Many organizations already think a lot about productivity and retention, but now more than ever employers are focusing on improving the lives of their individual employees. But productivity, retention and employee engagement are actually interconnected. Quantum Workplace, a software company that specializes in boosting employee engagement, researched the various predictive factors of why employees might be ready to terminate their positions, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

“The research we’ve conducted points to three major factors,” says Daniel Harris, Workplace Insights Analyst for Quantum Workplace. “Lower levels of job satisfaction, individual needs not being met and poor team dynamics.”

Low job satisfaction

“The better [an organization] can make its employees’ work experience, the better it affects their lives outside of work, and the better it is for the health of the organization,” Daniel says.

“If you're a manager and notice that one of your employees may be dissatisfied, set aside time to have an honest and transparent conversation about their sources of dissatisfaction — is it with their own job responsibilities, their team members, or perhaps even how you manage them?” continues Daniel.

“Does your employee feel they’re making quality work?” asks Megan Maslanka, Director of Client Success at Quantum Workplace. “If an employee doesn’t find their job interesting or challenging, they won’t be engaged to do anything more [than the minimum.]”

'“Coach your employees to have a dialogue with each other. Help them know when to speak up and what to speak up about.”'

Failing individual needs

Megan stresses the importance of showing your employee that you value them as an individual. “Help them balance between work and home,” she says. “That mindset shifts the more a management team gets to know their team members personally and value their opinions as a two-way partnership.”

One Quantum Workplace client uses a four-pronged approach to consider employee well-being: health, financial stability, connectivity and community involvement. “Each month, they offer a program that employees can get involved with in one of those four areas and track progress,” Megan shares. “For example, one month might include a retirement planning session or a potluck-styled lunch.”

Megan urges organizations to make employees feel heard but go beyond the standard town halls, quarterly meetings and Q&A’s where employee feedback is collected but rarely acted upon. “Most organizations collect opinions, but they don’t have ways to close that loop and help impact that person’s day-to-day life. Leadership may write down [employee opinions], but they rarely explore that idea further. This devalues that employee and further disconnects them from the organization.”

“Collecting feedback from employees isn’t all there is to engagement,” Megan adds. “Rather, managers should continue conversations with employees and close the loop. There is a lot of power in one-on-one conversations.” When taking individual needs into account, valuing one-on-one communication between managers and employees is king.

Poor team dynamics

Quantum Workplace’s data shows that the trend is more towards personalization of improvement. Quantum Workplace’s clients are gravitating toward engaging their employees more at the local, team level. “What used to happen is this overarching plan of trying to shift fundamental factors within an organization’s culture,” Daniel says. However, this fails to address specific employee concerns, which leads to dissatisfaction.

“We help our clients to better equip managers and team leaders to go to those local levels,” Megan says. “Coach your employees to have a dialogue with each other. Help them know when to speak up and what to speak up about.” This tactic improves upon one of the top turnover predictors: poor team dynamics. Many employees become discouraged by what they view to be either incompetency in their fellow workers or believing their team doesn’t utilize its strengths. These are often local issues, as opposed to overarching company issues.

Other tools Quantum Workplace clients use to embolden employee engagement are bringing in life coaches and gathering feedback from not just the exiter but from the exiter’s teammates. “Ultimately,” Megan says, “these new approaches are a proactive way for an organization to understand stress within their teams.”

To learn the five predictors of employee turnover, visit Quantum Workplace's blog.