Why Good Employees Leave

More often than not, it’s not the money.

As a business owner, you need to retain your best employees. Life is full of change, and entrepreneurs do need to be able to adjust. However, it’s worth trying to forestall some unwanted changes before they begin, which means examining why good employees leave just when you were ready to help them springboard to something great.

Don’t Follow the Money

Study after study shows that employees absolutely leave for reasons other than money. Ultimately, people do privilege comfort and feeling self-realized over actual compensation. The good news, then, is that you don’t have to feel pressured to buy your way out of a retention problem. The bad news is it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Advancement Opportunities

One of the biggest reasons employees leave is the fear of being in a dead end. Before long, employees will take a look at the ceiling they feel they face. They’ll evaluate the highest salary they might earn, the highest position available, and similar factors. However, it goes beyond that. You’re not going to give your job away, and there may truly be limited opportunities for advancement. But in that case there’s also a fear on the part of many good employees that they aren’t challenging themselves, they aren’t growing, and they aren’t building skills to make them more marketable.

Suggestion Box

What the departure of a lot of great employees boils down to is often a feeling that problems won’t be fixed. Many people are resilient and can handle spats and ups and downs. But it helps if they feel that bygones will be bygones and that everyone will learn from various problems and move on. If they feel they can give input about their struggles and see some success.

Not Enough Mentoring

A talented and dynamic employee might get the intuition that she or he could do a lot better with more mentoring. Hearing stories of mentoring and coaching from friends that surpass what he is getting in your company may lead to chronic discontent. What could make matters worse is if mistakes or inadequacies that you acknowledge in some way could’ve been prevented by more guidance on your part.

Taken For Granted

Things could be going great at your company. The money could be flowing in and a particular good employee’s performance could be just fine.

She’s a good fit and leaves little to be desired. But if you don’t show appreciation and you give an impression that she’s a sort of autopilot function, you could soon be looking for her replacement. People look for change. They avoid ruts.
As much as possible, try to make your employees feel that they are headed toward something interesting and stimulating in their work with you, and that the work they’re currently doing is important enough to warrant your praise.

In a certain sense, good employees leave, if not because of the manager/owner per se, at least due to things the owner could avoid or enhance. The fact is, attrition will be inevitable, and in some cases, all you can do is wish the talented, departing employee the best.

However, with the goal being to keep good employees around, these tips just may pay dividends.