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The Four Main Reasons that Employees Leave

One of the biggest struggles for businesses of any size is employee retention. The cost of recruiting and hiring new applicants can be expensive, so retaining the best employees on staff is important. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employee tenure is at an average of 4.6 years, which is down from decades past[1]. Human resources should aim to identify the four main reasons that employees leave and address these issues in their own business.

1. The Job Wasn’t What They Expected

One of the biggest reasons that employees leave their positions after a short period of time is because their expectations of the job didn’t match up with the reality. The Center for Association Leadership remarks that, “More than six in 10 turnovers begin with some kind of post-hire shock.[2]” To combat this, hiring managers should be very straightforward about the concerns of applicants and clearly communicate the job description before hiring is confirmed.

2. There Aren’t Opportunities for Advancement

Another common reason that employees leave their current place of work is because they don’t feel like there is sufficient opportunity to advance. If they have been in the same position for years without even the possibility of a promotion, they may start looking elsewhere for a career upgrade.

3. They Feel Their Work Isn’t Meaningful

A Gallup survey quoted in Forbes remarks that, “The best workplaces give their employees a sense of purpose, help them feel they belong and enable them to make a difference.[3]” Without this, employees may think that their work isn’t meaningful, and they may not feel fulfilled at the end of the workday.

4. The Workplace Doesn’t Offer Fringe Benefits

Finally, many employees leave not simply because salaries are higher elsewhere but because they aren’t currently getting the fringe benefits they desire. These might include flexible hours, overtime pay, sick leave or the option of telecommuting.

By addressing these four main reasons that employees leave, companies can retain their best staff for longer and save money by recruiting, interviewing and hiring new employees less often.


[1] http://www.bls.gov/news.release/tenure.nr0.htm

[2] http://www.asaecenter.org/Resources/EUArticle.cfm?ItemNumber=11514

[3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/louisefron/2013/06/24/six-reasons-your-best-employees-quit-you/

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Three Ways that the Recruitment Landscape is Changing as the Economy Rebounds in 2014

After several years of economic depression and stagnation, the United States is seeing a rebound in 2014. While this affects businesses of all types in a variety of ways, it also plays a big role in the look of the recruitment landscape. Here are three of the key ways that recruitment is changing thanks to economic rebounding:

1. More Competitive Packages for Best Candidates

In 2009, there were six applicants vying for every single job opening. In 2014, that ratio has halved, leaving just three applications for every position, according to U.S. News & World Report[1]. While this still gives employees the upper hand in negotiations, the most highly qualified candidates will be harder to recruit. This creates the need for more competitive packages for applicants. These packages will focus on salary, but they may also include fringe benefits, like the option of working from home or flexible hours.

2. Faster Recruitment Process

Ken Sundheim writes that, “An improved economy means heightened opportunity costs (i.e. lost potential sales) when organizations don’t have the manpower to service clients.[2]” In a stronger economy, companies need to cut down on recruiting times in order to be fully employed on a consistent basis. Hiring managers may have to conduct fewer interviews and make faster decisions when recruiting in order to cut down on the time that positions stay vacant within a business.

3. Increased Use of Outside Recruitment Providers

Perhaps the biggest change in the recruitment landscape is that in a booming economy, companies are willing to spend more on the hiring process and pay outside companies to do it. As the recruiting process becomes more complex, Forbes reports that, “U.S. corporations spend nearly $72 billion each year on a variety of recruiting services, staff and products.[3]” Outside recruitment companies are the natural choice for selecting key applicants when time is of the essence for hiring managers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in January 2014, unemployment had dropped to just 6.6 percent in the United States[4]. This along with other signs of a rebounding economy signal the three changes listed above, which will play a role in today’s recruitment landscape.


