7 Reasons Employees Quit

Business.com
7 Reasons Employees Quit

Today, job-hopping is a common phenomenon in the business world. Many assume that money is the root of workplace dissatisfaction, but really, only 12 percent of employees actually leave a company because they want more money. In fact, a survey by HAYS, a recruiting agency, found that 71 percent of employees would actually accept a pay cut if it meant finding a better job.

So, what's causing the increase in employee turnover rates? Check out these seven reasons employees quit so you can prevent your workers from leaving.

1. Their work arrangements aren't flexible.

Most employees expect a more relaxed schedule today. They're not looking for a typical 9-to-5 gig that requires them to be in the office every day. If a company offered them a more lenient arrangement, workers would likely choose them over an employer that doesn't.

In fact, 37 percent of employees would quit for another job that allowed them to work remotely part of the time, while 82 percent of employees would be more loyal if their jobs were more flexible.

2. Their boss lacks empathy.

A recent Businesssolver survey revealed that 92 percent of employees are more likely to stay with their job if their boss expressed more empathy. Some people are naturally more empathetic than others, but we can all tap into the trait if we practice self-awareness.

This is crucial for leaders who want to manage a team of workers with various personalities. You should at least try to understand and have compassion for each worker, so they feel you care about them as people, not just employees. In doing so, they'll also be more willing to help out and go the extra mile.

3. They feel disengaged.

According to Gallup, engaged employees are 59 percent less likely to look for a new job. On the other hand, disengaged employees are quick to seek employment elsewhere.

If your workers have a difficult time connecting with and finding interest in their work, they likely won't want to stay the company. Find out what piques your employees' attention, and let them have a say in their responsibilities.

4. They feel undervalued.

No one wants their performance to go unnoticed, especially if they're putting in extra hours or working harder than other employees. However, many workers feel this way, and 66 percent would consider leaving their job for lack of appreciation.

A simple "thank you" or "great job" can go a long way. Acknowledge your employees' efforts, and let them know when you're proud of or grateful for them.

5. They have no advancement opportunities.

Most employees accept a job offer in hope of future advancement within the company. But when they hit that two-year mark without talk of a promotion, they'll likely get antsy. In fact, more than 70 percent of "high-retention-risk" employees want to leave because they aren't given the chance or resources to grow in their current role. Depriving your team of advancement opportunities is a surefire way to lose top talent.

6. They've reached burnout.

Burnout is a dangerous state to be in. Employees in this condition often lack energy, passion and motivation to do their work.

A 2017 survey found that half of HR leaders blame up to 50 percent of workplace turnover on employee burnout. To help your employees avoid burnout, read this article for preventative tips.

7. Their company's culture is poor.

A positive company culture is crucial. Now more than ever, workers want to feel like they belong in their workplace. However, not all businesses achieve a welcoming atmosphere. A survey by HAYS found that 47 percent of people actively looking for new positions blame company culture as their main reason.

To ensure your employees feel fulfilled and secure at work, openly communicate with and encourage them to provide honest feedback. If they have issues, don't just say you'll solve them – actually follow through.

Finding Your Niche: 5 Ways to Create Your Buyer Persona

When my business partner and I started The 125 Collection three years ago, we were elated about our new product idea. We created soy-based quote candles that were sassy, funny, inspirational and stylish. In our minds, everyone would buy these cool candles, and business would be booming in a matter of weeks.

Although I am a proponent of "thinking big" and setting lofty goals, a goal of "everyone would love these" wasn't exactly a realistic or smart one. Our first year in business was great, as we started right at holiday time. We participated in various flea/craft markets and pop-up shops in New York City, where we met some amazing customers, established business relationships and gained some local buzz.

After the holiday season was over, however, business was slow and extremely quiet. We were barely crawling into our second year, and sales were just high enough to keep us afloat. 

We continued getting our products in front of customers at pop-up shops and events until we started seeing a shift in who was buying our product. During the holidays, anyone looking to buy a cool, easy gift under $40 fit our customer profile. However, as time went on, we really had to home in to who wanted our products. We had to get specific, asking ourselves, "What do they do professionally? What are their interests? What do they do for fun? How do they spend their discretionary income?" 

