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Why Your Best Employees Leave (And what you can do to keep them)

Why Your Best Employees Leave (And what you can do to keep them)

One of the things I’ve learned after all the years of owning a commercial cleaning business is that employees leave. Some within weeks of being hired, others may not leave for years. But they all leave eventually. Employee turnover has always been a challenge in the cleaning industry, but now it’s affecting all industries. I’m certain you’ve experienced similar challenges in finding good employees for your business, which is why we’re sharing this guest blog post below.
Mike Castro, All Building Cleaning Corp.

This article was contributed by Arkansas-based Employee Assistance Program Provider Southwest EAP.

Scaling a growing company almost always involves hiring more people and evolving into an organization with layers of employees and managers. As this growth occurs, employee turnover, productivity and manager effectiveness become challenges that must be addressed for the company to continue to grow. But why do your best employees leave?

It’s often said, “Employees leave managers, not companies.” While this statement is not always true, we find that supervisor/employee conflicts are a big part of turnover. A poll by Gallup supports this belief: They found that up to 50% of employees who quit cite their manager as the main reason. One cause is that, as employees get promoted into supervisory roles, they’re not appropriately trained in how to manage people, which can increase turnover. HR should take steps to ensure managers receive proper training on coaching and communication techniques.

People naturally want to work where they’re valued. Empathetic relationships between managers and employees can be the key to lower turnover and higher productivity. Employee turnover is extraordinarily expensive, so it’s important to take whatever actions you can to mitigate it.

Some specific reasons your top employees might quit include:

  • Lack of feedback or coaching. Sixty-two percent of U.S. workers want more input on their performance, including 90 percent of Millennials who expect daily feedback. Executives and HR need to ensure their managers are partnering with employees to coach performance.
  • Not feeling valued or recognized. Ensuring that employees feel heard and acknowledged can make a significant difference in morale and employee longevity.
  • Lack of professional development. Your top talent is already great at what they do, but they want to continue developing their skills to become even better. Ensuring that professional development is a top priority at your organization will lead to top talent sticking around.
  • Lack of communication. An indication of comfort level is the degree to which an employee feels comfortable going to their manager with any type of question. Honest, specific feedback from and to your employees in real time is important. Focus on direct, one-on-one conversations when possible.

Help your managers do more “Good” and less “Bad” and “Ugly.”

The Good

  • Coaching – Both for managers and employees
  • Acknowledgment – Shine the spotlight. Give credit where credit is due.
  • Performance Reviews – Make them quarterly instead of annual to provide more timely feedback

The Bad

  • Micromanagement – Bad for the employee, bad for the manager
  • Poor Communication – Leads to mistakes and uncertainty

The Ugly

  • Favoritism – Can drive a wedge and make teamwork impossible
  • Intimidation – Prevents the development of a positive culture



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