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Why Do Good Employees Leave?

Why they’re saying “it’s time to go”:

With national unemployment rates at their lowest (4.1% last Dec. 2017), it’s getting difficult for companies to retain their top talent and it’s safe to say that the cost of searching, hiring and onboarding new employees on a consistent basis is not only tiresome, but damaging – both financially and productively speaking.


So why is it that those you thought were a great fit don’t end up working out? If you manage a team, you may have been in this scenario before… You find an excellent, promising hire, spend valuable time and resources training them, they seem to initially get along and fit in with the team and then one day – *poof* –  they give you their notice (or none at all).


Before you start wondering what’s wrong with them, it’s always helpful to have a quick introspective session and ask, “could we be doing something better?”


Take a look at some reasons why good employees leave…



Does your employee stay an hour or more after their scheduled quitting time? Do they do this frequently? When they do need you at work, are they brushed off and forgotten? It’s important to understand that your employees have lives outside of work, families and commitments. When work extends into that time often and for unnecessary reasons, they’re going to make a choice – and it’s not going to be you. Value their time when they need you and give them your full attention. Odds are, you’ll find opportunities to train them or maybe catch a mistake before they make it.



The need to know if we’re doing well or not is basic human nature. When you give an individual a sense of pride when they work, they’re confident and motivated to do more – and do it better – to seek the next round of praise or reward.  This is not an argument for the “everyone gets a trophy” syndrome.


This is a defense of honoring good work and valuing it. The same goes for a bad job: If something is done incorrectly or inefficiently, tell them in a productive and respectful fashion – don’t belittle them. The embarrassment alone will propel them towards desirable work ethic. If not, there are methods for last resort measures.



Creative employees are those who care greatly about their work, not those looking for loopholes and shortcuts. Honor their creativity by being receptive to it. If your employee has a new method they’d like to try or a suggestion for an inefficiency within the workflow – hear them out and be open-minded. You might enjoy what you hear.



This one is pretty simple. If there’s no room to grow, what’s their motivation to stay? Sure, stability and pay is always nice – but what kind of quality of work comes from those who simply let their days pass by? When your employees have an opportunity to grow, so does your company.



When the negative behavior of a toxic hire is overlooked and ignored by leadership/management teams, those who do make an effort take note. Be wary of every member of your team, check in periodically and take special note of workplace interactions. If a hire gets away with bad behavior, the others won’t see a reason to stay – or worse, it may turn into a norm.




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