At Work

5 Reasons You May Be Losing Talented Employees

Now more than ever, businesses can’t afford to lose their best workers. The cost of turning over the average employee comes out to around $15,000, and that’s not even factoring in the overall quality of the worker lost. 

As companies look for new ways to cut costs and keep everything afloat, keeping your team’s most effective members is nonnegotiable. Still, every business has lost a good worker at some point or another, and figuring out why can go a long way toward preventing it from happening again.

If you’re looking to keep employee attrition to an absolute minimum, be sure to fix any problems your business may have before they even become problems. Businesses at risk of losing their most talented employees might be suffering from:

1. Poor communication

The best workers want to stay in the loop, and companies that keep them out of it do so at their own risk. Poor communication can lead to feelings of isolation, alienation, and resentment among your team — a dangerous cocktail for bosses hoping to keep everyone on board.

Thankfully, there are a few quick fixes to problems of communication. Applications like project management software can help centralize all of your team’s discourse in one place, making it easier for employees to stay on top of what’s going on. Regular check-ins or meetings can also have a big impact, ensuring your top performers always know exactly what’s going on in your business writ large. 

2. Inflexible policies

In times like these, employees need their companies to play ball with them when it comes to work policies. Stay-at-home orders and increased domestic responsibilities can make traditional commutes and working hours unworkable, and businesses need to figure out how to manage that. 

A study done by FlexJobs in 2019 found that 16 percent of workers are currently searching for different positions due to the inflexibility of their current ones — a number likely to be even higher for veteran employees with lots of options. Your best workers are likely your most responsible as well, so allow them to create the schedules and work environments that work best for them. By being flexible with your team, you’re allowing them to develop the policies that allow them to get their best work done. 

3. Onerous workload 

Even the most talented employees can end up with too much on their plate — in fact, they might be the most likely employees to do so. Workers who feel critical to their company’s operations may feel as though they need to take on more work during difficult moments, but this can lead to burnout over time. Managing large workloads is a challenge for all workers, but it can be one that drives your best employees straight out of the office. 

Be sure to regularly check in with your top performers and regularly take stock of what they need to succeed on the job. Great workers can sometimes be hesitant to delegate or ask for help, so be sure to give them the resources and channels they need to make themselves heard.

4. Culture Deficit 

The old adage “People don’t leave jobs; they leave bosses” needs an update for 2020: People don’t leave their business; they leave their business’s culture. Poor office culture makes work more difficult for everyone, and it can be a serious hindrance to job satisfaction. Promoting positive culture doesn’t just mean making your business a better place to work — it means creating a culture of retention.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to lay the groundwork for a positive office culture is by clearly outlining your company’s mission and goals. Employees who feel as though they have something to work toward will be able to see the part they play in those larger goals, making it easier for them to feel like a valuable part of your business. Other culture boosters, like social time or teamwork activities, can also help build a valuable sense of community across your company.

5. Lack of Trust

The workplace is currently undergoing something of a trust crisis — nearly half of all workers say that their lack of trust in leadership is the biggest factor affecting their job performance — and it’s poised to only get worse. With communication for many companies reduced to email and video conferencing, it can be more difficult than ever to have trust flowing in both directions on the job. 

If your company is hemorrhaging trust, start by making it clear to your top the amount of trust you put in them. Cut back on micromanagement, and give your workers the leeway they need. Breathing down the necks of your best workers is a surefire way to drive them from your company, so take a few steps back — the effect can be profound. 

Your best workers are the last ones you’d like to see go, so treat them that way. Give them exactly what they need to succeed, and always make sure there’s nothing more you can do for them. By setting them up for success, you’re doing the same for the rest of your business.