It should not be difficult to hold on to good employees. Most of the mistakes that companies make are easily avoided. When you do make mistakes, your best employees are the first to go...
1. Unnecessary Rules.
Companies need to have rules, but they do not have to have a dictatorship or a 100-page rule book. Whether it is an over-ambitious attendance policy or dress code or "leave family, work is priority" policy, employees feel overburdened. When good employees feel like big brother is watching, they will find someplace else to work well without worrying about getting a headache.
2. Equal Treatment.
Treating top performers and lowest performers equally sends the wrong signal to the achievers. It is said that a team is only as good as the worst member; no matter how great some team members may be. When you permit weak links to exist without consequence, they drag everyone else down, especially your top performers. It shows your top performers that no matter how well they perform, they will be treated the same as the lowest performer. It is easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially with top performers who are intrinsically motivated. Rewarding individual accomplishments shows that you are paying attention.
If you cannot keep your best employees engaged, you cannot keep your best employees.
When you lose good employees, they do not disengage all at once. Instead, their interest in their jobs dies slowly.
Managers need the performer for a job well done. With top performers, this will happen often if you are doing it right.
3. Passionless Pursuit.
Talented employees are passionate. Providing opportunities for them to pursue their passions improves their productivity and job satisfaction. Many managers want people to work within a little box. These managers fear that productivity will decline if they let people expand their focus and pursue their passions. Studies have shown that people who are able to pursue their passions at work are five times more productive than the normal average.
4. No Fun.
If people enjoying their work, then there is something. Maybe it is just the money or job security or hard work that keeps them going. There may be no genuine love or ambition in the work. People don’t give their all if they are not having fun, and fun is a major protector against brownout. The best companies to work for know the importance of letting employees loosen up a little. Google, for example, does just about everything it can to make work fun—free meals, bowling allies, and fitness classes, to name a few. The idea is simple: if work is fun, you will not only perform better, but you will stick around for longer hours and an even longer career.
5. Blameless Game.
Managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.