Why Employees Leave

One of the biggest challenges in successfully managing an agronomy retail operation is keeping your top employees. Every day, we visit with retailers across the country that are lamenting over the loss of a key employee and need us to find a suitable replacement. Unfortunately, when we ask these organizations about why the employee left, they are almost always focused on the wrong reason — MONEY!

Higher compensation may seem like a perfectly common and logical reason for employees to leave. In fact, a recent survey has shown that 89% of employers feel that money is the primary reason that employees leave. However, when the departed employees were interviewed, 88% of them left for reasons other than money. That’s correct — only 12% of employees leave for better compensation!

Not Listening

There is a quote that best explains this scenario: “Managers will not hear, what employees are not saying.”

Think about this for a moment. This is a powerful quote that really speaks to that heart of this problem. If a manager is not 100% engaged with their direct reports, it is very unlikely that they will understand the true reason why that employee is leaving, and they will certainly be too late to prevent that employee from departing. Let’s face it, a disengaged manager will be the last person to find out an employee is leaving. At that point, a counteroffer is your only hope. However, we can assure you that in our experience more than 75% of people accepting a counteroffer from an employer to stay will be gone in less than 12 months, with the remaining 25% leaving in the next 24 months.

Why? Because it probably wasn’t about the money and the real reasons that motivated them to leave haven’t changed!

The best way to understand why employees leave is to look at some of the data that has been compiled in recent industry surveys by the Gallup organization. If you are one of the 89% of employers that feels your employees are leaving for money, you may be surprised at the results.
•Â  16% of employees left due to limited career growth or opportunity.
•Â  13% of employees left due to lack of respect or support from their supervisor.
•Â  12% of employees left for higher compensation.
•Â  10% left because they felt their job duties were unchallenging.
•Â  9% left as a result to their supervisors lack of leadership skills.
•Â  6% left for better work hours.
•Â  5% of employees left for unavoidable reasons (birth of child, family relocation, illness of family member, etc.).
•Â  4% left due to a lack of recognition.
•Â  4% left because of favoritism (to other employees) by supervisor.
•Â  3% of employees sought a new position as a result of a supervisors poor employee relations.
•Â  3% took a new opportunity due poor working conditions.
•Â  3% of employees left their position due to lack of training, or to find an opportunity that provided more training.
•Â  2% of job changers say they left due to “supervisors incompetence.”
•Â  2% of employees left an organization because they didn’t trust or support the senior leadership.
•Â  1% took a new position because they believed their supervisors lack of technical skills were impacting their success.
•Â  1% of departures were a result of discrimination.
•Â  1% left due to harassment.
•Â  1% sought better benefits.
•Â  1% became disgruntled and left due to co-workers attitudes.

This list is a very good representation of our industry. As recruiters, we talk to hundreds of disgruntled employees each week, and the reasons (and percentages) listed here are quite accurate. As you review this list, there is one glaring thing that should stand out to you — over 75% of employees leave because of a supervisor’s actions, or lack of engagement with that employee! Think about this. How many employee departures could have been prevented if the manager was engaged with the employee and could work through the concerns BEFORE they looked for a new opportunity?

It’s understandable that it’s often difficult to stay engaged with every employee when you have many reporting to you. However, there are some definite warning signs that should alert you to an employee feeling they have unmet expectations:
•Â  They ask fewer questions than they used to.
•Â  Sudden change in demeanor.
•Â  Avoid greeting you or making eye contact.
•Â  Stop participating in meetings or discussions.
•Â  They ask a lot of questions about a particular issue, and you have your doubts about their willingness to meet the expectation.
•Â  Increased absence.
•Â  Decrease in performance.

At The Ag Retail Level

The physical demands and drastic swings in workload and time commitment of the retail agronomy business can make employee retention a nearly insurmountable challenge. However, the key to preventing that turnover is to understand what truly motivates your employees and what you can do to keep them motivated. When you consider the gradual unfolding process of employee disengagement, and their desire to seek a new opportunity, there can be only one conclusion: The need for managers to initiate action to engage and re-engage employees is urgent, and is a daily opportunity.

As you think across your current group of salespeople for example, they probably fall into three groups. Here are some situations and questions you can ask to show you are engaged with your team. We’ll group these questions along their stage of development within the business.

First, the newbies that started with you in the last 24 months. Their needs from a supervisor fall into the coaching and teaching areas more often than not. Your engagement can keep them from leaving you by coaching them past the hard work of spring or wondering where they go from here once they figure out being a sales agronomist.

Second, your sales agronomists that have been with you for two to five years and have most things figured out. This group needs less coaching on product and services and more on share of wallet or territory expansion. You will probably have less contact with this group than the newbies, but one-on-one conversations about “where can you get your territory and how can I help” will allow them see your engagement and desire to keep them around.