Once we identified who this person was, we gave "her" a name and based the majority of our marketing decisions around this persona, our target market. Once we did that, sales became steadier, and we began investing our time and marketing dollars into the lifestyle of our persona. Our candles finally found their niche. 

Although we are continuously learning and understanding our target customer, here are some tips that helped us create our buyer persona.

1. Survey your existing customers.

Put together a survey for your current customers, and either email it to them, get them on the phone, or interview them in person at your store or location. 

2. Go outside and learn about your customer.

Get to know the habits of your customers. Where does your ideal customer shop? What other brands do they like? 

3. Research.

Find out where your customers are from. We are an online company, so we researched where in the country most of our sales were coming from. Are your sales coming from major cities? Small towns? Do you have product variations, and, if so, is there any correlation between where your customers live and which product they are buying? 

4. Analyze and create.

Once you have collected all your information, you need to create your persona. A good persona should have the following information: a name, personal interests and professional background, basic demographics, goals, wants and needs, and buying patterns. Also, don't forget a photo of your persona – what do they look like?

5. Embed.

Once this persona is created, embed them into everything you do at your business. We introduced our persona to our marketing and PR teams and our illustrators and graphic designers to really push the creative process and give them an understanding of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of our ideal customer.

Edited for brevity and clarity by Sammi Caramela.

Starting an Online Business? Here's What You Need to Know

Anyone following my recent string of articles may have noted that I frequently write on subjects like e-commerce, m-commerce and digital enablement. This is because I feel businesses globally need to act quickly to establish themselves on the internet or face mass extinction. 

Many of the most valuable brands are either dot-com or technology companies. That says a lot about where we are today. Our once-disconnected global community is increasingly finding and establishing borderless communications and business channels.

Some of the readers and businesses I advise have reached out to me and asked something along these lines: "I understand that you've been voicing your opinions about going digital, and I'm sold to a certain extent, but I'm lost when it comes to the operational leg of this journey. How do I get my preferred domain? What is hosting, and why do I need it? Who designs my website? I have a basic brick-and-mortar business and don't know the first thing about taking my business digital – how can I make sure that I am building a future-proof e-commerce setup that won't disrupt my existing business?" 

To answer all these and other questions, here is the step-by-step journey to take your brand digital.

1. Research, research ... and research. 

The first thing to do when starting any new business is to understand your target audience. This is something I religiously follow for one simple reason: You need to know who you're selling to. 

A good targeting strategy to facilitate your online sales and marketing process will almost certainly ensure that the right audience lands on your platform, whether that's your e-commerce website or your social media pages. It's simple – you need to be where your customers are and have what they want. Because the digital market is borderless, you can use tools like Google Trends to review what global or local trends are being extensively searched over a period of time. This gives you good preliminary data to break down your product's popular regions and optimize your digital marketing strategy (including budgets, digital channels and vehicles). 

2. Establish your digital channels.

A lot of people ask me if a website is the only sales and marketing channel you need to set up your digital storefront. The answer isn't always simple. While I am a strong advocate for building and managing a digital presence through your website, I have to be honest – a lot of small businesses (such as home-based food and clothing sellers) operate just fine without websites, relying on social media to push their products. While a lot of them see organic results, many put money into promoting their brands online. 

Obviously, I endorse the need to create, manage and maintain your social media presence, but to all those businesses looking to grow and establish themselves online, I'll tell you that a website is a pivotal investment. This investment includes all of these components: 

Domain registration

The myth that building and maintaining a website is a costly affair should no longer apply in this day and age. The first thing you need to know when building a website for your business is that there are now multiple extensions you can purchase online. 

