor in their leaving.


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