‘Who’s Coming with Me?’ Why Employees Quit in Groups and How to Stop It

Why Employees Quit in Groups

It happens in workplaces everywhere. To bosses everywhere. One employee hands in their resignation and before they are out the door one or two, even three or four other employees also hand in their resignations. It can be for lots of reasons, but if it is because of not having a comfortable working environment you can buy your office supplies online. It’s a very “Jerry McGuire” phenomenon. We all remember that moment when McGuire gave an inspiring speech about leaving the company, striking out on his own, out from under the thumb of an oppressive boss whose morals are no longer in line with his, and he turns to all those in the office and asks: “Who’s coming with me?”

At Unemployment Solutions For You, we understand it’s expensive to lose employees. And cost rises with position. A low-wage employee ($10/hr) is said to cost a company approximately $3,000. But a $100/hr CEO can cost a company upwards of $200,000. (All according to Christina Merhar’s blog post.)

Merhar informs that: “Some studies (such as the Society for Human Resource Management) predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average.”

How to Stop Employees from Quitting in Groups

So, how do you stop this from occurring? A good place to start would be to regularly check-in with employees. Weekly personal meetings would key you into any unrest and gives you the opportunity to nip it in the bud before it taints the rest of the staff. “Taint” in the sense that once a complaint is verbalized to someone that person, while they may not have been feeling that way prior, now tunes into that feeling and says, “Yea, I feel that way, too.”

Another good way to avoid mass exodus is to conduct exit interviews. Find out why these people are leaving. See if there is a way you can fix the problem, if indeed the problem is the company. Is it payroll? Are the workloads too much?

Matt Straz, founder & CEO of Namely – an HR and payroll platform for companies around the world – wrote a very interesting piece for FastCompany.com titled, “Why Your Employees Are Leaving and How to Stop Them,” where he discusses the “sweet spot” in regards to payroll. Straz discovered that 79.5% of employees remained with their companies for more than two years if their salary was in the $80 to $100,000 range. However, and very interestingly, employees were less likely to be with the company if they made above or below this amount.

But money isn’t everything. So, it’s important to find out what is “everything” to your employees and work towards employee satisfaction. Merhar writes: “Don’t assume employees are happy (create a high-feedback environment) Provide different benefits for different employees (focusing on the high-value, expensive to replace employees).” In the long run this will save your company a lot of money.