Hosting

Once you've locked in a name for your website, it's important to understand what sort of domain hosting works for you. Simply put, your hosting is the space you require to keep your website up and online. A lot of things can damage your digital brand, and bad hosting decisions are one of them. Whenever I am choosing a hosting plan for any one of my digital assets, I rely a lot on research. Websites like Hosting Facts benchmark 30-plus hosting companies. This sort of information lets users understand the kind of hosting option that would facilitate their web traffic, as well as the costs and included support features. [Read related article: The Best Web and Cloud Hosting Services of 2019]

Website development

Building your website nowadays isn't about knowing programming languages, nor is it a costly affair for which you have to hire a customized development team or an agency. That's an option if you're looking to do groundbreaking stuff that requires a customized solution, but for your standard SMB, blog or services brand, you need to consider site builders that can quickly deploy a functional website at a fraction of the cost a normal developer might charge. Again, it is very important to compare website builders to decide which is best for you. According to a recent Hosting Facts study, 2 out of 10 website-building projects fail. This might be due to a lack of research and need analysis – I make it a point to first establish that the service I will use can scale with my business. 

 

Editor's note: Looking for a website builder for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.

 

 

3. Focus on building winning content.

The next step after you've identified your target audience, market and digital channels is to write strong content. Some people say that this step should precede establishing your digital channels, but I feel one should focus on the tasks and not the order, and this approach has helped me focus the bulk of my time on developing content. 

This process involves all your online and offline assets; a key to understanding your content strategy is to build an omnichannel experience. These are the foundations of writing and publishing powerful content:

It should be focused on sales and conversions but should not oversell. It should flow naturally and be accurate and engaging.  You should follow a content schedule using a calendar. Small businesses can use services like Canva to create regular social media posts, web banners, etc. You should update your website content regularly. You can use tools like Crazy Egg to set up heat maps that will audit your customer journeys and see which content works for you and which doesn't. If your product is technical, you should offer educational materials for it, such as a FAQs page or YouTube explainer videos. In conclusion

These three steps are what will get you in shape online. They serve as broad guidelines of what you should do as an offline brand or even as an online brand struggling to complete its transition. These tools and techniques are not absolute, but they are solutions I use to keep my digital brands relevant.

The internet has opened up huge potential to build future-proof digital businesses. This is the right time to do your research and take your brand online.

Startup Industry Trends to Ignore in 2019

Like every other current or prospective entrepreneur, you’ve likely already read far too many blog posts discussing all the trends “experts” predict will impact your startup success in 2019.

Well, this isn’t one of those posts.

It's not that trying to get a handle on industry trends is a waste of time or that you can’t potentially benefit by researching that information. In fact, as long as you trust the source and don’t get caught up in biased reporting, you should definitely stay up to date on what’s going on in the larger business community and your own industrial niche, and let that information affect your decisions going forward.

However, there’s another side to the entire trends topic that’s always so highly saturated this time of year. It can sometimes overshadow the far more important aspects of starting and running a successful business, distracting and even misleading some entrepreneurs to the detriment of their startup success.

So, with that balanced view in mind, let’s take a look at some commonly reported “trends” that you may need to ignore as 2019 progresses.

Industries that are “dead” or “on fire”

It’s incredibly common for articles about business trends to boldly call out entire industries or business sectors as dead or dying while insisting others are set to explode. Like recommendations to buy and sell stock, these published “trends” can easily push prospective business owners toward or away from these industries based on bold predictions and often limited research.

Often, there’s some truth to these predictions and looking into the details can be beneficial, especially if you’re already pursuing a business concept related to one or more of the sectors under discussion. Where it gets dangerous, though, is in taking these predicted trends as gospel and either halting plans or diving headfirst into a startup without fully evaluating the validity and accuracy of the prediction.

As an example, this 2019 trends article boldly proclaims that IoT is fading away. Now, if you have a spectacular, unique and innovative concept for an IoT product, service or app, you might read that prediction and assume you’ve already missed the boat. This could lead you to devalue your concept, lose steam on funding or development or scrap the idea altogether. In reality, though, even if the basis of the article’s prediction is sound, no industry is ever completely dead. There’s no way a truly fantastic IoT concept that solves existing market problems can be called a guaranteed failure based on predictions and trends alone.

If you research the trend, objectively evaluate the situation and decide your startup concept can and should still succeed, then you should pursue it, regardless of what the experts say.

Likewise, the prediction that a given industry is set to blow up shouldn’t instantly chart your startup’s course. Whether it means you feel obligated to develop a concept within a trending industry, or to unnaturally shoehorn your existing startup concept into it, you’re bound to waste time, effort and money on what is likely to be misdirection.

