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Losing an employee can have a major effect on the morale of your team and lead to an overall reduction in performance and productivity. It can be costly, and lost talent is just the start. For instance, it takes roughly 24 days to fill a job opening, which can mean up to $4000 per hire or more, depending on your industry.

Naturally, most of us are open to learning better ways of preventing employee turnover so we can avoid incurring such costs. This attitude is important given the deeply candidate-driven market we’re living in. Did you know there are more job openings than there are unemployed people out there?

There are several leadership mistakes that help to explain why an employee might choose to quit. The good news is that understanding them can help you avoid higher turnover than is necessary. Here are five big things to steer clear of.

5 things leaders do that make employees quit

1. Having inconsistent expectations

If you regularly emphasize the importance of fast service, but you also champion service without the slightest error, there may be a conflict there for employees. When employees are forced to choose between competing or conflicting expectations, they tend to get stressed out, overwhelmed and confused. You can cultivate a stable work environment by communicating your expectations clearly and consistently. Try putting them down on paper first to identify any contradictions that might have escaped you and make any needed changes.

2. Letting process get in the way of progress

When an employee is forced to wait for other employees to complete certain tasks before they can move forward with a given project, performance is inhibited. This scenario can cause endless frustration and really test the patience of your staff. If you notice that process constraints are affecting a team member, do what you can to improve the situation. This might mean having a difficult discussion with other department heads.

3. Misassigning roles

When employees use just a fraction of their abilities to complete their jobs, they often end up feeling undervalued and unimportant. Always be transparent about the role you’re filling at the hiring stage and be clear about what it entails. If this is an issue with an employee you’ve already hired, make sure their workload is aligned with the job description they were originally presented with. If it doesn’t, do all you can to bridge any gaps and inject meaning into their work.

4. Allowing for a less-than-safe (or too-safe) company culture

It’s important to show your employees that you’re open to new ideas by encouraging lively debate. If your team members are afraid of judgement or repercussions, they may not feel comfortable participating in healthy conflict. On the other hand, it’s also possible to create an environment that’s too safe. A moderate level of pressure (i.e., via regular feedback) is healthy for employee growth. Without it, employees may start to wonder if their work even matters and whether there’s anything worthwhile at stake.

5. Failing to recognize implicit bias

Try to let go of the idea that you’re not biased, because everyone is. It’s a universal human trait. Leaders who recognize and acknowledge their implicit biases and take action to curb them are a lot more likely to lead teams fairly and equitably. In turn, leaders who are fair are considered trustworthy by employees. A trusting manager-employee relationship tends to foster a healthy workplace. By extension, positive work environments lead to improved performance, meaning it’s good for sales too!

Other reasons why employees quit

Contrary to what many believe, most employees don’t leave their jobs to find jobs that pay more. Rather, they typically leave when they’re dissatisfied and disgruntled due to a company’s values or work culture. Essentially, many employees feel their salaries aren’t enough to make up for the bad vibes. But take away the bad vibes, and the salaries are just fine.

For starters, it’s a smart idea to make a point of hiring employees well-aligned with your values. Begin by clearly communicating your values at the hiring stage and then recheck them whenever an issue arises. If a current employee has misaligned values, consider introducing them to other companies so they might find a position better suited to them. Believe it or not, your company benefits from helping employees reach their goals. After all, doing so can help free up space for new team members who fit your agenda.

If improving your company’s overall work culture is on the menu, you’d also do well to keep communication lines wide open and offer professional training opportunities whenever possible. As a result, your team will be happier, more productive and loyal to boot.

How to counteract quitting and the labor shortage

If you run a managed service provider (MSP) business, you understand that simply shutting things down come 5 PM is no longer an option. If a client has a network failure, for instance, the problem needs to be resolved immediately, worker shortage be damned. But this doesn’t always run parallel to facilitating a positive work environment that incentivizes loyal employees. This is where outsourcing comes in. Outsourcing your helpdesk, for example, can make all the difference in the world.

Not convinced? Know this: you can hire an outsourced helpdesk team that provides the same value as inside personnel while ensuring faster response times 24/7. And that’s just the surface of the proverbial iceberg. After all, there’s a reason that 66% of all businesses outsource at least one department.

And while some complain that outsourcing is the opposite of job creation, think of it this way: unless your main business is helpdesk, you can offload those activities and instead focus on scaling your business by honing your team’s true strengths.

Bottom line: by examining and refining your own behaviors in the workplace and considering the benefits of outsourcing some or all of your helpdesk, your chances of improving the performance and cohesiveness of your team will only improve. The better you manage your team and their varied talents, the more likely they are to invest in a long-term relationship with the company.

So where do you start? An expert partner like Sherweb can help! Download our guide on the benefits of outsourcing your helpdesk or check out our Partner Guide for more information about how we can help your business grow.

Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb