Why Employees Leave – And How to Keep Them

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Unemployment may be high, but top employees are still in demand, so it’s a good idea to look for signs that an employee may be thinking of leaving while you can still do something about it.

Leigh Branham, author of “The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave: How to Recognize the Subtle Signs and Act Before It’s Too Late,” notes a number of employee warnings signs and managerial mistakes and what employers can do better, all gleaned from exit interviews.

If you’re too busy to give feedback unless employees ask or it’s annual review time – and it doesn’t go well when you do – consider pairing employees with mentoring buddies and look for specific times to give feedback, like at the completion of a project.

If you’re always fielding requests for training and advancement opportunities, look for “lateral advancement” opportunities to expand employee skills with new challenges and roles.

If employees feel underappreciated, create a results-based system for compensation, bonuses tied to business goals and performance awards.

If senior leadership isn’t trusted or their initiatives followed, show how those initiatives benefit employees and advance business goals.

If an employee avoids eye contact, stops participating in meetings and seems to be on autopilot, it may be because you’re giving hires unrealistic expectations. So how can you do better? Let prospective employees talk with current employees so they know what to expect.

Adapted from Five Reasons Why Your Top Talent Leaves, and How to Keep Them at Baseline Magazine.