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The Causes of Employee Turnover


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The most common cause of employee turnover is probably not what you think.

Many different reasons have been given for employee turnover: personality issues, an un-challenging work environment, insufficient employee pay and benefits, poor management, work stress and more. Yes, these issues can lead to turnover, but you'll rarely find the most important one identified: no or poor employee training.

No or poor employee training has more organizational symptoms than you could imagine, and they are all costing you a lot of money.

Your employee turnover rate is directly affected by your training. Why is that? Well, according to a study done by the ASTD in 2003, 41% of employees at companies with poor training planned on leaving within a year vs. 12% planned departures at companies with excellent training.

But why does employee training have such a significant effect on turnover rates? Well, bad training leaves an employee with inadequate knowledge and skills to do the job. He feels uncertain and confused. Management slams him for his incompetence. He'll either work it out as he goes or he won't, and he'll give up.

This is particularly true with traditionally high-turnover jobs such as sales and customer service. Second-rate employee training in these areas will blow your human error and turnover costs out the roof.

This has been conclusively proven through countless studies. How much money do fumbling salespeople and customer service representatives cost you? You have to pay them for their time and then you suffer from their mistakes-lost sales, wasted opportunities, unnecessary escalations, lost customers and so on.

Simply having “employee training" Is not enough. You need to have employee training that works, and unfortunately most training techniques don't work.

This statement might seem arrogant, but it's true. We have worked with small businesses that have one person trying to assemble training programs and global corporations with an entire team of training researchers and managers, and the problem has always been identical: their training falls short of the expectations. Simply put, it doesn't work.

What does that mean, though? The programs “don't work. " It's very simple. They're slow, they don't teach all the essential data, they don't result in 100% proficiency and they aren't generally liked by the staff. What they do result in is a work force that is confused and unstable, that needs a lot of on-the-job training and that makes a lot of mistakes. . . factors that waste substantial amounts of money.

The real cost of poor or no employee training-the cost of incompetence, inefficiency and human error-is disturbing.

You aren't alone in your training and employee retention woes. To be honest, the employee training industry is full of costly, impracticable “solutions" that give little to no ROI.

To learn more, visit our web site:

Sean Clouden


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