How to lose your top employees

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How to lose your top employees and tank your business

Ever wanted to know how to lose your top employees? Yeah, me neither. But if you know the quickest ways to make them leave, you’ll know how to make them stay for longer.

Leigh Branham conducted more than 1,000 exit interviews in the months leading up to publishing his book, The 7 Hidden Reasons Why Employees Leave in 2012.

From this research, he identified four reoccurring issues, four things that made employees leave, four needs that have to be met for them to feel happy in their work.

When these needs aren’t met, people begin to feel disengaged and inessential. They begin looking in other places – other businesses – to find a way to meet these essential needs. And once they do, companies just like yours lose their employees.

So, what are the most common ways that companies lose their top employees?

1 – They don’t have trust

When your employees don’t trust you, they don’t want to work with you.

And this trust goes both ways. So as much as your employees need to believe that you have their best interests at heart, you need to trust them to do their jobs.

So if your management style is on the micro side of things, you might struggle to keep your employees happy in this regard.

Tips for building trust with your employees:

  • Listen to their ideas
  • Grow their responsibilities over time
  • Leave them to manage their own workloads and priorities
  • Have their best interests at heart – care about their personal lives and mental health and support them where you can
  • Take the time to get to know them on a social level

2 – They don’t have hope

Hope is a powerful and personal thing. It can inspire you to change your life or even the world.

Hope is about wanting to do better, hit targets, grow as a company and as individuals, learn more and help other people.

That personal element is vital. We all want to grow as people, spend more time with family, retire comfortably, grow our skills and become better.

It’s important to remember that your leadership should be inspiring in this way.

Tips for fostering hope:

  • Come back to your ‘why’
  • Be passionate
  • Invest in learning and development opportunities for your employees
  • Look at the big picture
  • Reflect on your wins and make big plans
  • Be thankful for your team and be generous with your gratitude
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3 – They don’t feel self-worth

Speaking of being generous with you gratitude, when was the last time you thanked your employees for their hard work?

Even if you do say thank you often, it’s important that your employees find a sense of meaning in their day jobs.

When you feel like the work your produce is worthless, you’ll put less of your heart into it. You’ll be less motivated to make changes and drive sales because no matter what, you don’t feel that personal sense of accomplishment.

As a leader, it’s your job to celebrate accomplishments and push your employees to always improve. But not because they aren’t good enough, but because they can.

Tips for helping your employees with their self-worth:

  • Again, come back to you ‘why’ and make sure that your employees know it
  • Celebrate wins, no matter how big or small
  • Show your gratitude and let your employees see how their work impacts the company
  • Track progress and set meaningful goals
  • Promote employees when they deserve it
  • Check-in and listen to what your employees have to say

4 – They feel incompetent

There’s a fine line between challenging and overwhelming work. But this line must be walked when you’re initially choosing who to hire.

When work is too challenging, it can be overwhelming for your employees. This can make them frustrated and feel like they aren’t up for the task.

But when work is too easy, it isn’t fulfilling. We all like to overcome challenges throughout our days. When you remove them, work can become boring and menial.

But another key component of feeling incompetent is our own mindsets. When you don’t motivate yourself to learn and rise to the challenge, you never will.

Tips for helping your employees feel competent:

  • Don’t put too much on their plate in the first few weeks of employment
  • Having a good mix of daily admin and project-based tasks can be a healthy balance
  • Encourage them to speak up in your one-on-one meetings
  • Invest in training

If you chose to ignore any of these four needs, you’ll find out just how easy it is to lose your top employees.

And if you need any extra help improving retention rates among your staff, you might need to look at your Onboarding process. Our free downloadable Onboarding Checklist will help you introduce your new hire to their role the right way.