Nobody wants to see their best employees leave their company. A suitable replacement may be difficult and costly to acquire, and in the meanwhile, you will have to deal with the drop in productivity and the increase in workload for the rest of your staff.
There are some motives outside of the employer’s control, such as life events that may cause a good employee to leave. However, in the majority of cases, the reasons behind them quitting may relate to elements within the company and can be addressed. In this article, we will be listing down 11 of the biggest reasons why good employees quit. Read to see which ones may potentially apply to your company and how you can work to resolve them.
1. Lack of Growth
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why good employees quit a company is because it doesn’t provide them room to grow and advance their careers. If an employee feels that the company isn’t invested in their growth and development, they will begin to feel that they have no long-term future here and start thinking of an exit plan once they acquire enough experience within their existing position. Good employees strive to learn, grow, and unlock their potential. If they aren’t offered the opportunities to do so, then they start to look elsewhere to progress their career forward.
This is also why a lot of smaller organizations tend to face high employee turnover. It tends to become a self-fulling prophecy – the organization doesn’t invest much in their good employees in anticipation of them quitting and these good employees seeing zero growth prospects choose to leave for greener pastures.
Regardless of which stage your company is at its growth, you should have a well-laid out growth plan for your employees. This plan should include such things as trainings, certifications, and promotion into managerial roles. Your employees are your most important asset. If you invest more money in their growth, they will invest more of their time in your company’s growth.
2. Lack of Recognition
Another major cause behind good employees leaving a company is that their efforts were not being recognized. Lack of recognition can come in many forms such as broken promises, lack of increments, bonuses, or promotions or even as simple as not giving any positive feedback on their work.
Any company that fails to recognize its employees are quick to lose them. No employee can work hard and strive to create value for their company if their efforts keep getting ignored. In our many years of experience as a staffing agency, we have seen plenty of cases of talented employees deciding to switch companies because their hard work wasn’t being appreciated by their current employer.
The solution to this is simple – make your employees feel rewarded for the work that they perform. Train the management on how to provide helpful feedback and how to identify and support the development of their most talented employees. Ensure that your company has a fair compensation system in place; underpaying your employees is the surest way to make them feel that the company doesn’t appreciate them at all.
Productive employees thrive in an environment with high levels of trust and autonomy. They may already have the skillset, drive, and experience to successfully implement the projects or tasks that they are responsible for. Micromanaging such as telling them exactly what to do, questioning their way of approach and not allowing them to make their own decisions will frustrate them and harm their productivity. Soon enough, they would become completely fed up with the unfair restrictions in place and want to look for work elsewhere.
Retaining and unlocking the potential of your good employees all starts with having trust. Give your employees the leverage to complete tasks on their own accord. Train the management to play a supportive and facilitating role in the workflow, instead of trying to assert control over every part of its process.
4. Bad Management
“Good or great employees do not leave the company; they quit because of the manager!”, says Holly Dowling, a prominent global speaker, and inspirational thought leader. Even if there are no structural drawbacks in your company, good employees could still leave as a result of working under terrible bosses. If a talented employee is feeling restricted under their current supervisor, sees their boss as very unprofessional or feels that they treat them unfairly, they will find few reasons to continue working under them.
A case of bad management does no one within the company any good. Proper due diligence should be in place when hiring new managers. It is also important to identify individuals within the existing management that are proving to be a hindrance for the rest of the work staff and have them replaced.
In some cases, managers won’t actually be bad themselves per se but rather, due to difference in work philosophy, miscommunication, or lack of resources, may handle their high-performing employees badly and thus, cause them to call it a quit.
In such scenarios, leadership training should be provided that equips them with the skills needed to adapt their management style accordingly to keep their employees motivated and productive. Employee feedback is also important to ensure in what areas the management may be lacking in that prevents them from fully engaging with the staff they manage.
5. Toxic Culture
Even the best employee is not equipped with the skills to handle a highly hostile environment. A work environment that emotionally drains a person undermines their productivity and any incentive that they have of continuing to work there. Stress from trying to meet deadlines, handling the workload and trying to maintain a work-life balance is already high at workplaces, the last thing an employee needs is even more stress as a result of toxic behavior being the norm at the place that they work at. A toxic culture at a workplace not only will force your best employees to leave but also greatly undermine the productivity of your organization as a whole.
