The Top 4 Reasons Employees Disengage and Quit

The Top 4 Reasons Employees Disengage and Quit
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There Are Many Reasons Employees Disengage and Quit
Talent leaders should be keenly aware of the reasons employees disengage if they want to improve both people AND business performance.  Our Best Places to Work Employee Engagement Survey research results tell us high levels of employee disengagement create 12% lower profits, 19% lower operating income, and 28% lower earnings per share. Conversely, high levels of employee engagement correlate to increased profits and customer satisfaction.

The Cost of Employee Attrition
Each employee that leaves their employer costs the organization an average of 1.5-to-2 times the employee’s fully loaded salary. And that doesn’t take into account the waning productivity before they left, the effect on team morale, or the time off the job for those involved in hiring their replacement.

What to Do?
Similar to when you assess organizational culture, your first step is to understand the reasons employees disengage and leave and then to do something visible and meaningful about it.

Defining Employee Disengagement
Let’s start with defining employee disengagement.  Employee engagement experts know that the first step is to use a valid tool to measure level of employee engagement.  We break employees into four engagement profiles:

  • Highly Engaged Employees
    Employees with highly engagement favorable ratings:

    (1) Are Advocates of the organization, its leaders, managers, employees, products, quality, and future outlook.

    (2) Give high levels of Discretionary Effort and are always thinking of ways to do their jobs better.

    (3) Intend to Stay over the next 12-18 months because they feel enough loyalty and connection that it would take a lot to get them to leave.

  • Moderately Engaged Employees
    Employees with moderately favorable engagement ratings are holding back from giving their full hearts and minds and often are the greatest opportunity for increased performance.
  • Barely Engaged Employees
    Indifferent employees who lack motivation, and who are at risk for leaving.
  • Disengaged Employees
    Employees with negative engagement ratings who lack commitment and are most likely impacting the productivity of others. These employees are sometime hostile and toxic to those around them. In essence, these employees have already quit.

The Top 4 Reasons Employees Disengage and Quit
Let’s look at four top reasons employees disengage and eventually quit:

  1. A Poor Culture Fit and a Poor Performer
    This is an employee you actually don’t want to stay. Even if you can boost their skills, they will probably never change enough to truly align with the way work gets done.

    Workplace culture matters as it accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing organizations.  You want your employees to align with the norms and standards of behavior that permeate the organization.

    A cultural misfit — especially ones who underperform, will drag others down with the friction of their unacceptable modes of behavior.

  2. A Poor Culture Fit but a High Producer
    The good news is that they do their job well. The bad news is that they are most likely damaging the rest of their team. This was probably a hiring mistake where there was not enough attention paid to corporate culture fit and too much paid to the skills the candidate brought with them.

    These are often the toughest employees to let go because of their production, but their departure often brings a breath of fresh air for a team and is required to support a strong and healthy culture.

  3. A Good Culture Fit but a Poor Producer
    In this situation, there is a lot a good manager can do.  Are performance expectations clear?  Does the job role take into account the employee’s strengths and interests?  Does the employee need additional training and coaching to develop relevant skills for the job?

    These under performing employees often need targeted training and coaching support for them to lift their contribution and play to their strengths in a role that makes sense.

  4. A Good Culture Fit and a Good Performer
    Do whatever you can to retain this high performing employee. Many factors help engage and retain top talent.  What can you change to keep this employee from leaving?  Start by…

    — Evaluating the relationship with the manager.
    — Taking a look at the job role and how it aligns with the overall business strategy.
    — Examining the rewards and recognition systems.
    — Being sure there is a compelling career path forward for high performing employees.

    Then ask the employee what matters most from their perspective for them to stay and perform.

The Bottom Line
There are many reasons employees disengage and quit. To be in a better position to attract, engage, and retain top talent, hire smart based on attributes of high performing employees and treat different employees differently.

To learn more, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement.

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