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5 Reasons Your Best Employees Quit

Potential rewards need to reflect employees' values.

Talented employees are crucial to any growing company. If you offer competitive benefits and salary packages, you may not think you have anything to worry about it when it comes to employee retention. Then you find yourself shocked when one of your best employees resigns. Keeping top performers frequently isn’t about salary or benefits. In many cases, there may be some warning signs. If you aren’t sure why top talent is pursuing new opportunities – especially if several people leave within a short space of time – check out this list:

1. Not Enough Management Training or Employee Development
While top performers often make great managers, it doesn’t mean they automatically know how to run a team. Companies can’t assume their top talent knows how to manage others without some initial guidance. They may need training to learn how to effectively coach. Because employees’ relationships with their direct supervisors is a major determining factor in how they feel about their jobs, you can’t gamble with this critical concern. Plus, unprepared managers may feel undue stress, causing them to seek other opportunities. Don’t jeopardize your employee retention rate by not providing sufficient training at every level.

“Unprepared managers may feel undue stress, causing them to seek other opportunities.”

2. No Future
Although some employers are quick to brand millennials as lazy and entitled, young adults today have more education than any other generation, and they want opportunities to advance their careers. In general, millennials may not be as loyal to a single employer as other generations, but they will stick around if they have the potential to grow in a role. Many companies do not effectively lay out a career roadmap, which can leave employees feeling unsure about how they can move either vertically or horizontally within the organizations, according to Forbes.

3. Lack of Transparency
Employees like to know about events that have the potential to affect them. Managers that keep everything a secret will not build trust among their teams. Sharing goals with employees helps everyone work toward the same purpose, which can improve the bottom line. It also builds camaraderie and makes each teammate feel important. If employees don’t feel connected to the bigger picture, they won’t have much incentive to stick around. Open communication can make a huge difference.

4. Not Enough or the Right Motivation
It’s a mistake to think employees are only motivated by money. While bonuses and raises never hurt when they’re possible, your team may want something else. It could be as simple as recognition for a job well done or a chance for mentorship. Acknowledging great work is important and often overlooked by many managers. Some companies help pay for an employee’s Master’s program that’s relevant to his or her role. This form of employee development can drive loyalty. When the main motivator is money, employees can likely find a comparable offer at another organization.

What Can Employers Do to Prevent Top Performers From Leaving?5. No Consideration for Engagement
Employee engagement is a term that gets tossed around in human resources regularly, but many companies don’t have a firm grasp on what it really means to have an engaged workforce. Engagement isn’t just good for morale, it also drives bottom-line results. Companies with highly engaged employees are 78 percent more productive and 40 percent more profitable, according to Achievers. While engagement surveys may seem outdated, they can be a valuable source of insight into your workforce. If there are any issues with engagement, surveys can help companies come up with a strategy to improve them.

After top performers make up their minds to leave, there’s usually very little a manager can do to stop them. If you’ve noticed any of these issues, you may be able to make some changes before your best employees jump ship. In many cases, employee retention comes down to culture. Establishing the right internal mood can be especially challenging for startups because founders often have a very specific idea for how they want their culture to look, but it can be difficult to translate the idea into reality. In addition, your culture needs to match your industry, Entrepreneur suggested. Flexible, no-rules startup culture may not work for every business. Founders have to decide what they value and put it into practice, such as an open and honest feedback loop.

One of the best things managers can do to increase their chances of improving retention rates is to change their recruitment practices. If you hire the right people the first time, you’re less likely to run into problems down the road. Hiring managers need to consider which attributes would make a new recruit most likely to succeed in the role, and it may be a certain personality type rather than just a skill set. Getting hiring right in the first place helps cut down on the number of employees who hand in their notices.

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