Berger Leadership Blog

Do your employees want to quit?

Dan all staff meetingI had a different blog topic in mind for this week, but then I saw the jaw-dropping results from an employee satisfaction survey that showed 49 percent of all workers "have thought about leaving their current organization."

As the president and CEO of an organization, this is concerning to me. Not only from a business standpoint – the strain on other teammates when one leaves can cause burnout, and the cost to on-board a new employee is high – but also a personal one.

The survey, conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), revealed that the top reasons employees quit is poor leadership and bad workplace culture. Employees shouldn't dread coming to work – but a quarter of workers do. And then they take that frustration home with them.

Leaders should strive to create positive cultures where employees want to come to work every day. Sure, we all have bad days and stressful times, but ensuring teammates work well together, can communicate openly – including space to share frustrations and be heard – and feel appreciated for their contributions is key.

That starts at the top, but managers below the C-suite also need to commit to this culture. Those up-and-comers need to be coached so they manage effectively. That means being comfortable having difficult conversations, delegating, and trusting those on their team to handle their responsibilities.

For all of these reasons – and more – I practice and preach servant leadership. By investing in the professional and personal well-being of your employees, you'll build trust. They'll see that you want them to succeed and are willing to provide the training and learning opportunities for them to grow.

But that doesn't stop once you leave the office. With all the business technologies, it's hard for people to disconnect once they're off the clock. A large portion of Millennials find that especially hard to do. This can lead to burnout – a Gallup survey last year found that 44 percent of employees feel burned-out at least some of the time.

My organization's member-focused magazine recently featured an article on how companies can support work-life balance. Some of the effective ways to help reduce the stress on employees include flextime, strong benefits packages, and policies encouraging employees to unplug from email outside of office hours. Most companies have days or periods that require overtime work, but these perks help rejuvenate employees from demanding times.

Understanding this, my organization finds opportunities to recognize our employees' hard work. Whether it's an outing for team bonding, office celebrations for hitting goals, or performance incentives, we try to demonstrate our appreciation in meaningful ways.

People quit for all kinds of reasons, but leaders have control over the workplace environment. Take time to reflect on how your organization operates and see if improvements can be made to ensure employees are happy and fulfilled in their professional lives.

Follow me on Twitter (@BDanBerger).

About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and has helped expand the association's reputation into becoming a premiere advocate for the credit union industry.

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