There are many reasons “why good employees leave” and that holding on to the right employees can be a challenge for many companies and employers. While this shouldn’t be the case, a simple mistake in your company can lead to an exodus of some of the best employees your company has. Your top performers will typically have other job options and they may act on this if they feel taken advantage of, or mistreated.
Understand Why Good Employees Leave
Keeping your employees engaged can help retain them for much longer. It saves the business money in recruitment, improves overall business productivity and provides numerous other soft benefits such as boosting employee morale. Longevity of staff is an undeniable indicator of a good company.
There are many reasons why good employees leave but they tend to start from a few areas and while there isn’t one magic step to take, there are some clear indicators around what creates employee satisfaction. Keeping your best employees engaged is not always the solution many businesses think it is. You need to win trust. A survey conducted by CEB Global showed that an astonishing third of the best employees in a company are already in search of another job. The reason? They feel disengaged.
This disengagement doesn’t happen overnight, it is a slow creeping process and when it starts employees may just be thinking about their career options. This is good news, as you still have a chance to win them back.
Why Good Employees Leave – Most Cited Reasons
The only way employers, managers, and companies can retain their top talent is by understanding their needs. This means accepting that as a business, this begins with the business culture. Below are some of the biggest issues that top talent has indicated causes disengagement. If you want to take real steps to understand why good employees leave and start preventing this trend, then take a look and see where you can remove unnecessary barriers that cause staff disengagement, in order to stop the creeping rot and retain those vital top performers.
- Too many needless rules:
While rules help maintain order in the workplace, imposing too many of them can drive good employees crazy. You hire smart people typically to do the work needed. Sometimes processes result in analysis paralysis. Coming up with new regulations can be exhausting and rules for rules sake are usually short sighted. This can be anything from overly complex or non-accommodating holiday allocation, overzealous time keeping to excessive micro management. Good employees will always resolve to find a more accommodating employer.
- Not being compassionate:
Aside from having a professional relationship with your employees, you (the employer) need to balance professionalism with being supportive. Most employers may come across as only caring about output and rarely show concern and sometimes awareness if one is bereaved, sick, or going through a hard time. Emotional intelligence is vitally important, especially if someone is hurting. Yes, it affects their work but sometimes having a shoulder to lean on can help. These soft skills should never be taken as a given. Monitoring staff performance and output are critical management skills, but it is the communication skills that create exceptional managers and leaders. This awareness and supportive approach will drive staff loyalty.
- Lack of purpose:
Although employees may be obligated to complete assignments and other tasks, taking some time to paint out the bigger picture from such assignments can go a long way in motivating self-driven and star employees. It’s a natural human trait to want to be part of something bigger and influence things. Since top performers usually shoulder heavier work loads, showing them why they need to handle certain tasks expertly can improve your relationship with them. Most top performers care about their work genuinely, thus feel more appreciated and inclined to generate even more effort when they have a purpose.
- Treating everyone equally:
Although this tactic may work with children, it definitely shouldn’t be adopted in the workplace. Treating both top and non-performers the same means everyone is equal regardless of their performance. This is bound to frustrate that top performer and sends out the wrong message to the ones who are probably the real rocks in your business. Top talent tends to work harder when they are more motivated and therefore it’s common sense to keep that motivation high.
- Poor performance:
Allowing poor performance links back to point three. If you allow some staff to perform below standard, you are accepting mediocrity. Why would a star performer remain? They are usually driven and they’ll likely find another career path where they can perform better.
- Failure to recognize accomplishments:
While it may seem like nothing, a simple pat on the back can go a long way in keeping your top performers motivated. However, many employers take success for granted and don’t take the time to recognize or reward top performing individuals. Acknowledging and rewarding hard work not only motivates all employees but also makes them feel appreciated. For top talent this is often a driver for them and taking the time shows real emotional intelligence.
- Allowing Employee Growth:
Many employers do not allow their employees to grow from their positions. One thing you need to know as an employer is that many of the talented employees are passionate about what they do, and will do anything to grow professionally. Giving your employees the freedom to pursue their desires, even those not related to work, can win their trust and improve productivity as well. You’ll be surprised how much some of these employees can do aside from their regular assignments (and how much they enjoy it!)
Of course providing professional training with CPD points is also another driver. Being able to learn more both hard and soft skills is marked as a primary satisfaction point for staff. You can take a look at our inforgraphic here to find out more about this interesting area.
- Team building:
You probably have heard of the saying, more work with no play makes Jack a dull boy, well that is the same for Jill! The same applies to your employees. If you do not allow them to engage in other activities aside from work, such as participating in outdoor fun activities, team building, or even company parties, then chances are they will be feel disengaged that much faster.
Making the workplace fun helps employees loosen up a little and can be the difference between retaining and losing your best talent. It is not about wasting time but making that time count in direct and indirect ways.
If you can avoid most of the issues outlined above, you’ll probably have more talent at your disposal than employers that don’t. One thing you should know for sure is that people never leave their jobs, they just change employers.
What steps can you take now to turn disengaged staff into engaged employees? Take a look at some of the latest working voices e-learning as that can be a quick and easy way to motivate even the most disengaged performer, as they can learn at their own pace and in their own way.