More Americans are quitting their jobs today than at any point in the past four years. Nearly 2.5 million U.S. workers resign every month. This rate has been steadily increasing from a low point in late 2009, just after the financial collapse bottomed out. And even then, the monthly quit rate was 1.7 million employees.


There will always be departures due to relocations related to spouses’ careers, children to raise, loved ones to care for, or other life events. But the majority of reasons people leave their jobs are under the control of their employers. In the words of Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, “a company is only as good as the people it keeps.”

At the Heart of the Issue: Managers

In their industry best seller First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman sum it up in a nutshell: People don’t leave their jobs. They leave their managers.

Employees don’t have to be BFFs with their managers, but they do need a healthy relationship. A good manager inspires loyalty by creating the right opportunities for their employees, communicating with them, appreciating them, and helping them grow.

  • Managers must take the time to know and support their team members. This involves ongoing reward and recognition, as well as acknowledgement of achievements and jobs well done.
  • Be sure your managers strike the right balance. Having a finger on the pulse of what’s happening within their team is essential – and it’s good management. But be sure they don’t cross the line into micromanaging. Your worst people may appreciate and even need it, but your best will walk. On the opposite end of the spectrum, be sure managers are accessible. The last thing you need is “drive-by” supervisors who are perpetually away from the office or shut off from day-to-day team responsibilities.
  • Ensure that every employee is heard and supported. How much do you value career advancement? Your people care just as much. Managers need to regularly talk to and interact with them, asking them where they want to go in their careers and helping them to get there.
  • Keep everyone interested and engaged. Managers need to take fresh looks at who’s doing what on their teams and redistribute work and/or cross train as necessary. The best talent needs to be doing high-level work. If they’re bored or frustrated, they’ll go elsewhere.

Don’t Reorganize – At Least Not Too Much

Companies that reorganize too frequently tend to have poor retention rates as upper management shifts, middle managers change, and business units are renamed or realigned. If employees need a scorecard to know who’s in what role, it naturally follows that they might feel more secure working someplace else.

The Value of the Stay Interview

Stay interviews are helpful tools for gauging talent retention. Pay attention to and enhance features identified as those that keep employees coming back to work every day. Find out why employees are considering a job search – before it happens.

The staffing and recruitment experts at Talent Bridge can assist with retention management, as well as help find the top talent you need to address vacancies. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.