Losing your best talent can be devastating. There’s the cost of recruiting, onboarding, and evaluating a replacement. There’s the burden on the rest of your team until the new hires fit in. There’s the uncertainty of whether they’ll be able to achieve the same levels of productivity.
To avoid these burdens, we recommend a strategy that focuses on retaining your star players—and that includes understanding why people leave and doing all you can to eliminate these triggers in your workplace.
We asked the experts at our Utah recruitment firm to share the most common reasons top performers quit jobs. Here’s what they had to say:
1. You Neglect Their Ideas
Do your best employees have ideas to improve a workplace process? Have they identified a problem that you didn’t know existed? Staff members can be a gold mine for making your organization better. Unfortunately, many employers neglect this truth, even as their staff grows more and more frustrated by a lack of action in areas they see as critical.
The best way to prevent this is to ask your top performers about their ideas for improving the company, its processes, and the overall culture. You can start with questions such as:
- How do you feel about management? What do you like and dislike?
- What do you think are the biggest barriers to productivity?
- What’s one step we can take to improve our company image in the next quarter?
2. There’s a Lack of Trust or Respect
Another reason your best employees won’t stay is that they don’t feel like they’re trusted or respected in the workplace. They may perceive this lack of respect in various ways – it could be the type of tasks they receive, the way they’re spoken to, or the style of management adopted by their superiors.
For example, staff members who are micromanaged may bristle at not being given enough autonomy to make key decisions. This kind of restriction can leave them feeling unmotivated to work to their full potential. As a result, they may seek opportunities that afford greater empowerment.
The good news is that you can motivate your top performers to stay by having an honest and open relationship with them. Tell them to ask questions and work under your guidance, but ultimately trust that they have the ability, skills, and knowledge to do the work you recruited them to do.
3. The Work Isn’t Challenging
There’s nothing worse than leaving the office at the end of each day feeling like you’ve achieved nothing. Monotony can kill the motivation and creativity of your employees, making them feel like they’re real ability is being wasted. When that happens, you will likely see work quality steadily decline.
Here’s the thing: employees don’t want to feel like they’re stuck in a rut. Most want to feel like they’re progressing in their professional lives. If there’s no learning curve or structure for growing, they’re far more likely to be bored and seek challenges elsewhere.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to stimulate your employees intellectually. Mix things up with projects that draw on different abilities, and let them figure out how to handle these projects best. Put simply, do whatever you can to create opportunities that let personnel exercise their brainpower and skills.
4. They Don’t See a Future at Your Company
This is a big one. If your employees aren’t working toward a company or professional objective, it’s unlikely that they’re able to see things from a future perspective. It’s a red flag that their job will come to a dead-end. Fortunately, this issue is easy to solve.
To help employees see a future at your company, give them opportunities to take the reins and make their own decisions. In addition, encourage them to assess their own work performance and detail what they can do better. Remember that by developing your top employees, you’re developing your business.
Pro tip: Consider having regular transparent conversations with your employees about their future. Ask them what they wish to achieve in five years: What are their ambitions? What role do they want to be in? See if there are opportunities for promoting their growth, such as seeking out continuing education for them or vectoring them toward a management role. Also, let employees know that they can reach out to you anytime for an honest conversation regarding role progression.
5. Work-Life Balance Is Non-Existent
Your best employees may also leave if they feel like work is eating into their personal time and keeping them from spending adequate time with their families. On the flip side, they will be more engaged, enthusiastic, and productive when they know that their employer trusts them and wants them to have a life outside of the workplace. You can help provide employees with the freedom and support they need to enjoy a healthy work-life balance.
One way to do this is to adopt a remote work policy. With technology turning tablets, laptops and phones into virtual offices, many of the tasks that employees perform in their work cubicle can now be accomplished virtually.
You can also model healthy work-life harmony yourself. If you’re sending emails at 1 a.m., it sends a tacit message that you expect your employees to do the same. Keeping your own priorities in order will go a long way in giving your employees permission to do the same.
Despite addressing these issues, there will be instances where your best employees part ways with your company. When that happens, don’t panic, but do take proactive steps to fill the gaps. The first step is to contact an experienced talent solutions agency like PrincePerelson. They can tap into non-traditional recruitment sources and help you discover a broad pool of the most qualified applicants to fit your hiring needs.