What investors are currently flocking to or ignoring

The message here is very similar to the point made above, so let’s not belabor it, but it’s important to note that fear of missing out on necessary funding based on nothing more than a timing glitch can keep founders up at night. Realistically, however, it’s an empty threat.

Any angel investors, venture capitalists or investment groups that make their decisions based on the same articles you’re reading are likely not worth your time and effort. You want investors who are interested in evaluating your startup’s worthiness based solely on your concept, roadmap and potential. Of course, they’ll want to evaluate all that through the lens of what the market is doing, but no reputable investor is going to pass on a potential unicorn based on one “expert” opinion about what might happen over the next 12 months.

In conclusion, remember this: Successful startups and profitable businesses are built on good ideas that are executed well. They’re built on unique and effective solutions to real problems customers face. So, if you’re working on a business idea that checks all the right boxes except for the fact that it bucks some published trend, then you’re probably best off ignoring that trend and moving forward.

MIT Sloan Management Review

Alibaba, a relative newcomer to financial services, has seen its small and medium-size enterprise (SME) lending business grow rapidly in the last four years, making it one of the leading lenders in China. Western banks should take note. Such explosive growth is a harbinger for an unfamiliar kind of competition — legacy business incumbents pitted against new digital giants.

In 2017, Alibaba issued SME loans worth 446 billion China Yuan Renminbi (RMB) (about $63.4 billion U.S.), amounting to 30% of the loans issued by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the top SME lender in the country. Alipay, Alibaba’s payment wallet app, and Mybank, its internet bank, attracted deposits of 1.6 trillion RMB, matching 89% of the total value of deposits attracted by Bank of China.

These results mirror the competitive threats Amazon, Facebook, and Google pose to incumbents in the retail, health care, insurance, music, entertainment, and automobile sectors. Such digital giants, whether from China or the United States, are poised to unleash a new category of digital disruptions powered by their digital ecosystems.

We looked at recent events in the Chinese banking industry to highlight how these massive digital newcomers gain powerful consumer experience insights from their digital ecosystems and how this changed the nature of competition for incumbents.

Chinese Digital Giants Forge Into Banking

From its early days in Chinese e-commerce, Alibaba saw the need for digital money to alleviate the inconveniences of collecting cash on delivery, because credit card penetration was poor. Alibaba’s solution: a digital wallet, Alipay. The wallet allowed customers to deposit money in lump sums, then use that balance for the real-time purchases needed for seamless e-commerce.

Soon, Alibaba expanded this service outside its own e-commerce platforms, letting other retailers and small businesses use Alipay. Quick response (QR) codes, bar codes readable by cellphones, allowed millions of mom-and-pop merchants to begin using Alipay, without expensive credit card readers and with dramatically reduced fees. With Alipay, small businesses built digital storefronts, transforming them into online businesses. By adding a vast range of services such as booking taxis, hotels, and airlines, the company transformed into an omni-service platform.

Tencent, one of the world’s most valuable technology companies, followed a similar pattern. Its WeChat messaging platform attracted millions of users through services such as curated content, gaming, social networks, chat, and search. The company added peer-to-peer money transfer, cleverly adopting a digital version of the old Chinese tradition of gifting money to family and friends in red envelopes. Within six days of its launch around the New Year in 2017, WeChat users sent 47 billion red envelopes to one another. Alibaba and Tencent both now support 80% of the day-to-day online activities of Chinese consumers.

Following their surge into payment services, Alibaba and Tencent quickly shifted their attack to both the liability and asset services of traditional Chinese banks. They added checking and savings accounts, deposits, and wealth management, in addition to standard personal and small-business loan services. In four short years, these companies seized a significant market share of loans and deposits from formidable Chinese incumbents. In large part, their approach relied on utilizing unique consumer insights gleaned from their ecosystems.

The Structure of Digital Ecosystems

In business, ecosystems are built around interdependencies, or how entities and their activities mutually support and draw value from each another. Traditionally, we’ve recognized such interdependencies in producing and selling goods or services as production ecosystems. Looking at banks, generating deposits, allocating and servicing loans, collecting interest, dispensing cash, and managing a vast network of branches are all interdependent activities that shape their production ecosystems.

