1. Poor Work-Life Balance
Many managers assume that the reason people leave their jobs is for a bigger pay check, but that just simply isn’t the case. The number one reason employees choose to leave a position is because of burnout. A poor work-life balance takes a serious mental and physical role on employees. In highly competitive industries employees working long hours may find that their relationships with their family and friends suffer to the point where they feel as if they have no other choice than to find another job or risk losing the things that are most important to them.
Aligning your company in a way that allows you to reward employees with time off and family-centered events and activities is a great way to ensure that employees will continue to love their jobs. Look for ways that you can make your corporate culture more family-friendly so that employees don’t have to choose between who they are and what they do. Remember, passionate employees do better work and drive top-class companies.
2. Lack of Recognition
Employees want to be recognized – that’s a no brainer. But more importantly, they want to be recognized in a way that’s actually meaningful. This means that you can ditch those stupid desk plaques that call out employees for their service or contribution. Instead, offer top contributing employees the closest parking spot, an extra vacation day, or the ability to attend a prestigious industry conference. Remember that recognition doesn’t always have to be finically-based.
While public recognition feels great, don’t underestimate the importance of private recognition as well. Remind employees that they’re valued and that you’re thankful to have them on the team. Giving someone a pat on the back or a genuine thank you behind closed doors can go a long way in shaping how they feel about themselves as well.
3. Ineffective Management
If you’ve ever had a boss that was incompetent or an all-round nincompoop, you know how stressful it can be. Your top performers know that to be truly effective, they need people above them that understand their contribution and their potential. They must know that their bosses will have their backs if a problem arises and will go to bat for them when they have an idea or suggestion. Having to worry about managing their managers or dealing with office politics will frustrate your top talent and can drive them away even if they love their job and the company overall.
4. Sub-Par Perks
Before starting my own business I worked at a tech startup and I can’t imagine any industry that’s more perk-obsessed than tech! Tech companies are always trying to one-up each other with the silliest “perks” – video games, ice cream, tacos, bring your dog to work, dark offices, in-office movie theaters, yoga rooms, slides, standing desks, leather couches, nap rooms, the list goes on. While some of these might be fun, they certainly aren’t going to recruit or retain top talent on their own merits. Silly perks like these may sweeten the deal for a candidate that’s already decided where they’d like to work, but I doubt they’ll actually sway anyone who’s on the fence to accept a position.
Real perks though like tuition reimbursement, on-site daycare, and 401K matching do make the difference. These kinds of perks speak to an employee’s needs and goals, which is why they matter in the hiring and retention process. Not having the types of perks that help set employees at ease when it comes to their day-to-day lives or their futures can cause turnover because your top talent knows that there are other options out there that will benefit them more down the road.
5. Limited Opportunities for Advancement
We’ve all been there at one point or another – the jobs is great, the people are great, the company culture is great, but there’s nowhere to go. This may not bother your middle-of-the-road performers, but your best employees need to be challenged. Top performers have it engrained in their DNA that they need to keep conquering new challenges. Without the ability to advance and take on new responsibilities, your top talent will get bored. That’s why it’s important to vary workload as special projects arise and provide clear career path tracts so that employees understand where they can look forward to going next. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to promote from within to encourage your best employees to stick around.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!