Here’s three ways to prevent your best employees from quitting their job

casual workers

The process of hiring the right people can be a battle for SME owners, and once you’ve locked down your premium talent, the last thing you want is for them to leave due to a poor experience or lack of engagement.

Even the best worker in your office can be prompted to leave due to poor management, says Travis Bradberry, co-founder of consultancy and business coaching service TalentSmart. Writing for Entrepreneur, Bradberry outlined what bosses or managers do that cause employees to up and leave.

Read more: How to hire so you won’t have to fire: Three approaches to finding great talent when you’re pressed for time

“While good employees are as tough as nails, their talent gives them an abundance of options. You need to make them want to work for you,” Bradberry said.

Here’s three ways to make sure great workers don’t walk out the door.

1. Don’t overwork your employees

According to Bradberry’s list employee burnout is the number one reason good employees leave a job. No matter the employee’s level of expertise and efficiency, running them into the ground won’t yield any benefits, says Bradberry, as “it makes them feel as if they’re being punished for great performance”.

If you want to get the most juice out of your golden employees, Bradberry says it should come with a promotion.

“Talented employees will take on a bigger workload, but they won’t stay if their job suffocates them in the process. Raises, promotions and title-changes are all acceptable ways to increase workload,” he says.

“If you simply increase workload because people are talented, without changing a thing, they will seek another job that gives them what they deserve.”

Part of the equation is genuinely caring for your employees.

“More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain their managers know how to balance being professional with being human,” Bradberry says.

“Bosses who fail to really care will always have high turnover rates.”

2. Praise a job well done

In a similar vein, Bradberry believes employees are more likely to leave a business when their contributions aren’t being recognised. He thinks managers and bosses should endeavour to reward workers for a job well done, or risk them walking out the door.

“Managers need to communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good (for some, it’s a raise; for others, it’s public recognition) and then to reward them for a job well done,” he says.

“It’s easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially with top performers who are intrinsically motivated.”

Encouraging passion and creativity is also important, as is challenging your workers intellectually, says Bradberry.

“Great bosses challenge their employees to accomplish things that seem inconceivable at first. Instead of setting mundane, incremental goals, they set lofty goals that push people out of their comfort zones,” he says.

“When talented and intelligent people find themselves doing things that are too easy or boring, they seek other jobs that will challenge their intellects.”

3. Ensure you develop workers’ skills

Bradberry says the mark of a good manager or boss is one who is constantly striving to further their employee’s skills and provide detailed feedback. Not doing so could lead workers to quit if they feel their development is getting stale.

“When you have a talented employee, it’s up to you to keep finding areas in which they can improve to expand their skill set,” he says.

“The most talented employees want feedback — more so than the less talented ones — and it’s your job to keep it coming.”

Never miss a story: sign up to SmartCompany’s free daily newsletter and find our best stories on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
SmartCompany Plus

Sign in

To connect a sign in method the email must match the one on your SmartCompany Plus account.
Or use your email
Forgot your password?

Want some assistance?

Contact us on: or call the hotline: +61 (03) 8623 9900.