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Top-Shelf Tip No. 67:

"The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers."

Sybil F. Stershic

Why Do My Employees Keep Leaving?

Strong employees are the lifeblood of any organization. If you struggle to keep top talent on your team you must fix the problem right away. However, to properly address your talent retention problems first diagnose the reason why your employees are leaving.

To finish up our weeklong employment series, Patrick McHargue, director of talent at industry placement agency, PromoPlacement, shares four reasons why employees typically leave, and what you can do about it.

Engagement. The most common reason employees leave is that they don't feel engaged. Engagement can be a bit of a catchall term, but, in essence, it's a measurement of how important your employees feel they are to your business. The more employees feel their voice is heard and valued, the more engaged they will be.

  • Do you involve your team in the decision-making process?
  • How often do you praise your people for a job well done?
  • Do your employees know how their efforts contribute to the big-picture goals of your business?

Opportunity. When employees plateau in their careers and see no way to advance within your organization they will look for opportunities with another company. Career advancement often comes in the form of a promotion, but not always. Many employees seek the opportunity to develop new skills or take on new responsibilities. The key here is communication.

  • Does your team feel comfortable coming to you to ask for new opportunities for growth?
  • How often do opportunities for promotions come open within your business?

Money. For employees to be happy they must feel they are advancing and making progress in their career. The easiest way to measure this progress is monetarily. Benefits, bonuses and opportunities for advancement need to be considered to get a complete picture of employee compensation. Many promotional products companies tackle this issue by sharing end-of-year profits with their team.

  • How competitive is your company's compensation structure?
  • Are you willing to increase that compensation to keep the talent you have?
  • Are you increasing compensation properly as employees advance within your business?

Sinking Ship. Slightly less common than the previous reasons for leaving, many employees will leave your company when they feel the business is stuck in a downward cycle. The overall growth trend of your business can have a huge impact on employees. Most offices aren't very fun to work in when business is poor. An atmosphere of negativity can take hold, and smart employees will look for a way out.

  • What's the overall growth trend of your business?
  • When business is down, do you go out of your way to make the office atmosphere light and fun?
  • When business is slow, are you able to put a plan in place to rally your team and turn things around?

Keeping exceptional talent is critical to the success of your business. If you struggle to keep your top employees, determine the reason and address it promptly. Additionally, keep your team engaged and working toward a larger team goal; provide opportunities for cross-learning, additional responsibilities and promotions and compensate your employees fairly and competitively. Finally, make sure your company is a fun and enjoyable place to work even when business is slow. Follow these best practices and you'll succeed in keeping the talent you need.

Source: Patrick McHargue is the director of talent at PromoPlacement, an industry search and placement firm. He grew up in the promotional product industry, earned an MBA in international business, and managed a $35 million sales territory before focusing on the development of tools and services to benefit the promotional product industry.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson



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Promotional Products Association International
3125 Skyway Circle North
Irving, Texas 75038-3526

Phone: 888-I-AM-PPAI (426-7724)

Fax: 972-258-3004