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Why Companies Lose Their Best Employees
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Reasons Why Companies Lose Their Best Employees

August 16, 2019
workers looking at computer screen

The best performing employees are the most valuable asset in successful companies. Unfortunately, many companies lose these employees for reasons that are usually avoidable. Even Fortune 500 companies that easily attract top talent frequently fail to keep their best employees around. Here are the main reasons for this failure.

1) The Company Lacks a Clear Vision

People want an exciting career that they can be passionate about. It’s hard to be passionate about your work when your company either doesn’t have a clear vision or fails to communicate it effectively. Staff members in such organizations tend not to be driven and the best among them eventually look for inspiration and intellectual challenge elsewhere.

2) The Company Undervalues its Best Employees

Top performers in organizations need appreciation. They need recognition for their talent and hard work. Likewise, they value honest feedback about improvements they need to make because they’re keen to learn and grow. However, personnel in many organizations often feel that their managers neglect these issues only to surprise employees with criticism during annual performance reviews.

Experienced HR professionals focus on building a culture of ownership in the workplace. They constantly exchange honest opinions and insights with team members. Giving corporate workers open feedback is not only consistent with best HR practices but it also shows your employees that you genuinely care about them. If you insist on conducting annual performance reviews, avoid surprise criticisms.

3) Failure to Effectively Address Conflicts

Managers sometimes choose to ignore workplace conflicts. The resulting resentments continue to fester as administrators fail to address the root issues. These conflicts may be between a supervisor and their subordinates or among peers and within departments. 

Either way, such unresolved disputes taint the workplace environment, rendering it unhealthy and unconducive for high productivity as staff members feel demoralized. Seasoned HR professionals conduct periodic health checks to make sure everyone is on good terms with others.

4) The Company Mismatches the Employees’ Talent and Tasks

Staff members who are happy with their work are more likely to stay. They are happy when they work and collaborate on projects and tasks that match their talents. Sadly, many administrators view personnel as a mere resource to exploit because they interpret the term “human resources” in its most literal sense.

As a result, they simply slot corporate workers into projects based solely on availability and these employees inevitably become dissatisfied with their jobs. In contrast, experienced HR professionals engage staff on an ongoing basis to determine whether team members feel that the company is putting their talents and skills to the best use.

5) The Managerial Staff Are Overly Critical

It's easy to criticize people's mistakes. To be sure, calling out employees on unwanted behavior is a good management practice. However, employees in a healthy workplace also receive a lot of positive feedback. Best HR practices demand that you give a staff member negative feedback in private as soon as possible. You can give them positive feedback anytime, but the sooner the better and it’s preferable that you do so in public.


6) Relationship with the Employee Becomes Too Impersonal

As an organization grows, corporate workers may begin to lose their sense of individuality. Managers often need to oversee more employees. As a result, individual members of personnel may not get as much face time with their immediate manager or supervisor as they previously did. This disengagement by the company is among the hidden reasons why employees leave.

As business operations tick along, administrators may be under a false impression that staff members are content despite their simmering frustrations. Seasoned HR professionals take every opportunity to share one-to-one interactions with individual team members to share feedback, get suggestions and address concerns.

7) Too Much Bureaucracy and Poor Leadership

Top employees often leave when corporate bureaucracy begins to get in the way of their career development. Managers may understand the rationale that informs the “red tape” but having to say no to certain good ideas such as flexible working arrangements might leave them disgruntled. The workplace environment can only be optimally healthy when there is buy-in from an organization’s top talent.

Robust leadership alleviates issues related to bureaucracy. Strong and consistent management strategies can help prevent high employee turnover. Encouraging candid feedback not only unearths areas of dissatisfaction within the company but also supports effective human resource management.

8) No Opportunities for Career Development

HR professionals at many firms mistakenly believe that an enviable salary and benefits package is all it takes to retain their best talent. Important as financial rewards may be, it’s not enough to keep around your top employees. Most employees are interested in working at a firm that offers opportunities for career development. The moment ambitious professionals realize there's no real growth path in the company, they start making plans to leave.

9) Failure to Promote Work-Life Balance

Burnout is becoming an increasingly common issue among white-collar professionals. Many corporate workers feel the pressure to put in more than the typical eight hours at the office. For that reason, they receive work emails and calls in the evenings and even weekends. They may also go on business trips that include weekend flights with scheduled days off to offset them.

Administrators who make stringent demands of personnel fail to realize that people are at their most productive and happiest when they've had enough time to relax. In the world's topmost conducive cities to work-life balance, people find it easy to engage in lifestyle activities that alleviate work-related stress (the same can't be said about the most overworked cities).

10) The Company Underpays

We put this reason last to de-emphasize its sway in employees’ decision to leave. Remuneration is certainly a defining factor when looking at statistics for why employees leave. But even though people may join your organization for the money, they’ll often leave for one or more of the other reasons that we’ve pointed out here.

Still, depending on a person’s financial obligations and lifestyle needs, there’s a salary threshold below which even a passionate corporate professional will jump ship primarily because they find the salary unacceptable.

Written by:

Angela Hwang
Account Executive at Kisi