5 Reasons Why Employee Retention Is a Challenge and How to Increase It

With how demanding the market can be, businesses find themselves pushing employees to burnout.

April 19, 2022
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How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
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Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
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Do prefer working from home or the office?
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If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
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What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
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Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
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Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
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Is Hugh Grant funny?
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Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
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You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
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Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
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Pick any band to play at your funeral.
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What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
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Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
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If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
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Do you know how to speak more than one language?
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What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
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If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
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Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
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What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
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Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
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Employees are essential figures in the company. Without employees, there would barely even be a company. But with how demanding the market can be, businesses find themselves pushing employees to burnout. This, in turn, pushes employees to resign and find work elsewhere, hoping for better work benefits, pay, and overall work-life balance in their new job.

While it could be relatively easy to find new employees to fill specific positions, there is no denying that resigning employees harm the company and add significant costs (check out this blog post to learn more) . As a result, companies lose people with skills and experience that only comes with time working, someone the company has invested resources in, and vice versa.

There are many reasons employees choose to resign, which may have nothing to do with the company itself. However, there is no denying that the current universal work culture that emphasizes long hours and fast-paced deadlines has helped nudge employees to choose. 

What is Employee Retention?

Employee retention is the organization's ability to keep their employees from voluntarily resigning their positions, and employee turnover is the loss of organizational talent over some time. In a perfect scenario, employers can reduce overall turnover while keeping high-performing employees on board for a long time. 

Companies are conscious of their employee retention rates because they need to keep their best employees around for the organization to thrive. It is also estimated that U.S. businesses spend more than $1 trillion a year to replace employees who voluntarily resign. A high turnover rate for the company also means a direct strike to revenue, productivity, employee experience, and knowledge retention.

While Human Resources departments strive to keep a healthy and successful organization by implementing strategies that mitigate employee turnover risks, the company's demands may create unhealthy and unbalanced work conditions that leave employees jaded to handing in their two weeks' notice. 

Why is Employee Retention a Challenge?

In 2020, a phenomenon called "The Great Resignation" took many companies by surprise, a spike in employee turnover, which was prompted by an overwhelming snowball effect of years of job burnout and disengagement. The pandemic's sudden shift to remote work produced unique challenges that led to many employees voluntarily leaving their positions. While "The height of the pandemic could have prompted the Great Resignation," it has actually been a long time coming.  

1. Employee Burnout 

Employees experience burnout when work overload, low morale, high-pressure deadlines, lack of schedule flexibility, blurred work-life balance, and other unclear and unrealistic expectations are too heavy for the employee. For example, in a Gallup study conducted in 2018, two-thirds of full-time employees reported experiencing burnout in their jobs

When employees feel like they are consumed by work and can't or cannot take a break from their work, they start feeling a sense of dissatisfaction, if not resentment, in their work, which prompts them to search for other job opportunities that can offer them a reprieve. 

It can be useful to run internal Pulse Check surveys to better understand how employees are feeling.

2. Work Disengagement 

When there are unclear goals, lack of employee development, and poor leadership, employees feel less engaged in their work. This disengagement directly affects workplace productivity. For example, another Gallup study conducted in 2017, a survey by Gallup found that 85% of employees experienced being disengaged at work.

While the disengaged employees may not present themselves as the worst performers, their indifference to the organization makes them give the company their time, but not their best effort or best ideas to help propel the company forward. Instead, they feel a disconnect between themselves, their job, and their impact on the company.

Make sure you create clear paths for two-way communication through 1:1s, manager feedback and Ask Me Anything Flows.

3. Organizational Culture

Tied to reasons number 1 and 2, an employee's daily interactions with their colleagues and work environment can directly link to their willingness to be retained in the company. 

If the organizational culture lauds overworking and little to no work-life balance, the employee feels the need to match that to fit in with their team. However, that will just negatively affect the employee. For example, suppose the company does not see the importance of business communication and simply directs orders like a drill sergeant. In that case, employees may not have that drive or passion for their position and would want to seek that elsewhere.

One of the proven ways to improve internal culture is through peer-to-peer recognition. Assembly provides best in class recognition tools that make it fun and easy for employees to engage.

4. Salary Dissatisfaction 

Employees may feel a sense of financial insecurity and look to build a sound financial future for themselves and their dependents. They may bring this up with the HR, who then informs the Finance department only to find out that a salary raise is available to some extent, but the salary budget cannot allow for anything more. Should the employee feel overworked and underpaid, they will consider searching for another organization that can meet their financial needs. 

5. Career Advancement Opportunities 

Promotions are often one of the greatest motivators for employees who want to build a career in their field. However, if the company they are currently working for does not offer clear career advancement plans and it seems like they are not growing as an employee, they may feel stagnant in their position and opt to find another organization that can help them propel their career. 

While the company cannot completely diminish its employee turnover rate, it can certainly improve its internal operations to provide a healthy working environment for its employees. After all, happy employees positively impact the company's performance. 

Make a habit of running Career Development Surveys so that there is clarity on where the employees see their future.

Encourage collaboration and teamwork in your organization with a recognition program that is effective and enjoyable. Book a demo with Assembly and give your company culture a boost.  

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