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What Are Common Causes of High Staff Turnover?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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High staff turnover is a situation that is of concern to any type of business. Frequent turnover in employees means that the company is likely spending an inordinate amount of time and other resources in constantly training new people to fill vacant positions. While high turnover is somewhat common in certain industries, there are ways to help keep the employee turnover rate as low as possible, usually by making a few basis changes in working conditions, benefits offered to employees, and in the managerial styles used to operate each of the departments within the company.

One of the more common causes for high staff turnover is a lack of benefits. Even when the culture in the workplace is fairly comfortable and inviting for an employee, the practicality of making more money and having benefits such as sick pay, vacation time, and health insurance will often be enough to encourage employees to seek opportunities elsewhere. By offering a competitive wage and providing at least some benefits, companies can trim high staff turnover somewhat and spend less resources in having to train new hires.

Another underlying cause for high staff turnover is the amount of work placed on an individual employee. This is particularly true when the employee is loaded down with responsibilities that require working extra hours or even taking work home in order to keep up. While this type of thing may occur from time to time, a constant state of being overwhelmed with tasks will burn out even the most dedicated of employees, resulting in a resignation.

Denial of opportunities to advance within the company structure will also tend to promote high staff turnover. Should an employee feel trapped into a position with no chance to move up in the ranks, there is a good chance that employee will begin to investigate options outside the current employment. Should an opportunity arise that would allow the employee to pursue their career goals with another employer, there is often nothing that can be done to convince the employee to stay.

The culture of the workplace can also contribute greatly to high staff turnover. Should the day-to-day working environment involve dealing with incompetent managers, trouble-making co-workers, less than ideal working conditions, and indifference on the part of the managers and owners, there is really very little incentive for an employee to remain with the company for the long-term. Unless the culture of the company shifts so that managers are properly trained, owners exhibit some care and respect for their employees and human resource efforts are made to limit and resolve issues that cause friction between employees, there is a good chance the high staff turnover will continue.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including SmartCapitalMind, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By Lostnfound — On Mar 23, 2014

@Wisedly33: About the difficult co-worker, you'd better believe I am. I worked for 15 years with a woman who was moody, thin-skinned and obnoxious. She could charm the birds out of the trees when she wanted to, but when she didn't, she made life miserable for everyone around her. It was awful. And she was always threatening to sue, so management wouldn't deal with it. Finally, she found a cushy government job and quit. Thank goodness!

By Wisedly33 — On Mar 22, 2014

@Lostnfound: You sound like you're speaking from experience.

By Lostnfound — On Mar 21, 2014

Poor benefits are definitely a cause of high turnover, especially in this day and age. People want decent health insurance and some vacation time. They don't want to have to "earn" so many hours per days worked. They want a set number of days, once they've been at the company for a certain length of time.

And managers who don't or won't handle difficult co-workers are asking for people to quit. You can and need to allow employees to handle their own issues to a certain extent, but some employees are so difficult, management must step in or people are going to start leaving in droves.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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