Third, your top salespeople that have been around for a while still need that pat on the back, but as we talk with sales agronomists with big books of business, they usually want management to remove problems for them. This group doesn’t need much coaching or teaching, they simply want to know where the organization is going and what their role is to be. Ask them how you can remove obstacles to their performance or the company’s performance.

It’s easy as managers to fall back into command and control types of communication with our business. Spring can be tough on us all and barking orders can be all too easy. However, across our employee base, they all need to hear you are engaged throughout the year, not just looking for someone to march when commanded to do so. Engage all of your employees, but especially your best so you know their career goals and ambitions and you’ll keep them around for the long haul.

Leave a Reply

Employees Stories

Guy being interviewed
EmployeesThe Importance Of Understanding Employee Behavior
March 1, 2017
People-related issues can tear at the fabric of a company. They chip away at even the most solid foundation built on Read More
Employee Interview
Employees1 Simple Step To Hiring And Retention In Ag Retail
February 2, 2017
There are three significant trends pertaining to the ag industry workforce which merit consideration: A growing shortage of qualified workers, Read More
AgHires.com
EmployeesAgHires Launches Redesigned Job Board, Recruiting Platform
November 8, 2016
In an effort to better serve job seekers and employers in and around agriculture, AgHires has launched its new redesigned job Read More
EmployeesOABA Program Develops Future Generation Of Agribusiness Leaders
September 29, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association will select up to 25 promising leaders to participate in a leadership enhancement program early next Read More
Trending Articles
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teaching Fertilizer Education
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
Latest News
ManagementAn Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tooteli…
April 20, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses An Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian Read More
Students Soybean Field
Industry NewsMACA Announces 2017 Young Leader Scholarship Recipients
April 19, 2017
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) Board of Directors selected 11 college students to receive the MACA Young Leader Scholarship Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
SoftwareKnoa Software Solution Helps GROWMARK Boost System Perf…
April 19, 2017
Knoa Software, a leading provider of user experience management (UEM) software, has announced that GROWMARK, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative Read More
Crop InputsFBN Publishes ‘Voice of the Farmer’ Agricul…
April 17, 2017
Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) released today its “The Voice of the Farmer”, which the company is describing as “a special Read More
ManagementTalking Responsible Ag
April 13, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the Responsible Ag program with director Bill Qualls. Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Crop InputsWhat do Roundup and Mickey Mouse Have in Common? Califo…
April 13, 2017
(SOURCE: East Valley Times) Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup and many other weed killers, is being added Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSource: ChemChina to Divest Assets to Adama Following S…
April 11, 2017
China National Chemical Corp. plans to redistribute agrochemical assets to its Adama unit after the $43 billion takeover of Syngenta Read More
Farming drone air
Eric SfiligojThe Interest in UAVs for Agriculture Grows
April 10, 2017
At times, it seems as if experts have been predicting “big things” for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for several years Read More
OpinionOpinion: Taking On The Farmers Business Network
April 8, 2017
Well, another round of venture capital funding has come to Farmers Business Network (FBN), followed up with the obligatory feature Read More
Drone
EquipmentFarming Drones: The Future Of Agriculture?
April 7, 2017
Chances are, you already know drones are amazing. After all, this is something DroneLife readers just understand. But if you’re Read More
ManagementFMC-DuPont, Crop Plantings, and UAV Updates
April 6, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Jackie Pucci discuss the purchase agreement between DuPont and FMC, the 2017 crop acreage mix and Read More
Falcon soil sampler
EquipmentSerious Soil Sampling Rigs
April 6, 2017
The industry has seen an increase in automation in sampling equipment, and consultants now often pull cores with an automated Read More
Iowa waterways
FertilizerDow AgroSciences Recognizes Ag Retailers’ Role in Prote…
April 6, 2017
The state of Iowa and its agriculture community have worked for decades to preserve soil health, protect water quality and Read More
Farmer Scouting Weeds in Soybean Field
EquipmentSoil, Scouting Programs Continue To Gain Value
April 5, 2017
How much growers and their retailers utilize soil testing and scouting varies greatly. But they should step up their game Read More
Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
Precision Ag6 Key Takeaways from Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
April 5, 2017
Advisory investment group The Mixing Bowl teamed up with Forbes for its New York-based event this year to discuss technology’s Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsQ&A With Pam Marrone On The World’s First All-Biolo…
April 4, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. and Israel-based Ground­work BioAg in February announced successful field trials of the world’s first all-biological comprehensive Read More
Corn soil
Crop NutritionBiostimulants Clamor For A Piece Of The Row Crop Market
April 3, 2017
The question these days isn’t who is venturing into biostimulants — it’s who isn’t. Or more to the point: The Read More