5 Simple Ways to Lose Your Best Employees

Competition for talent is fierce, and today companies, are pulling out all the stops to attract new employees.

From strong rewards programs to competitive salaries, employers are rising to the challenge to make their businesses stand out from the rest. However, the process of stockpiling incentives – combined with the process of onboarding new employees – is a significant time sink for any organization.

To then lose an employee only months after an extensive recruitment process can be a huge blow to a business’s ego, not to mention the hours of productivity lost.

While incentive and reward programs are an added bonus for employees, they cannot be relied on as the sole reason an employee decides to stay with a company. Often times it’s the day-to-day interactions that can make or break an employee’s happiness. And the reality is that there are some actions that you might be doing right now that is pushing employees out the door.

Below are five (5) sure-fire ways to lose your best employees.

1. Ignore their development

Employees want to be able to grow in their positions. Without clear opportunities for personal and professional development, employees are likely to outgrow their current role quickly and move on to an organization that presents them with new challenges.

A common failure in companies today is the ability to proactively implement developmental programs for employees or providing them with new paths to expand their skill sets.

2. Micromanage them

Constantly looking over an employee’s shoulder is a direct way to demotivate them.

Not only are you creating self-doubt in the employee but you are also communicating to them that you don’t have complete faith that they will get the job done.

3. Keep employees in the dark

Creating a gap between management and employees can easily lead to workforce frustrations.

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Not having regular and appropriate communication to employees opens the door to them fearing or assuming the worst, even when there is no basis for these feelings. Furthermore, lack of communication institutes a lack of confidence in the management team which can very quickly lead to distrust.

4. A lack of recognition

If you want employees to feel like their hard work goes unnoticed, provide them with zero recognition for a job well done. Sure you are paying the employee to do the job, but that does not mean that their hard work and willingness to go the extra mile should go unnoticed.

Missing repeat opportunities to pat an employee on the back can make them quickly want to set their sights on a job that they feel valued in.

5. Eliminate any kind of fun

Most of us spend the majority of our day time at work. Sure workplace productivity and efficiency are important to a sustainable business model but consider this – setting time aside to bond with co-workers.

The payback in workforce productivity and collaboration is enormous. Stepping away from the computer to partake in some workplace fun can refocus employees when it’s time to get back to work. Furthermore, employees want to feel bonded to a company and have camaraderie with their co-workers. Without that emotional connection in place, it’s easy for an employee to jump from one job to the next.

With such a strong focus on employee retention and engagement, taking the time to follow these simple steps can result in happy employees and increased longevity in the company.

Katie Blair is a vice president at Vantage PR and head of the Orlando office. She brings more than seven years of strategic public relations expertise to her role in leading the consumer technology practice and also heads up the employee engagement committee within the agency. Katie has led numerous award-winning campaigns that have been recognized by PR News, Bulldog Reporter and Agency Post. PR News also recently named Katie among its top “People-to-Watch in PR.”


25 Comments on “5 Simple Ways to Lose Your Best Employees

  1. I absolutely agree with the first 4.
    As to #5. Very little demotivates me than being forced to “socialize” with my co-workers. Wasting time with little “get-togethers” and “gatherings” honestly makes me question the work ethic of my co-workers and managers, but also makes me question just how motivated the management is about getting things done.
    Do these companies and “Specialists” honestly believe that we are invested in our companies? Oh please. Anyone who has been in the workforce in the last 40 years realized a LONG time ago that you mean absolutely nothing to your company other than as a tool, asset or resource. That’s it. You can be out the door tomorrow and your company couldn’t give a flyin’ fig.

    1. Iono, when our work throws ice-cream or buys pizza for everyone and gives an updated progress report it’s kind of nice, gets you away for a few and we’re not FORCED to socialize.

    2. you must be a manager/supervisor… Interaction between people is a basic human instinct…and can be found in all species habits… without it, you alienate yourself from learning what is going on around you or elevating your knowledge base. I say get out and socialize with your neighbors more, you will sleep better.

      1. ” Interaction between people is a basic human instinct…and can be found in all species habits… without it, you alienate yourself from learning what is going on around you or elevating your knowledge base”

        Hi, we’re called introverts….we run your IT/Engineering sector and create all those nifty gadgets you use. you see, because we keep our mouths closed for more than 10 seconds we can actually focus on things that require higher intelligence.

    3. Completely agree. Whoever wrote this doesn’t have a clue. The company doesn’t care about the employees and smart employees just do the job they get paid to do and go on with their real life.

