Every company has experienced the exodus of a few great employees over its lifespan. Sadly, it’s just a part of the business. Yet, there are a few things you can do to ensure those employees are few and far between. And when great employees quit? There’s no rule that dictates they won’t find their way back to you someday.

Reasons Why Great Employees Quit

1. Not Enough Challenges

One of the main reasons great employees quit is (quite frankly) they are bored. There are tons of fun, challenging positions out there. If employees are not challenged in the workplace, they’re going to find themselves with plenty of downtime on their hands. And you know what they’re going to do with that downtime? Look for a new job.

2. Too Few Advancement Opportunities

We all need upward mobility in our lives. When we feel stale or stagnant, we suffer. Your employees (especially the great ones) need to be challenged creatively — and they need to know there is something to work toward. 

3. Long Hours

You want your employees to flourish and grow. You don’t want them to feel so overworked that they wilt from lack of exposure to the sun. 

Employees need to enjoy balanced lifestyles. If they’re neglecting their families, health or downtime, they aren’t going to accel in the workplace — and they’re not going to want to work there anymore. 

You should try to strike a balance of a maximum 40-hour workweek (which many experts claim is too long, anyway). Or, consider creating a performance-or-project-based work schedule.  

4. Inflexible Workplaces

Speaking of performance-and-project-based schedules, we also recommend considering creating a flexible workplace for your employees. People tend to thrive more in flexible environments that allow everyone to complete their work when (and where) they are most comfortable.

This type of work arrangement allows employees to think creatively, create their own work-life balance and enjoy more time with their families. And as an added bonus, you don’t even need to get too involved in helping your employees create that balance. You simply set the parameters of the project and allow them to choose their own work hours and location.

5. Bad Benefits Packages

Another one of the biggest reasons why great employees quit is benefits and salary packages that aren’t competitive enough. 

  • How often do you conduct employee reviews? 
  • Are your employees compensated fairly for good reviews?
  • Do you offer your employees competitive raises, healthcare packages, PTO, perks and other benefits to keep them happy, healthy and productive? 

If you’re not offering competitive benefits packages, you need to take a step back and consider your competition. Because there are plenty of new startups out there that are willing to offer your employees the sun and the moon to make a lateral move — right over to their coffee-and-beer-laden coworking space. 

How to Survive in a Changing Workplace

The workplace has changed rapidly over the past two decades. The era of “Mad Men” is long gone. Now, employees demand to be treated with respect. While you think you’re interviewing them, they’re actually interviewing you

It’s also important to note that employee turnover isn’t always your fault. Working for the same company throughout your entire career isn’t the ‘norm’ anymore. Here are a few ways you can adapt to these changes. 

Create incentives to keep employees happy. Ask your employees what they want. Take a poll to see what benefits they want. Or, allow employees to create their own benefits packages. Offer them a choice of compensation packages such as flexible work arrangements, more PTO, an increased number of review periods or additional job advancement opportunities. 

Accept the new workplace model. Don’t take it personally if employees quit sooner than you’d like. Don’t burn your bridges with them because they’re moving on. Instead, embrace this new workplace model by creating graduate and alumni programs.

Create a graduate program. Can’t offer enough upward mobility for your employees? Create a graduate program. When your employees hit a ceiling (with no possibility of advancement), offer career services that help them find a new job outside of your company.

When word of this type of program gets around, qualified applicants will be lining up to work for you.

Create an alumni program. Sometimes employees discover the grass isn’t always greener at another company. Keep in touch with them and reach out when new opportunities arise. You probably won’t need to spend money retraining them since they’re already familiar with your workplace and culture.