why top performers leave

Why Your Top Performers Leave

According to a study conducted by Jobvite, the top reason why employees leave for another job is better compensation (61%). (That’s why one of the most important things HR can do is work with Finance to establish pay ranges.) However, it’s a common mistake to think compensation is the only, or the primary, driver of employee satisfaction. It’s not. To reduce regretted turnover, HR leaders need to think more holistically about the factors that lead to top performers looking elsewhere.

1. The job is not what the employee expected.

This common problem can be mitigated by conducting realistic job interviews with every candidate. Describe the role in detail, warts and all, and ensure the candidate meets with his or her potential co-workers before being hired.

2. The role is just a bad fit.

This is often the result of hiring in a hurry (remember that lack of time we talked about?). Ultimately, taking the time to conduct pre-assessment screenings, engaging multiple interviewers and asking behavior-based questions results in better, longer-term hires. Remember: a business can spend an average of $20,000 every time it has to replace an employee.

3. There’s no feedback or coaching.

Sixty-two percent of U.S. workers want more input on their performance, including 90 percent of Millennials who expect daily feedback. Executives and HR professionals need to ensure managers are pulling the right levers and partnering with employees to coach performance.

4. There’s a lack of career growth or learning.

This scenario is particularly an issue among GenX workers – who tend to stay in roles that offer more opportunities to learn – and Millennials, who understand the need to stay marketable by constantly developing new skills. Your employees want to learn, enjoy their work and see a path for career advancement, and they start to lose interest when a job is no longer challenging. To keep your top performers, you must know their strengths, ask about their goals, anticipate their restlessness and keep them on a learning curve.

5. Employees don't feel valued or recognized for achievements.

Saying “thank you” is important! Employees thrive when managers practice a challenge-achieve-recognize cycle. Good leaders also remember to ask their teams for input, then actually take action on that feedback.

6. Employees don’t trust the senior leadership team.

This is an issue that has been on the rise in recent years, and with good reason. Senior leaders can appear to be selfish and isolated and to devalue and burn out their employees. The alternative is for leaders to nurture employees and operate from a mind-set of retention, not replacement. The best leaders show that they care about the welfare of the company and the workers more than their own self-interest.

What’s holding you back?

If you feel like there’s just not enough hours in the day to focus on retaining your star employees, then you should re-evaluate your HR technology and find time to lead.

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