9 reasons why good employees quit

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This article was originally written by Dr. Travis Bradberry posted on LinkedIn.

It’s incredible how often business leaders complain that their best employees are leaving the company. And the lawsuits are justified – there is hardly anything as expensive and disruptive as dismissing a good employee.

Business leaders tend to hold everyone and everything accountable for this condition without getting to the heart of the matter: people don’t leave their jobs; they leave the manager.

The sad thing is that this problem can be easily circumvented. The executives just need a new attitude and try harder.

First, it’s important to understand the nine things business leaders do that cause good workers to quit:

1. They overload their employees

That is probably what causes the greatest strain on good employees. It’s so tempting to make the best people work harder that business leaders fall into that trap all too often. Overloading good employees is confusing because it makes them feel like they are being punished for doing a good job. Such an overload is counterproductive.

Research from Stanford University shows that hourly productivity drops sharply when working hours exceed 50 hours per week. After 55 hours, it even sinks so much that further work is of no use at all.

If you need to increase an employee’s working hours, then you should promote them too. Talented workers will put up with more work, but they won’t stay with the company if they are stifled in work. Salary increases, promotions, and changes in job title are all acceptable ways to increase the workload.

If you just increase the work because people are talented without changing anything, they will yearn for a job they deserve.

2. You don’t appreciate a job well enough

Especially with the best employees, the power of a simple pat on the back is often underestimated. Everyone likes compliments, but none as much as those who work hard and do their best.

Business leaders need to communicate with their employees to find out what makes them happy (for some it’s a raise, for others it’s public recognition) and then reward them for a job well done. With the best employees, if you get it right, this should happen often.

3. They don’t care about their employees

More than half of people quit their jobs because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make sure that their managers know exactly how to balance professionalism and humanity.

These are the bosses who celebrate the success of their employees, take care of those who are going through a difficult period and who challenge people. CEOs who fail to really care about their employees will always have high churn rates. It is impossible to work eight hours or more for someone who cares about nothing but the output of the labor.

4. They don’t keep their promises

With promises you can either make your employees very happy or get them fired. When you do your duty, you have more value in the eyes of the employees because you show that you are trustworthy. But if you don’t keep your promises, you will appear callous and disrespectful.

And why should employees keep their commitments if their boss doesn’t too?

5. You’re hiring the wrong people

Hard-working employees want to work with like-minded professionals. If managers don’t make the effort to hire good people, it can be very demotivating for the rest of the staff.

Promoting the wrong people is worse. It is an immense insult if you work hard but get promoted who doesn’t deserve it. So it’s no wonder that good employees quit.

6. They prevent employees from indulging in their passions

Talented employees are passionate. Allowing them to pursue their preferences improves their productivity and makes them more comfortable in the workplace. But most business leaders want their employees to focus only on their work. They fear that if they allow employees to broaden their horizons, productivity will decrease.

However, this fear is unfounded. Studies show that pursuing a passion at work can increase workers’ productivity five times.

7. They do not promote the skills of their employees

When managers are asked about their carelessness towards employees, they try to talk their way out. However, good managers run the company, no matter how talented the employees are. They constantly watch out and give constructive feedback to employees.

If you have a talented employee, it is up to you to find out what skills you can improve on him or her. The best employees want feedback – more than the less talented – and it’s your job to do that. If you don’t, your best employees will quickly get bored and complacent.

8. They do not encourage employee creativity

The most talented employees want to improve everything. If you deprive them of the opportunity to change or improve things, it will quickly make them hate their job. This restricts not only the employees but you as well.

9. You do not challenge people intellectually

Good managers encourage their employees to accomplish things that seem inconceivable at first glance. Instead of setting goals in stages, they push their employees out of their comfort zone.

Then good business leaders do everything in their power to help them succeed. When intelligent and talented employees just do simple tasks, they get bored easily and look for other jobs that are intellectually challenging.

If you want your best employees to stay, you have to think carefully about how you treat them. Good employees are tough, but their talent gives them numerous opportunities. You have to get them to work for you want.

This article was published by in May 2017. It has now been reviewed and updated.


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