7 Reasons You Are Not Retaining Great Employees

You’re a business owner and one of your best employees comes into your office to submit their 2-week notice. Your thought is “Here we go again” as this isn’t the first time this has happened in very recent history. Immediately you think to yourself “What is going on with employees these days, maybe Millennials and Gen Z types just are not as loyal and hard-working as us Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers.” However, is it possible that the reason they are leaving is because of YOU?  If this is true, here are 7 reasons you may not be retaining your employees.

  • They do not fit the position you hired them for. Are you trying to fit a round peg into a square hole when it comes to employees? Just because their resume says they have worked a similar job in the past doesn’t mean they fit the position. Look at their job history. If they have short stays in similar positions that you want to hire them into, perhaps they have gotten themselves into a rut and need a career change instead of working for you.
  • You have a negative work culture. Is your “Vibe” or your “Work Atmosphere” a place where people enjoy coming to work, or is there a level of toxicity that permeates everything about your business and creates a vortex of negativity? As the leader and business owner, it is your job to define the culture of your organization and enforce that culture. If you don’t, your most negative element of your employee base will determine that culture for you, and they will do their best to drive away employees who are potential super stars.
  • You do not provide them the tools to be successful. Is your equipment and technology up to date, or are you trying to save money by extending the life of old software and hardware, and patching up vehicles and equipment that should have seen the scrapyard years ago? Employees want to work for a business that keeps up with the technology and equipment of the day and will be lured away to a work environment that is modern and effective.
  • You are a poor manager. Be totally honest. How many times have you let employees get away with negative work performance and behaviors? Probably way too many times. You do it because you want to avoid confrontation and keep everybody “Happy.” The fact is that all the other employees see this and figure they can also get away with these behaviors. Your good employees are looking for an effective manager and will gladly work for someone else who can manage well.
  • You are a micro manager who controls everything. It could be that the opposite of #4 is true. You nit-pick and hover over your employees, correcting them for every mistake, and hardly ever allowing them to think on their own. Moreover, when they do succeed, you hardly ever give them an “Atta-Boy” or “Atta-Girl.” Employees want to work for employers who allow for outside-the-box thinking, allow for learning from mistakes, and plenty of positive reinforcement when they do succeed.
  • You provide no real leadership. Great leaders develop the heart and passion of employees and show them where the organization is going and how they can benefit if they stick around. Hardly anybody wants to work for a leader who has no vision for a bright future, and only wants to survive. 
  • Your compensation is way below industry standards. While the first 6 reasons may be more important than pay, nobody wants to go to work knowing they can easily make more money working for somebody else. I can guarantee you that your employees know when you are paying below market and industry standards, which opens them up to explore other opportunities. 

Look at these 7 reasons and rate yourself on a 1-10 scale on how effective you are dealing with these issues. Better yet, get your employees to rate these 7 areas in a confidential survey. You may not like the results, but at least you will have a starting point to make changes that will help you retain your great employees.


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