Losing a great employee is a terrible thing.
Form a Bosses perspective there’s the time and expense of finding, engaging, and training the replacement. There’s the uncertainty of how the new employee will work out. There’s the hardship on yourself and the rest of your team until the position can be filled. There’s the teams uncertainty if the new hire will succeed and work within the team.
Sometimes there’s a solid reason for resignation, such as the person was a bad fit for the team, or they moved away for personal reasons, or were offered an opportunity too great to pass up. In those cases, even if it’s a difficult transition, it feels OK, and your team will appreciate the move.
But what about the rest?
Keeping your best employees starts with understanding why your people leave. Here are the top reasons suggested by US business magazine INC:
People don’t want to think they’re locked into a rut and will come to the same place and do the same thing every day for the next 20 or 30 years. Team members want to feel that they’re still progressing and growing in their work life and they have a career ahead of them. They want to have something to aspire to. If there’s no career ladder or structure for advancement, they know they’ll need to seek it somewhere else.
2. Systematic Overwork
Some periods of stress and feeling overwhelmed accompany most jobs, but nothing burns out great employees faster than continual overwork. Often it’s the best employees, the most capable and committed, you inadvertently overload the most. If they find themselves constantly taking on more and more, especially in the absence of recognition such as bonuses, rewards, promotions and raises, they come to feel they’re being taken advantage of.
3. Vague visions
There’s nothing more frustrating than a workplace filled with visions and big dreams, but no ability to translate those aspirations into the actions that make them achievable. Its just talk. What talented person wants to spend their time and energy in support of waffle?
4. Profits not people
When a business values its bottom line more than it does its people, the best people go elsewhere. What’s left are those too mediocre or apathetic to find a better career option. Profit not people creates a culture of underperformance, low morale, and even disciplinary issues. That’s not to say things like profit, output, pleasing stakeholders, and productivity are important–but success ultimately depends on the people who do the work, and your role is to value them more than the results they produce.
5. Lack of recognition
Even the most selfless people want to be recognized and rewarded for a job well done. When you fail to recognise successful team members, not only are you failing to motivate them but you’re missing out on the most effective way to reinforce great performance. Even if you don’t have the budget for raises or bonuses, there are other ways to provide recognition. People won’t care about your business if they don’t feel noticed.
6. Excessive hierarchy
Every workplace needs structure and leadership, but a rigidly top-down organization makes your best team members unhappy. If they’re expected to produce without contributing their ideas, without being empowered to make decisions, if they’re constantly having to defer to others on the basis of their title rather than their expertise, they don’t have much to be happy about.
Ultimately, many people who leave their job do so because of the boss, not the work or the organization. Ask yourself what you may be doing to drive your best people away, and start making the changes needed to keep them.