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Why Your Best Players Quit the Game
March 1, 2020
Why Your Best Players Quit the Game

Turnover is a natural and, for the most part, a regular part of a healthy business.  However, when strong team members leave an organization, they leave a void of knowledge, skills, history and relationships which can impact the rest of the organization.  

A team member you can count on who also understands your market, customers, business and processes is a beautiful asset to your business. They add direct value to your bottom line. The costs to replace them can be unquantifiable and difficult to measure. 

How do we make sure these individuals keep playing on our team?

Reasons Your Employees Quit:

  • Lack of Recognition -  Whether they vocalize it or not, even our top talent appreciate recognition for their excellent efforts.  Don’t assume that they know how valued their work is just because they appreciate their paycheque at the end of the week.
  • Over-Management: If you hired this person because of their excellent track record and they are hitting all your targets, don’t interfere with the success by over-managing them.  What does over management look like? 
    • You avoid delegation.
    • You require to consult on all their decision-making.
    • Conversations usually flow one way – down.
    • You require cc:’s on most emails.
    • You always feel as if you would’ve completed a task in a different way.
    • Give your team members the space they need to be creative, independent problem-solvers.
  • Limited Development and Growth:  Superstars usually fast track through their careers because they work hard and are very dedicated to responsibilities.  If they are not given new challenges and opportunities for personal growth, they will quickly realize this and go elsewhere.
  • Poor Compensation:  This is usually not the top reason why an employee quits, despite the fact it is usually our go-to excuse. Ideally, your valued team members are rewarded fairly for the extra effort and success that they have achieved in your business. Have you done some recent compensation research to be confident in salary bands? If they are not, consider what the costs of replacing them might be. It may be time to invest.

Strategies to Keep Your Best Employees:

  1. Recognition - Recognize their output.  You don’t need an extravagant process but be sure that they know you see and value how hard they work.  Don’t assume they feel valued. Talk to them about how they feel appreciated. If you keep giving them gifts to show appreciation, but a hand-written note would mean more to them, make sure you know that. You can find more great questions on how to discover what motivates your team here.

  2. Provide Autonomy – This means stop micro-managing!  They are your top performers because of their individual skills.  When you have a seasoned professional its time to let them show what they are capable of without interfering.  Let go of controlling the “how” and provide them with just “what” of the project. Build the relationship of “trust then verify”, not “verify to build trust.”

  3. Challenge & Development – In a small organization, there may not always be a way to “promote” to a higher role in the near future. Understand their need for growth opportunities outside of a “promotion” and give them additional tasks and projects to keep them engaged. Have open discussions with them about their future and where they would like to be in a few years. Invest in their training – whether mentoring in house or enrolling in courses. Do not stifle their curiosity for learning.

  4. Provide Meaning - Ensure that they see how their performance objectives align with the overall business and the impact they have on the strategic plan.  Follow the tips here to make this process clear. 

  5. Know Their Value – Be confident in your compensation position. If increased wages doesn’t align with your salary bands or is not in your budget, then try other types of monetary reward systems such as:

  • one-time bonus,
  • small gift card,
  • day off with pay,
  • order lunch for them one day,
  • any other thing that will make them see that you are grateful for their contribution.

In today’s highly competitive recruitment world, it is more important than ever to keep your valued team members for as long as possible.  If you need a seasoned professional to help guide you through this process contact us.  Don’t risk losing your best employees.

It’s never an easy conversation, but would you want the inside scoop about why your employees are leaving? Download our Employee Exit Interview template.


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