5 Reasons Why Good Employees Leave & How to Retain Them

Losing talented workers is not good for business, and high turnover rates among star employees is a growing concern for companies across the country, both big and small. In fact, recent data found that replacing a star employee costs about 200% of that worker’s annual salary.

The modern workplace is changing, especially with an increased portion of workers now telecommuting for the foreseeable future as a result of COVID-19. People are looking for flexible and rewarding work that offers them competitive pay and benefits, advancement opportunities, and a company culture they can believe in.

What does that look like in today’s climate? Discover the common reasons good employees leave and what you can do to keep them.

1. Low Job Satisfaction

Sometimes, the simplest answer is the right one. A primary reason that good employees leave their jobs to look for other opportunities is that they feel unfulfilled with their current work situation.

According to a recent study focused on why Facebook employees quit their jobs, workers didn’t leave due to issues with their managers; they left due to issues with their work. Simply put, the evidence suggests that employees move on when their jobs aren’t enjoyable and when they don’t feel useful and appreciated in their roles. 

With more people working from home these days and for the foreseeable future, keeping employees engaged is more important than ever. If your goal is to maintain your best workers, be purposeful when it comes to designing roles and assigning daily tasks

Check in with your star employees, even if that means scheduling individual one-on-one Zoom meetings once a month to discuss their concerns and ideas. Make sure they have enough work, that what they’re working on is challenging and engaging, and that they have the support they need to fulfill their responsibilities.

RELATED: How to Motivate Underperforming Employees

2. Productivity Concerns

The role of managers is to understand and organize people and their skills, time, and effort effectively and efficiently. Successful management leads to good morale among employees, high productivity, and profitable outcomes. Unsuccessful management leads to low morale and low productivity. 

Recent studies have confirmed that a sense of purpose and fulfillment is even more important than happiness to human health. Employees who do not feel a collective sense of purpose and productivity are unlikely to remain motivated and work hard, especially if they’re newly working from home and dealing with lots of outside distractions.

adult man with beard working from home concentrating

Increasing productivity can make a huge difference when it comes to employee retention, but how do managers keep employees motivated when they’re not interacting in person on a daily basis? Here are a few proven ways to boost productivity among both remote and in-office workers and avoid wasting your employees’ time, energy, and patience:

3. Company Culture

Although “company culture” has become a popular buzzword in business strategy, it still isn’t well understood. Corporate culture refers specifically to the behaviors and values that impact how a company’s managers and employees negotiate social and business transactions. It’s the how behind the who, where, and what.

A toxic workplace culture is one of the primary reasons an employee will quit. If you neglect to imbue your workplace with values that inspire motivation, collaboration, and trust, you’re unlikely to be able to retain employees who embody these traits. 

women in black blazer sitting in black chair working from home office

So how do you foster a positive culture in your organization? What can you do to maintain your culture during COVID-19? 

Workplace culture often develops naturally over time rather than being explicitly defined and enforced from the top down, but that doesn’t mean you can’t guide it along the way. Especially while employees work separately from one another, it’s important to be purposeful and proactive about building a cohesive set of standards and values.

A big part of developing a culture of success and teamwork is communicating well and listening to feedback from employees. Consider committing a dedicated portion of larger meetings to the bigger picture. Schedule time to have open and honest discussions with your employees about things like:

  • Work hours and overtime
  • Corporate structure
  • Hiring decisions
  • Treatment of clients and/or customers
  • Office setup

RELATED: How to Create the Perfect Workplace Culture

4. Lack of Advancement Opportunities

Believe it or not, lack of opportunities for career advancement is one of the most commonly referenced reasons that workers begin to look for new jobs outside of their current place of employment. In fact, according to the Society of Human Resource Management, almost 30% of workers cite a lack of promotion potential as their reason for seeking another job.

Making sure your employees have internal advancement opportunities is among the best ways to improve your employee turnover rate and retention. Give your star employees more than just a job — give them a career with a trajectory for success.

Provide your employees with opportunities to undertake additional training and skill development, engage with new people, and accept new and expanding responsibilities. Let them know that with hard work and consistent contributions, they will be promoted and given additional responsibilities. This signals to them that you appreciate their hard work and are invested in their future.

5. Salary and Benefits

Keeping your employees happy, fulfilled, productive, and excited for the future is worth the effort, but these things only go so far without competitive pay and benefits. While other factors are important, recent research confirmed that lack of adequate pay was still the top reason employees quit their jobs.

In fact, in one study, nearly 70% of workers cited low salary as a reason they have or would leave a job, with 40% also referencing lack of benefits. Especially with the uncertainty that exists in the world and the workplace today due to COVID-19 and its economic outcomes, employees are looking for security and reliable compensation.

star employee working from home sitting at desk with calculator

The take home message? It may not be everything, but money matters. Retaining your top employees means prioritizing their salaries and benefits. Offering raises, bonuses, and comprehensive benefits to employees signals to them that you appreciate the work they do and you care about their long-term wellbeing, happiness, and health.

RELATED: 5 Tips for Improving Employee Turnover Rate and Retention

Make employee retention part of your business strategy.

At Rush Recruiting & HR, we’re experts at helping businesses improve employee retention and maintain their best and brightest workers. We’re responding to the changing economic and workplace conditions caused by COVID-19 by anticipating and addressing the evolving needs of business and workforces. We’re here to help every aspect of your business thrive by identifying areas in need of comprehensive solutions and integrating proven strategies.

Ready to get started? Call us today at (503) 481-1285.

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