7 Reasons you are Losing your Best Employees

It is estimated that best employees contribute 30-50% more than average employees for a typical business. Their contribution is not only in the form of higher productivity, but it also comes from new ideas and better customer service. These are the employees who can take your business to new heights provided you are able to hold onto them.
Employee turnover in general is harmful for small business. When it comes to turnover of star employees it could damage your business beyond repair. That is why it is paramount to treat your star employees well and ensure they are happy to work with you.

The good news is you don’t have to spend boatload of money to keep them happy. The star employees are interested in more than just money. They can get desired money anywhere they work. What they are after are non-monetary “perks” such as job satisfaction, self-fulfillment and challenge. So what are possible actions you could be taking (or not) that would drive best employees away?

  1. You don’t appreciate their contribution. Appreciation doesn’t need to come only in the form of salary raise or bonus check. A small, hand-written “Thank You” note goes a long way towards appreciating your star performers. You have to ensure the note is sincere and comes from the heart. When it comes to appreciating employees small, frequent rewards are much more effective than one fat bonus at the year-end.
  2. You have dysfunctional team. If there is one thing that can ruin your small business it is a team that doesn’t function well together. Best employees in particular do not want to deal with the internal squabbling. They would rather spend their time getting the job done and enhancing their skills.
  3. Your work environment is boring. There is a reason why everyone wants to work at Google and Facebook. People working there enjoy free and interesting perks such as massage and ping-pong. More important than that, however, they also like the camaraderie of their peers. When you are spending more than 3rd of your day at work you don’t want it to be drudgery.
  4. You are too greedy. Sure, you want to make profit for your business and yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to shortchange your best employees. After all, you can’t forget to remember and recognize the people who are contributing to it. If you do not create a win-win situation with your best employees with programs such as profit sharing they will not stick with you for long-term.
  5. You are a micro-manager. This is one of the worst sins you can commit. Star employees especially do not like to be told each and every detailed instruction. They know their job! Just tell them what needs to be done by when and they will take care it.
  6. You don’t give them challenging assignments. If best employees wanted to work just to make a living they can find it anywhere. While they may not want to change the world, they do want meaningful assignments that make them utilize their full potential and, in the process, learn from them. If you can’t challenge them enough they will find someone who will.
  7. You don’t listen to them. Your best employees have many ideas that can help improve your business and they will not hesitate to give them to you. However, if you keep shutting them out or do not act on them they will get frustrated and leave. If you want to keep your best employees and benefit from their knowledge allocate some time in the week to get their feedback on business.

What else have you done to attract and keep best employees from leaving you?

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  1. Awesome write up, heading off to share it with my boss 🙂

  2. I love your list!
    #2, one prima donna can make the whole team dysfunctional and lowers the morale of the whole group. Watch out for instances like this as someone would hand-in his/her resignation just to avoid this person.

    • SmallBizViewpoints says:

      Thanks Jessica.

      Agree with you on #2. If there is one thing that can sink a well rounded team it is the fact that the team members cannot function together. You can assemble superstars and still lose if they cannot work as a team. We all remember what happened to the U.S. Basketball team from 2004 in spite of having a roster of superstars.


  1. BizSugar.com says:

    7 Reasons you are Losing your Best Employees…

    Best employees contribute 30-50% more than average employees for a typical business. Many of them leave because of the actions of managers and owners. This post explains the reasons….