The Real Reasons Originators Leave

Patricia Sherlock

In this current environment, many mortgage companies are continuing to experience high turnover. Managers believe that the primary reason originators leave is for more money. While this may be true for a small percentage, research shows that the majority of originators who change companies (80-90 percent) do so for reasons other than money. Studies show that these “push” factors are issues within the power of the manager and their organization to control and change.

The disconnect between what managers believe and the true root causes of originator disengagement and turnover is costly to say the least. Originators ready to “jump ship” are uncommitted, marginally productive or can even be actively working against the company’s interests.

Disengaged employees are destructive to both morale and revenue as they complain and dominate the manager’s time. Moreover, these employees’ interactions with clients do not create positive customer experiences. When you look at exit interviews, the research shows that 85% of producers’ reasons for leaving are preventable!

Employee turnover is really a process, not an event, that typically begins after a shocking incident takes place that causes the employee to question his or her commitment. The turning point can be any change in the workplace that the employee has not bought into. In today’s mortgage origination environment, changes occur daily which can trigger the start of the disengagement process.

In “The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave”, author Leigh Branham observes that the problems center on four human needs not being met:

1. The Need for Trust: Has the manager/company delivered on its promises; been open in its communications; treated the employee fairly?
2. The Need to Have Hope: Has the manager/company helped the employee to grow and develop his or her skills?
3. The Need to Feel a Sense of Worth: Has the manager/company made the employee confident if they work hard and do their best that they will be recognized and rewarded for the effort?
4. The Need to Feel Competent: Has the manager/company given the employee regular feedback on his or her performance?

What can we learn from these four needs? It reinforces that the role of the manager is more critical than ever during challenging times because managers are the vehicle to recognizing an employee’s feelings and where the originator’s head and heart is. It all starts with the manager asking the simple question: “How are things with you?”

Have you asked your employees this question recently?

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