      I am a manager (and have been a worker, NOT a manager, many times). I don’t have parties. I just give people time off or pay them more (when I can).

      I tell them, work while your here, we get the job done, then we go back to our lives.

  2. “strong rewards programs” and “competitive salaries”? On what planet is the author living on? Employees literally are “resources” to be used and discarded as needed. Why train any of them when we can bring on a contractor for half the cost? If you’re lucky, the company might subsidize a monthly happy hour so the employees can watch each other act like jerks.

    1. a contractor for half the cost? how about these figures. when i first started working as a contractor making 13 an hour, my contracting company was collecting 120k per year from all the hours i was working, and you call that cheap?

  3. I do not find my career rewarding.
    I do it because it is what I am good at and you actually pay me to do it.
    I do it because I need to feed my kids.
    I do it because I need to pay bills.
    I do it because I like my home.
    I do it for the money.

    Pay me more when I do more. You will always keep me there.

    1. Thank you. All that crap listed goes to wayside if you pay me enough. Plus you could do all that stuff on the list perfectly but if I’m underpaid I’m probably leaving.

    2. Yup. Pay me more, and let me go home when I finish my work. It isn’t complicated.

      This article is terrible advice and myopic noise at best.

      1. How about (and I always have difficulty finding a boss who does this) when I do the job you assign me, complete it with no problems, and end up doing twice the work of some moron, don’t ask me to do even more to cover for them.
        While I am at it, if you agree to pay me X when I do something, then I do that thing more then most, and better than most, don’t try to cut back on X because I exceeded your expectations and because i know, in your eyes, make too much.

        I actually had a boss once complain to me that I make too much money because i do too much work!

  4. Simple – recognize the people doing the real work and reward ($) them. Weed out the rest. Promote from within and encourage employees to go for open slots up the line. Also give them the training to do their bosses’ job. I worked my butt off for 11 years only to see my firm bring in outside people over and over. I left – found another firm and have been promoted twice in 3 years.

  5. This is the age of instant gratification and bottom line mentality. Management gets their fix until something goes wrong and then jumps to another bottom line institute. Look at Builders Square, HP, and similar companies that had incompetent CEOs who ran the company down and got paid to leave! Prime example are the airport jobs (Ohare) in which the laziest people get promoted and safety is 100% ignored, high turn over rate and absolutely NO pats on the back at all for the peons.

  6. Well I went into business for myself because I never could find an employer that I actually respected. The more I talked to self employed people, the more I heard the same thing.

  7. 1) I develop myself outside of work. I pay for CLEs and use my own time to learn more about my field.
    2) I appreciate good feedback and I can ignore nitpicky bullshit. Being micromanaged can be annoying, but it’s nothing a good employee would quit over.
    3) Again, this is something that can be frustrating, but it’s not something to quit over. I don’t really care how my boss manages his business as long as his still bringing in enough to pay me.
    4) The only recognition that matters is PAY. I don’t really care if I’m told I’m doing a good job, in fact, if I’m underpaid I might resent it. The company only says that so I keep it up and you can further exploit me. Paying me more is something that costs you, its a definite, concrete thing that tells me I am worth something to the company.
    5) I have enough fun on my own time. I mean, I couldn’t work for someone who didn’t let me ever look at my phone or something. I am a human who fills other roles besides “employee”, I have obligations to keep up with and might need to contact my landlord, mechanic, spouse or whatever at some point during the day. But, company parties are lame, I don’t need to be buddies with my coworkers, I just need to be able to work with them. Sometimes, good fences make good neighbors.
    I guess the only reason I wrote a comment as long as the article was to say what a lot of other comments are saying. Basically, this article misses the point, most employees primary concern is their bottom line. Other things are nice and might help attract talent who are wavering between job offers. People quit for more money, not a better workplace culture.

  8. what about working at a company where half the people wear jeans on a daily basis, but i get singled out and told not to wear jeans. boss goes over to the other tech and sits next to him who is clearly wearing jeans????? time to look for another job.

  9. How about training, paying me more than your competitors will, and not hiring contractors who don’t give a **** about the company and always leave a mess behind in terms of their work?

  10. Every “worker bee” needs to photocopy this article and leave copies of it everywhere so the boss has to see it lol It could be a good wake up call!

  11. 6. Reject candidates for moronic reasons.

    “dude! you’re unemployed too long (longer than 10 minutes), you must be worthless!”

    “you use a gmail e-mail address, u must be a google employee so you’ll ask for tons of money!”

    idiots….absolute idiots….

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