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5 Reasons Employees Think the Grass is Greener

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Holding on to good employees is harder than it used to be. Americans change jobs an average of 12 times over the course of their careers. So how do we convince them to stay?

According to the Department of Labor, most employees last little more than five years at any one job. The statistics are even more staggering when it comes to the front line staff in places like healthcare, restaurants, and other direct service positions.

Their reasons for leaving are varied, but when an employee leaves by choice, an employer needs to understand why. It’s costly to replace an employee. However, you can manage your risks associated with turnover by understanding the root of the problem.

Grass On The Other Side of Fence

© Flickr user Mark

Most critically: Your strength as an employer lies in understanding your employees’ perceptions. While the grass may not actually be greener on a competitor’s turf, here are five reasons employees in healthcare settings might be looking around – and what you can do about it.

1. They think they will get better training

Chances are, if your employees don’t feel well trained for their jobs, they didn’t receive adequate training from Day 1. They might even think that they’re lacking opportunities for continuing education or believe they’re simply inadequate for their job. Find out where the perceived training gaps lie and then address them quickly, especially if training is a common concern among your team.

2. They think their feedback will be valued elsewhere.

An employee who’s looking for a more receptive ear from management has likely shared feedback within your organization, but didn’t feel that his or her input was acknowledged or well-received. Another possible scenario: Management solicited feedback from employees but never acted upon it. And while not all employee feedback is created equal, it’s important to note that someone concerned about this is typically an employee that has some type of investment in the organizational culture—and one that you likely don’t want to lose.

3. They think they won’t be understaffed.

If your business has a lot of activity, chances are that employees think there just isn’t enough help to get everything done. If your employees are feeling understaffed, first consider: Is the root cause strictly a numbers issue? Or could it be intermingled with problems with efficiency, training, and/or resources available to staff? If your employees are feeling overwhelmed and unproductive, it’s time to take a closer look at these issues.

4. They think they’ll get more money.

Everyone wants to earn a fair wage. When your employees are looking for better pay elsewhere, they probably believe they’re not being paid what they’re worth right now. An employee’s search for more money elsewhere is often rooted in the idea that another employer may recognize their value better than you. Make sure that, when possible, your organization is transparent on issues around wages. Consider if your benefits are competitive with others in the industry. What intangible benefits (such as flexible scheduling, high employee retention rates, or efforts to show real appreciation) do you offer? Consider these factors and make sure they’re communicated with your employees.

5. They think they’ll have better managers.

Ever heard the saying, “People don’t leave a job; they leave a manager”? When employees leave because of problems with management, you must determine whether this is an isolated incident or one that’s likely to replicate. Is one bad apple ruining the entire team? The impact of poor management can be toxic to an organization. Any point of concern about management — whether you think the employee is a squeaky wheel or not — deserves your attention.

As an employer, you can’t control how your employees feel about working for you, but you can influence their perceptions by demonstrating that their satisfaction and resources on the job are important to you. If employees are leaving, find out why. And then address the issues to promote a culture of engagement.

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Emily Tisdale
Emily D. Tisdale is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Recourse Resource Consulting, a healthcare experience consulting firm based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. Emily and her team supports healthcare organizations in achieving sustainable results focused on patient experience, employee engagement, and marketing.
Emily Tisdale


Biz Owner (Radius10, LLC + Recourse Resource) • Wife + Mom | Mixing life + work on this previously work-only account because, well, I want to👩🏻‍💻
At-home date night watching @KevinHart4real’s Zero F**cks Given and I. Am. Dying. 🤣 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 - 8 months ago
Emily Tisdale
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