Why Your Best Employees Leave

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Small business owners often struggle to retain their most competent workers. Why do good employees leave? It is true that some employees quit for better-paying jobs or to join a company that offers them the opportunity to utilize their specialized skills. But there are many who leave simply because they are not happy in their current job.

How can an organization retain its most productive workers? While there is no standard formula to enhance employee satisfaction, there are several steps that business owners can take to reduce staff turnover.

Do your employees feel that the job they are doing is important?

In Six Reasons Your Best Employees Quit You, author and entrepreneur Louis Efron points out that Gallup’s research has shown that workers need to relate to the “big picture”. It is essential that they understand how their work contributes to the achievement of the organization’s goals.

If a company’s employees make this connection, it is likely that there will be an improvement in employee retention, customer metrics, and profitability.

Do they have room to grow?

Most high-performers are ambitious. They want to acquire new skills and advance their careers. But if the job requires them to do the same set of tasks for an extended period of time, they are likely to leave.
In an article in Entrepreneur, Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, explains that business owners often appoint family members or friends in key positions in the organization. While this may often be justified, there are instances where it could serve to demoralize other staff members.

Are you overworking your star performers?

Senior managers and business owners have the responsibility of ensuring that the task at hand is successfully accomplished. Consequently, they delegate work to their best people.

But this could result in some employees being overloaded. Even the most sincere and conscientious staff member will become resentful about having to work extra hours on a regular basis.

One way out of this problem is to provide high-performers with an adequate level of recognition. This could take the form of a raise or even an out of turn promotion.

Retaining good employees is crucial for the success of the organization

The extra time and money that you spend to retain your best employees are well worth the effort. If you ignore this vital task and your company has a high staff turnover, a great deal of management bandwidth will go into finding suitable replacements.

Even after coming on board, the new employee will require several weeks to understand the job and start making a real contribution to the company’s business. Hence it is in your organization’s interest to minimize employee turnover.

But remember that regardless of what you do, some of your staff will leave anyway. A survey by CareerBuilder carried out last year found that over 20% of employees were actively looking for a job change. About a third of workers between the age of 18 and 34 were looking for new employment opportunities.

While you cannot reduce employee turnover to zero, it is definitely possible to create a work environment that will encourage your most productive workers to stay with you.

Ravinder Kapur is a business operations writer at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. He is a commerce graduate and a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He has been affiliated with various interests in the financial services industry for more than 30 years. His finance expertise includes the commercial vehicle, automotive, and construction equipment sectors, as well as corporate finance. His experience in these disciplines has included business development, credit analysis, risk management and financial recovery. In addition, he worked extensively in corporate finance recoveries and was involved in several large value arbitration cases.

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