[1] http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2014/01/08/8-ways-the-economy-is-still-affecting-the-job-market

[2] http://www.ere.net/2013/12/18/how-an-improved-2014-economy-affects-recruiting/

[3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2013/05/23/corporate-recruitment-transformed-new-breed-of-service-providers/

[4] http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

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5 Tips for Creating a Positive Working Atmosphere That Increases Productivity

The most productive employees are often such an asset to their employers because they are allowed to thrive in a positive and motivating environment. To increase productivity in any workplace, these five tips can create a more motivating and uplifting office for staff:

1. Forget Intimidation Tactics

In the short term, intimidation might get an employee to complete a project on time or work hard to please a client. In the long-term, however, that intimidation could backfire. According to Forbes, “Employees who feel satisfied, valued and happy at work typically do far better than those who feel disgruntled or overlooked.[1]

2. Allowance For a Work-Life Balance

Some managers think that setting strict office hours boosts productivity, but some experts argue with that line of thinking. Michael Poh, contributor at Hongkiat.com, believes that a flexible schedule and better work-life balance allows employees to focus completely on their tasks at the office.[2]

3. Embrace Comfort

A depressing, dark and ordinary office may be best for the budget, but it can limit the creativity and productivity of employees. Smart Business Trends suggests that companies allow their employees the freedom to create a warm space all their own, and they acknowledge that factors ranging from adequate light to a comfortable temperature all play a role in creating a more productive workplace[3]. The aim should be to, “Create a pleasant work area for each employee, and give them their own space.”

4. Take Advantage of Technology

Although social media websites might be the bane of many managers trying to keep employees on track, technology still has an integral place in a productive office. Tablet computers to take notes or switching to emailed agendas rather than physically copies are all ways to cut down on wasted time. Chris Johnson, contributor at the The Houston Chronicle said that, “Encourage your employees to make use of technology, whenever possible, to save time.[4]

5. Offer Confidence

Perhaps one of the most significant ways that a company can enjoy more a productive atmosphere is by having managers and bosses that are confident about the success of their employees. One way to do this, according to expert Andrew Jensen, is to, “Show that you trust your employees to make the right decisions for the overall well-being of the company.[5]

Increasing productivity should be a constant goal for businesses of any size. These tips can help create a positive and motivating environment that is perfect for inspiring productivity in staff.


[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2012/08/08/5-quick-ways-you-can-bring-positive-psychology-to-your-workplace-without-earning-a-degree/

[2] http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/positive-working-environment/

[3] http://smartbusinesstrends.com/tips-creating-healthy-efficient-positive-work-environment/

[4] http://smallbusiness.chron.com/tips-improve-productivity-2222.html

[5] http://www.andrewjensen.net/5-ways-to-create-a-motivating-work-environment/

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The Top 5 Characteristics Potential Employees Want to See in Your Company

As a hiring employer, it’s natural to become fixated on the qualities and skills that make for a great employee. However, building a successful team starts with what draws these potential employees to apply and consider your company in the first place. It’s important to recognize the best characteristics that make a company desirable in the eyes of potential applicants and, ultimately, a great company to work for.

1. Offer competitive pay and benefits that employees can live on

Committing to wages that reflect the cost of living of the local area and that are competitive to other employers tells potential employees that your company cares about their well-being. Although it may not seem cost-effective on the ledger, employees who are paid good wages tend to work harder and can be more productive. It also keeps the workplace morale high, negating the “our CEO makes” mentality, and cuts down on employee attrition, which alleviates training and staffing costs.

2. Enable career development and employee growth

A workplace that is centered around employee development tells potential applicants that even if they are not employed with your company for the long term, the experience they will gain while working there will be invaluable – which, in turn, could help them find larger opportunities later on during their career. Employers can encourage and offer employees an opportunity to better their own talents and skills through cross-training, ongoing training, classes and other seminars, paid for by the employer, and can then reap the benefits of a more developed staff. Additionally, identifying an internal career track for employees can motivate them to push the envelope and set higher goals within their work.

3. Recognize employees and provide open communication

Potential employees want to know that their work, thoughts and opinions matter to the company’s big picture. Allowing give-and-take communication between management and employees establishes trust and respect and can promote teamwork. When employees are given a voice that they know will be heard, they are more likely to suggest ideas for better efficiency and improvement of work processes.

4. Define success and be flexible with how to get it

It’s important to have clear goals for success because it keeps employees focused. But, it is also beneficial to be flexible with how those goals can be achieved. Doing so can alleviate stress in the workplace and can keep workers happy and motivated. Assuming goals are met, employees like to know that their bosses can be flexible when it comes to working autonomously, schedules, breaks, work location, etc.

5. Offer an appealing work environment

A positive and safe working environment allows employees to feel comfortable in their surroundings. Luxury perks like free food and snacks, casual dress codes and relaxing areas are always great selling points. But, providing a great working environment may be as simple as recognizing it as a place where employees can fulfill their needs to collaborate, hang out and have privacy.