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Why Your Rockstar Employees Are Leaving

And how to make them stay


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As a business owner, you know how important it is to spend a good amount of time and energy finding and hiring the right employees. You put in overtime pouring over resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and you know exactly what you’re looking for come interview time.

That’s what makes it all the more frustrating when those great employees — the ones you worked so hard to find and, later, to train — end up quitting.

You may be surprised to hear that even employees who are happy in their current position are open to leaving for better offers. But it’s true that company loyalty just isn’t what it used to be. Millennials are getting used to looking for promotions externally, as there are fewer opportunities to climb the ladder within their current companies.

And while there are many good reasons for employees to quit, it can end up hurting business owners. So how do you get your best employees to stick around?

Here are the Top 5 reasons your employees are leaving — and what you can do to change that.

Reason #1 They’re Leaving: They don’t feel they’re being nurtured in their current position.

Contrary to what you might think, employees often crave feedback in the workplace. In fact, according to HubSpot, companies that offer regular feedback for employees experience almost 15 percent less turnover than companies that don’t.

Of course, you may be used to offering feedback every six months or so during employee performance reviews. But is that enough? If you want to keep your employees engaged in their work, it may not be.

How to Make Them Stay: OFFER FREQUENT CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK

Offering regular feedback to employees can be extremely good for business, as it helps them stay on track for short-term goals and long-term improvements.

But, of course, you don’t want to cross a line, or come across as too nit-picky. If your feedback is in regards to one specific occurrence, for example, be sure to offer it as timely as possible, and remember to ask your employees for feedback as well. They’ll appreciate that you see workplace improvement as a two-way street.

Reason #2 They’re Leaving: They don’t see any opportunities for growth.

Nearly 85 percent of American workers are either open to speaking with recruiters or actively searching for new jobs. As a business owner, that’s a statistic that shouldn’t sit comfortably with you.

The main reason? They want to advance their careers, but they don’t know how to within their current companies.

If you want to retain your best employees, you have to accept that you’re not just doing them a favor by giving them a job. They are there to earn a living, and like you, they want that living to grow and expand over time.

How to Make Them Stay: PUT HR TO WORK

If you have an opening for a new position, consider looking internally first — you may have already hired the best person for the job.

And, even if your company offers a career advancement or personal development program, there’s a solid chance not all your employees know about it. Have your HR team start actively reaching out, so all employees know of their potential advancement opportunities.

If you don’t have an internal HR team, start showing your employees that you want to be involved in advancing their career. Ask them their long-term goals, and work with them to reach them.

Reason #3 They’re Leaving: They feel overworked and burnt out.

Especially in a work culture that values busyness and constantly preaches the hustle, it’s easy to get wrapped up in our work lives and ignore everything else that’s important. Not only is this bad for our personal wellbeing — it’s bad for companies, too.

In fact, the best employees are often the ones that take their full allotted vacation days each year. And some employers, like Best Buy’s corporate offices, are finding that results-based work environments are the best for productivity.

It’s pretty simple: if your employees are feeling burnt out and overworked, they are less likely to perform well. But in some cases, offering greater flexibility allows them to do their best work —and on their own terms.

How to Make Them Stay: OFFER MORE FLEXIBILITY

Depending on your industry, it may or may not make sense to offer flexible hours to your workers. But consider offering increased flexibility where you can. That can be as simple as respecting your employees’ need for work-life balance, and keeping after-hours phone calls and emails to an absolute minimum.

Reason #4 They’re Leaving: They realized they’re being paid below market rate.

We get it: you can only afford to pay your employees so much.

But with more and more resources at their disposal (like comparing salaries on Glassdoor), your employees will soon be able to guess when they’re being paid below their market rate—and they’re likely going to do something about it.

How to Make Them Stay: LEARN WHEN IT PAYS TO PAY EMPLOYEES MORE – BE PROACTIVE  

Paying employees a higher salary may seem like an expense you can’t afford — but what about the cost of finding a replacement? As you may have guessed, it’s not a huge expense to replace entry-level employees, but between recruiting, hiring and training, turnover in a high-ranking position can cost almost 400 percent of that employee’s annual salary.

If you’ve found a rockstar employee (or two) that you can’t afford to lose, do what it takes to (ethically) keep them around. Otherwise, it may end up costing you more in the long run.

Reason #5 They’re Leaving: They don’t vibe with the company culture.

If you still haven’t heard, company culture is more important than ever before. Employees want to feel appreciated and engaged—but a lot of companies simply aren’t doing enough.

How to Make Them Stay: OFFER TRANSPARENT COMMUNICATION, TEAM BUILDING AND CELEBRATIONS

You can’t change your corporate culture overnight, but you can take small, daily steps towards creating a company culture that’s optimized for everyone.

Don’t know where to start? Consider sending around a survey to see where your employees think there is room for improvement. You may be surprised at their answers, but every little bit of feedback helps!

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Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood is the VP of Content and editor-in-chief at Fundera, an online marketplace for small business loans. Prior to Fundera, Wood was the CCO at Funding Gates.

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