Employee turnover, also known as employee/staff turnover rate, refers to the total number
of employees that depart from a company during a specific period.
You can say that employees joining and leaving companies (voluntarily or involuntarily) is a
common thing in the corporate world. You are right, and sometimes their causes for leaving
Despite this, employee turnover is harmful to an organization’s growth. It not only results in
the loss of a valuable employee, but it also increases hiring expenses, discourages other
employees, and affects projects associated with the departing employees.
If you’re concerned about an increase in the number of people leaving your organization, it’s
time to rethink your HR strategy and figure out the reason. In this post, we’ll look into the
causes that contribute to employee turnover.
Causes of Employee Turnover
Here are some major causes of employee turnover:
1. Lack of Mission or Purpose
Employees remain engaged and perform better when they have a purpose or mission to
achieve. Having a mission or working for a common objective becomes even more essential
when working in groups.
Unfortunately, some businesses fail to communicate a sense of purpose or mission to their
employees. It might be due to the nature of the work itself or because some companies are
incapable of fostering a culture of purposeful work. In any case, this factor pushes
employees to seek employment with another company.
2. Workplace Culture
Various factors cause toxic workplace culture and thus make it challenging for its employees.
Some of the many elements that contribute to such a culture are:
- Unclear or poor communication
- Gossip and rumors
- Unfriendly competition among co-workers
- Inability to deal with conflict
- No ownership or accountability
- Unequal distribution of work
- Management not providing sufficient support
- Unprofessional or inappropriate conduct
- Prioritizing punishment over progress
- Micromanagement and capricious rules
All such factors either contribute to what many experts term a “toxic workplace culture” or
prevent the formation of a cohesive culture. Even if a company has the best workers, they
will leave if the toxic culture raises their stress, negatively impacts their mental and physical
health, and weakens their drive to work. It’s because an employee’s dedication to their
company will always take second place to self-preservation.
3. Extended Working Hours
Every company goes through ups and downs. When times are tough, companies often ask
their workers to work for extended hours. Overwork situations might also arise when there
are large projects or busy seasons. Employees are sometimes required to give up their
This practice does not bring positive results in terms of staff turnover because when it
comes to choosing between personal life and work life, employees prefer the former. Most
employees who work longer than average hours become irritated and would rather leave
the job. Employees don’t find a sustainable work/life balance, so they quit.
4. Missing Professional Development Opportunities
Nowadays, employees are becoming increasingly ambitious. Job security and hefty
paychecks don’t excite everyone. Many modern professionals have ambitions for their
careers and want to progress in their respective fields.
When they find that their current employer is only utilizing them for their gain and will not
provide them with opportunities to advance their professional life, they quit. Some
employers mistakenly believe that employees want only monetary benefit, but what they
desire is overall professional development.
5. Management this is not held accountable
There is a famous phrase: “Employees don’t leave companies; they leave managers.” When
they find that the performance of their superiors is subpar, they start looking for new work
Leaders have a significant impact on the employee experience, and it is their obligation to
make that impact as good and effective as possible. However, management comprised of
incompetent or hostile leaders is often a big cause of stress for employees. Organizations
with unskilled managers, who can’t support their subordinates, lack loyal and
6. Absence of Recognition and Feedback
When a company fails to recognize its employees’ efforts and doesn’t provide them with
honest feedback, it usually loses them. This is because feedback is the primary step in
ensuring that workers succeed. Skipping it might be harmful to their professional growth.
If employees struggle, providing honest feedback might assist them in managing their
workload and refocusing. Consequently, disregarding feedback or delivering useless
feedback may cause them to flounder, feel discouraged, struggle, and finally give up.
7. Poor Hiring Strategy
When employees leave their workplaces frequently, especially in the short term, the hiring
strategy should be considered. Finding the ideal employee is challenging, but forcing a
match with someone who is not compatible with the company’s culture or principles is
never a good idea.
Even if a vacant position needs to be filled urgently, a poorly-matched employee will be
detrimental to both the organization and individual. HR people should be well aware that
when people are dissatisfied, they don’t produce their best work, and unsuitable employees
are difficult to be satisfied in their new position.
No doubt, there can be many more reasons for employee turnover than those discussed in
this post. However, every cause can be overcome or alleviated if employers can come up
with solutions that encourage employees to stick around for the long term. Employers must
always keep in mind that understanding why employees leave is vital, but knowing why they
stay is equally important.