Losing your best employees can be frustrating. They are ones that keep your business running smoothly and are quite often the key to your business’s growth and success. Such employees can also be very difficult to replace. In some cases, you may never find a suitable replacement.
The more good employees you lose, the greater the damage to your business. So just how do you stop good employees leaving? First, you need to accept that you are doing something wrong. If everything was perfect, your best employees wouldn’t quit.
There are a few different mistakes that can stop good employees from sticking around. Below are a few examples of things you may need to address.
Too much criticism, not enough praise
Criticism is important in order to address any mistakes that your employees are making – and even your best employees will make mistakes. However, you should make sure that you are also praising your employees for the things that they are doing right.
Your best employees will already know that they are good at their job. However, they want you to acknowledge this in order to feel valued. If you’re always nitpicking and never offering compliments or showing gratitude, they may decide to seek approval elsewhere.
It’s human nature to focus on problems rather than things that are going well. Try to make a conscious effort every day to identify things that your employees are doing right and praise them for it. It’s particularly important to praise employees when they go the extra mile to achieve something. Praising employees in front of customers is one of the best ways to make employees feel appreciated.
Extra work and no reward
When an employee is good at their job, it can seem logical to give them all the toughest jobs. If employees are able to work fast, it could also be tempting to keep giving them new tasks. As a result, your best employees often end up with more work than everyone else.
Because they are doing more work, it is natural for your best employees to feel that they should be given extra rewards.This could include extra pay or exclusive work benefits such as a company car or more annual leave. If your best employees are getting the exact same pay and benefits as their colleagues, they may grow resentful – and ultimately leave.
Make sure that you’re rewarding your employees for their extra efforts, and make sure these rewards are worthwhile. For example, you may want to avoid meaningless titles like ‘employee of the month’ unless they’re also accompanied by a monetary bonus.
No sense of progression
While some employees are content doing the same duties every day, other employees may want to be given more responsibilities and freedom. If there is no opportunity for career advancement, you may find that your best employees quit in order to find this progression elsewhere.
If you own a small company and do not have any extra management positions, consider creating a new position or simply find a way to help your employees build their skillset. If employees are already managers, you may be able to help them develop new skills by paying for courses or investing in some executive coaching. The key is to keep creating goals that employees can work towards so that they feel they can keep making progress.
Lack of company vision
On top of helping your best employees develop personal career goals, you should constantly set new company goals. Your best employees are likely to want to help the growth of your company, so you should make sure that there is a clear vision that they can work towards.
If your company has become stagnant and there have been no changes in a while, consider planning new changes. Try to think of ways of improving your business such as making it more profitable, more environmentally-friendly, more inclusive, more high-tech or more reputable – and share this vision with your best employees.
Nobody likes to be promised something only to not receive it. Make sure that you are not making promises to your employees that you cannot keep.
These promises begin in your job ad. Be careful of what benefits you promise to applicants. You may find that you lose good employees soon after hiring them if you do not follow through with providing benefits that were listed in the job advert. You should similarly make sure that the duties match the job description.
You should also be careful what you promise to your longest serving reliable employees. These employees may feel that they deserve certain privileges for their loyalty. If you do promise certain privileges, make sure that you follow through by providing these privileges.
Bad employees can scare off good employees. As the employer, you need to identify when there is a bad egg and you need to know when to get rid of them. A bad employee could be a workplace bully or they could be someone who shirks their duties by being absent or lazy. A bad employee could even be someone who is always complaining and making everyone else miserable.
Can a good employee be the cause of conflict? While some employees may be good at their duties, you cannot view them as a ‘good’ employee if they are constantly causing conflict within the team. They may be completing their work to a high standard, but they could be negatively affecting the productivity of other employees. And if they are causing other employees to leave by bullying them or making them uncomfortable, you could argue that they are doing more harm than good to your company.
You may not always have grounds to fire a bad employee. In these cases, you should host private meetings to address problems with staff members and give out warnings if necessary.
Your best employees may also quit your business if it is disorganized. Lack of organization can slow down work and lead to mistakes. All in all, it can cause a lot of stress.
To avoid this stress, your best employees may migrate to another company. They may quickly realize that there is a more organized way of doing things, and will look for companies using these methods. You can prevent your best employees from jumping ship by addressing your company’s disorganized nature and taking steps to make things tidier and more efficient.
There are many elements that can make a business feel disorganized. A few examples include general workplace clutter, poorly planned rotas, lack of clear roles, confusion over goals and deadlines, and constantly changing workplace rules.
Failure to listen to ideas
Good employees are more likely to stick with a company if they feel heavily involved in company decisions. It is much easier to care about a company if you have had direct involvement in shaping its future. This is why it’s important to encourage feedback from your employees and regularly discuss ideas about how to improve your business.
You do not have to accept every idea that your employees throw at you. However, you should make them feel that they have a voice by not immediately shutting them down. If you don’t have time to discuss an idea, consider planning a meeting at a later date where you can discuss it.
Failure to ask what employees want
You may be able to keep good employees loyal simply by asking them directly which changes they would like to see occur. You may never know if an employee wants better equipment or wants better pay unless you ask, as not all employees will open up about their concerns.
To make sure that good employees feel open talking to you, be prepared to get on their level. Taking an active interest in the personal lives of your employees, helping them with basic duties and owning up to your mistakes can all help employees to view you as an equal.