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More Praise for The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave:

˜˜If you are a business leader who recognizes that maximizing your
company™s human capital will be the key for competitive success
in the 21st century, this book offers a practical guide to retaining
that valuable asset. Backed by a mixture of research, data, and
common sense, Branham provides the business rationale and
speci¬c steps that any manager can implement to combat the
issues that are driving their employees to leave.™™
”Wayne M. Keegan, Chief Human Resources Of¬cer,
Ingram Book Group, Inc.

˜˜Leigh Branham has written a concise and engaging book. Several
key factors make this a valuable read: He has included insights
that underscore the mutuality between employer and employee in
retention efforts. He has used evidence of various levels to support
his framework. And, he provides case examples to illustrate his
points. This is de¬nitely a book any new manager would want to
read.™™
”Karen Haase-Herrick, RN, MN, 2004 President,
American Organization of Nurse Executives

˜˜If you truly understand that your people are your most important
asset, this is must reading for all of your management team! A
clear roadmap for positioning your company as an employer of
choice!™™
”Melanie Ways, PHR, Human Resources Manager,
EEO/Af¬rmative Action Of¬cer, Duncan Aviation, Inc.

˜˜The book provides a great ˜roadmap™ for successful hiring and
retention, with many common (and not-so-common) sense ideas.
I found especially instructive the real-world examples from
companies that have experienced success retaining top talent.™™
Keith Wiedenkeller, Senior Vice President,
Human Resources, AMC Entertainment, Inc.




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TLFeBOOK
The 7 Hidden Reasons
Employees Leave

How to Recognize the Subtle Signs and
Act Before It™s Too Late


Leigh Branham




American Management Association
New York • Atlanta • Brussels • Chicago • Mexico City • San Francisco
Shanghai • Tokyo • Toronto • Washington, D.C.



TLFeBOOK
Special discounts on bulk quantities of AMACOM books are
available to corporations, professional associations, and other
organizations. For details, contact Special Sales Department,
AMACOM, a division of American Management Association,
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
Tel.: 212-903-8316. Fax: 212-903-8083.
Web site: www.amacombooks.org


This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative
information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the
understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal,
accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert
assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person
should be sought.



Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Branham, Leigh.
The 7 hidden reasons employees leave : how to recognize the subtle
signs and act before it™s too late / Leigh Branham.
p. cm.
Includes index.
ISBN 0-8144-0851-6
1. Labor turnover. 2. Employee retention. 3. Job satisfaction.
I. Title: Seven hidden reasons employees leave. II. Title.
HF5549.5.T8B7 2005
658.3 14”dc22
2004013353


2005 Leigh Branham.
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
This publication may not be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted in whole or in part,
in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without the prior written permission of AMACOM,
a division of American Management Association,
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
Printing Number
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


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TLFeBOOK
CONTENTS




PREFACE xi
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii

Chapter One
WHY CARE ABOUT WHY THEY LEAVE? 1
Managers Will Not Hear What Workers Will Not Speak 2
Turnover: Just a ˜˜Cost of Doing Business?™™ 5
When the Tide Turns, Mindsets Must Change 7
What About HR™s Role in Exit Interviewing? 8

Chapter Two
HOW THEY DISENGAGE AND QUIT 11
The Disengagement Process 11
The Deliberation Process 15

Chapter Three
WHY THEY LEAVE: WHAT THE RESEARCH REVEALS 17
Why Employees Say They Leave 20
What Caused Their Initial Dissatisfaction? 24
A Few Words About Pay 24
Respecting the Differences 26
Who Has the Power to Meet These Needs? 27
The Next Seven Chapters: Hidden Reasons and Practical Actions 28

Chapter Four
REASON 1: THE JOB OR WORKPLACE WAS NOT AS EXPECTED 31
Hidden Mutual Expectations: The Psychological Contract 34
vii
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Contents
viii

How to Recognize the Warning Signs of Unmet Expectations 37
Obstacles to Meeting Mutual Expectations 38
Engagement Practices for Matching Mutual Expectations 39
How Prospective Employees Can Do Their Part 44
The Beginning or Ending of Trust 45
Employer-of-Choice Engagement Practices Review and
Checklist 45

Chapter Five
REASON 2: THE MISMATCH BETWEEN JOB AND PERSON 47
What™s Missing: A Passion for Matching 49
Common Misconceptions and Truths About Talent 50
Recognizing the Signs of Job-Person Mismatch 52
Obstacles to Preventing and Correcting Job-Person Mismatch 53
Best-Fit Selection Practices 54
Best Practices for Engaging and Re-Engaging Through Job Task
Assignment 62
The Employee™s Role in the Matching Process 67
Employer-of-Choice Engagement Practices Review and
Checklist 68

Chapter Six
REASON 3: TOO LITTLE COACHING AND FEEDBACK 70
Why Coaching and Feedback Are Important to Engagement and
Retention 72
Why Don™t Managers Provide Coaching and Feedback? 73
Recognizing the Signs 75
More Than an Event: It™s About the Relationship 75
Engagement Practices for Coaching and Giving Feedback 77
A Five-Step Coaching Process 82
What the Employee Can Do to Get More Feedback and
Coaching 89
Employer-of-Choice Engagement Practices Review and
Checklist 90

Chapter Seven
REASON 4: TOO FEW GROWTH AND ADVANCEMENT
OPPORTUNITIES 93
What They Are Really Saying 95

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ix
C®®


Employers of Choice Start by Understanding the New Career
Realities 97
Recognizing the Signs of Blocked Growth and Career
Frustration 99
Best Practices for Creating Growth and Advancement
Opportunities 100
What Employees Can Do to Create Their Own Growth and
Advancement Opportunities 114
Employer-of-Choice Engagement Practices Review and
Checklist 115

Chapter Eight
REASON 5: FEELING DEVALUED AND UNRECOGNIZED 118
Why Managers Are Reluctant to Recognize 122
Recognizing the Signs That Employees Feel Devalued and
Unrecognized 123
Pay: The Most Emotional Issue of All 124
Pay Practices That Engage and Retain 125
Three Types of Variable Pay 129
The Total Rewards Approach to Scarce Talent 132
Nonpay Best Practices for Valuing and Recognizing People 133
Focus on the People, Not Just the Numbers 136
What Employees Can Do to Be More Valued and Better
Recognized 144
Employer-of-Choice Engagement Practice Review and
Checklist 145

Chapter Nine
REASON 6: STRESS FROM OVERWORK AND WORK-LIFE
IMBALANCE 147
How Big a Problem Is Stress? 150
Causes of Increased Stress 151
Signs that Your Workers May Be Stressed-Out or Overworked 151
Healthy vs. Toxic Cultures 152
More Than Just the Right Thing to Do 154
The Best Places in America to Work 156
It™s Not Just the ˜˜Big Boys™™ You™re Competing With 158
A Big Menu of Bene¬ts and Services 160
What the Employee Can Do to Relieve Stress and Overwork 175
Employer-of-Choice Engagement Practices Review and
Checklist 176

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Contents
x

Chapter Ten
REASON 7: LOSS OF TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN SENIOR
LEADERS 179
A Crisis of Trust and Con¬dence 182
Reading the Signs of Distrust and Doubt 183
The Three Questions Employees Need Answered 183
Criteria for Evaluating Whether to Trust and Have Con¬dence 184
What the Employee Can Do to Build Reciprocal Trust and
Con¬dence 193
Employer-of-Choice Engagement Practices Review and
Checklist 194

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