A different ecosystem comes from the interdependencies of consuming products or services — consumption ecosystems. For banks, interdependencies in how people consume money shape their consumption ecosystems. The consumption of a mortgage is interdependent with getting home insurance, buying furniture, or doing home improvements. But before modern digital technologies, such interdependencies were difficult to leverage for economic advantage.

Chinese digital giants were uniquely positioned to leverage advantage from the consumption ecosystems of banks. They used their deep consumer insights to attack incumbent banks’ production ecosystems and built new services consumers needed.

How Economic Newcomers Cause Digital Disruptions

Alibaba and Tencent had five core interrelated components in their digital platforms: search, e-commerce, payments, social networking, and entertainment. Collectively, these services routinely extract treasure troves of information about users and their interests and needs. This information allows digital platforms to build unique individual profiles on each customer’s intricate money consumption needs, thus placing these new platforms at the epicenter of the consumption ecosystems of banks.

Traditional banks, on the other hand, are organized primarily around production ecosystems: attracting deposits, delivering loans, or dispensing cash. Because they are solely focused on production ecosystems, they lack reliable mechanisms for predicting the financial needs of their consumers. This lack makes them vulnerable to attacks from digital giants, who can leverage their consumption ecosystems to anticipate and precisely detect their consumers’ needs for money, much sooner than traditional banks.

Impacts for Lending

One example of digital giants spotting and leveraging consumer needs is a customer looking for car recommendations on chat or search. The act of looking is an early signal of a need. E-commerce or payment site history adds insights into spending and borrowing power, leading to suitable buying recommendations. Offering a loan to this customer is the next logical step. The pattern is similar for college loans, appliance purchases, or short-term loans for vacations.

Similarly, by providing small and medium-size enterprises with digital payment processing, storefronts, logistics, and digital marketing, digital giants gain insights into a merchant’s business. With this information, they can predict an SME’s creditworthiness and when it will likely need funding. This strong position in the consumption ecosystems is a compelling lending advantage over traditional banks.

Finding Consumer Opportunities for Deposits

When customers use Alibaba for a vast majority of their day-to-day activities, they can easily be convinced to park deposits, too. Unlike in Western countries, government regulations in China did not prevent these digital giants from collecting deposits and acting like banks, ostensibly to bring millions of rural adults into the banking system.

Chinese customers soon found depositing money with digital giants attractive, because their digital loan processing was faster, needed less documentation, and provided competitive interest rate offers using smart algorithms that leveraged credit history profiles. Customers spending 80% of their money in Alibaba’s ecosystem, and also making deposits with the company, are likely to get a loan faster because of precise insights based on their profile: the right car, the right college, or the right home.

Digital Disruption’s Unique Features

The digital giants’ strength for disrupting legacy businesses comes from their ability to swap information from consumption to production ecosystems and vice versa. The most powerful disruptions are two-sided attacks — those aimed at both production and consumption. These disruptions earn the “digital” label because they get their power from the newfound information and connections in the digital economy.

Modern digital connectivity has created consumption ecosystems and provides a strong launchpad for competitive attack, as seen in the case of Alibaba and Tencent. Because these companies could track activity within the users’ ecosystems, they possessed superior consumer information compared with incumbent banks. They could also use this information to overwhelm incumbents by offering more prolific and customized services associated with a loan. For a home purchase, they could direct customers to the most appropriate available home, provide relevant information on the home, and connect them to real estate agents, furniture suppliers, or moving companies on their digital platforms. Such customized consumption-based services ultimately relegate traditional banking activity of approving and offering mortgages to just a commodity.

The concept of consumption ecosystems is still new to many legacy businesses, because they don’t track products and services digitally after they are sold. Competitive attacks from consumption ecosystems can be lethal because legacy companies may not even see them coming, and these attacks can detach or weaken the incumbent’s connection to customers.

The growing digital economy means legacy financial companies must develop a better understanding of their digital ecosystems, reframe how they assess competition, and position themselves to influence consumption of their products and services, as an integral part of their competitive strategy.

Kamyar Shah

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Read the full article at: www.information-management.com

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