If you don’t respect, value, and challenge your best employees; know this. They will look for other opportunities. Smart, talented people can find jobs anywhere. As a matter of fact, your best employees probably have two other companies beating down their door at this very moment. But, if they feel loyal to your company, they won’t budge. On the other hand, if you regularly display any of these behaviors, it’s only a matter of time before they’re gone.
1. They go above and beyond to exceed your expectations, but you fail to recognize the effort
You always want more, more, more. They come in early, leave late, spearhead a killer campaign, take initiative, but it’s never good enough.
2. Your feedback isn’t constructive. In fact, it’s borderline nonexistent
In addition to lack of praise, you also don’t offer any constructive criticism. They look to you for advice, feedback, and commentary. You give them none. If your best employee isn’t mentally stimulated, they’ll look for other opportunities. A career is supposed to challenge and change you, not keep you complacent.
3. You play office “favorites”
One week you’re out to lunch with your operations director, passing out unearned praise. The next, you give your web designer a few extra paid days off, just because. The following, you shut your door and have an hour-long gossip session with your customer service rep. Sensing a pattern here? Eventually, even the most dramatic, meddling employees will get sick of playing games.
4. You fail to provide them with the resources they need to succeed
You hold them to a higher standard, but you don’t equip them with the tools or education needed to meet these expectations.
5. You make broken promises
You promise the world. You talk about every incentive under the sun, but don’t actually follow through. After a while, this leads to feelings of doubt and resentment. Even if you and your star employee have an awesome friendship or working relationship, they start to question your intentions. Offering performance-based incentives and rewards will drastically increase productivity, as long as you follow through.
6. You think in terms of “I”, not “we”
It’s all about what your employees can do for “your company.” You see each individual as a catalyst to your bottom line, and nothing more. Because of that, you wouldn’t mind offing even the top performing candidates for an outsourced solution. This is one of the worst behaviors, as it’s a mindset and not just a bad habit.
7. You’re reading this post right now, chuckling and saying to yourself, “My employees aren’t going anywhere”
If this is you, it’s probably too late. Your best employees are on the job hunt as we speak. Save yourself the hassle and start looking for their replacement.
Seriously though, all these rules border around one theme and that’s respect. Don’t forget, employees are people too. People with real lives and real responsibilities. If you fail to recognize this, you’ll never be able to keep a decent employee around for longer than 1-2 years. On the surface, that might not sound too bad. You get to keep it fresh, and constantly bring in a new wave of talent, right? Wrong. A high turnover rate like this will make it hard for you to gain long-term traction.