To resolve it, identity triggers responsible for influencing a toxic work environment and creating team dysfunction such as individuals unwilling to share vital information, disrespecting others and abusing their position within the organization.
Understand the main cause of people behaving in such a manner is fear and insecurity. Foster trust between members by creating opportunities for them to engage with and learn more about each other. Train your managers to identity conflict areas within the team and resolve them. Establish group norms on how to deal with disagreements and conflicts of interest. Lastly, toxic work culture is often a result of unemphatic leadership. Take anonymous feedback from your employees to allow them to sincerely communicate their grievances about their workplace.
6. Being Overworked
Good employees want to work hard and give more but it is not the best idea to abuse their willingness. Everyone values a good work-life balance. If you are constantly overloading your star employees with copious amounts of work, asking them to work extra hours or on off-days, you are bound to eventually lose them. The risks are especially higher when you provide little or no compensation for the commitment you ask of them.
Unfortunately, a lot of managers don’t realize this and overwork their good employees because they are so good at what they do. This leads to high levels of stress among such employees and pushes them to look for work elsewhere.
Often times, it may not be obvious that you are overworking your best employees. This is why encouraging them to provide feedback about their work is important. It may also be helpful to train your managers better delegate the workload across the team, instead of just piling most of it on the best-performing employees.
Furthermore, it should also be understood that forcing people to work more doesn’t always translate to higher productivity. Treating your employees fairly when it comes to delegating work helps avoid burnouts, work stress and dissatisfaction with the company.
7. Being Underutilized
On the other hand of the spectrum, good employees are also likely to leave your company if they feel that their skills and experience are being underutilized. If they not feel challenged by their superiors, they can quickly become demotivated and lose interest in their work. If employees don’t find their current position to be not worthwhile, they will be more receptive to job offers from other employees and decide to leave.
To remedy this, it is important for you to provide adequate training for your management to identify underutilized employees and provide them with tasks that they may find stimulating. A well-defined promotion structure should also be in place so employees that can offer more can be elevated to positions with responsibilities that truly test their mantle.
8. Poor Communication
A good employee leaving the company could also be a result of poor communications, especially on the part of the management. If an employee brings up a genuine issue and notices that there is no follow-up to it or the management showed no interest, they would eventually stop communicating and instead seek out new opportunities to escape their present (and unaddressed) predicament.
Poor communication could also come in the form of setting the wrong expectations among the employees that don’t align with the reality on the ground. This can lead to high-performing employees feeling betrayed or lied to, leading them to exit from the organization.
9. Seeing Other Good Employees Leave
Sometimes the reason why good employees may leave a company is that they see other good employees leaving. For example, if a well-performing marketing head leaves your company, a few others who had worked with or under them may also feel the need to follow suit. People take cues from what others are doing in making a decision and if they see that high-performers are leaving your company, they will also be motivated to do so likewise and perhaps, by exiting, influence yet even more people to make the same decision.
To avoid such situations from arising is to identify your top employees and treat them right from the very start so that they become advocates of your organization and influence others to stay.
10. Disconnection with Long Term Goals
Sometimes, a high performing employee may feel that their current job doesn’t align well with their long-term goals or ambitions and may feel the need to switch to a position that does. If there are no such opportunities provided than they will try to look for those in other organizations and leave yours.
In such a scenario, not a lot can be done to encourage the employee to remain with the company save for informing them of any inhouse opportunities that align with their long-term plans.
11. Personal Matters
Death of a loved one, a decision to move to a new location, entering a romantic relationship, etc. are all personal matters that may cause a good employee to leave your company. Since these are things outside of the employer’s control, the best thing to do is support them in their decision so that even if no longer a part of your company, they still provide some value such as encouraging others in their circles to join or later on, when the situation favors, deciding to rejoin.
Attention Employers in Colorado
While our list of recommendations would certainly help reduce turnovers, some cases simply cannot be avoided. When a situation arises where a good employee does leave, it can be difficult to find a suitable replacement. As a premier staffing agency in the state, we can help you discover and take on board with the right talent for your organization. To get started, simply post a job for free through our online portal. For any queries, feel free to call on our toll-free number (833) 303-JOBS.