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Five Reasons High-Value Employees Leave & What You Can Do To Stop Them.

Published 11 May 2021

‘’A company is only as good as the people it keeps’’. Mary Kay Ash.

In the 21st century, it is accepted wisdom that employees are a company’s most valuable asset. So, it follows that high value employees are the lifeblood of any company. When a high value employee leaves a role, it can create a domino effect of other employees leaving. It also has a huge impact on their teams and is costly to solve in both time and money terms. It takes on average 50 days and £4000 to replace an average employee, so retention of the best members of staff is a much easier strategy. If you can understand what drives Rockstar employees to leave, you can create a plan to prevent it.

People often say people leave bad managers not companies but that is not always the case. If you want your best employees to stay, take a closer look at the following five factors that could impact their decision to quit and what you can do to prevent it:

  1. They are not being developed. This is the No 1 reason high value employees leave. Training and development are important for all employees but even more so for self-starters who have an innate need to progress and excel. Let them know they are high potential and anticipate roles they can grow into and work with them on their career trajectory. Invest in their training and development and then give them opportunities and responsibilities to grow.
  2. They are overloaded. High performers are often the ones who proactively take on extra work. They can also be the ones who are the most trusted and so are given extra work. This can lead to burnout and ultimately to resignations. Talk regularly with them about their workload and priorities to understand if they are overwhelmed. It’s also crucial to set a good example of work life balance, from the top down.
  3. They are not being paid enough. This can be a huge challenge especially if you are not able to increase their pay but there are ways around this. Talk to them about what matters to them, can you offer other benefits such as flexibility, extra holiday or even give a new job title. A discussion on pay can be a starting point to talk about the total benefits package you can offer.
  4. They are not being listened to and given autonomy. In this scenario its key you understand their goals. Learn what is important to them and make sure that their work reflects their key interests and skills. Employees who feel heard and empowered go on to do their best work for their employers. Listening to high value employees is a win-win situation.
  5. They do not feel appreciated. It’s hardwired into all human beings to want to feel recognised and appreciated. Even the highest flyer likes to feel valued, some privately some more publicly. It's key to work out which your employee prefers and recognise their good work. Praising effort costs nothing but yet it is worth so much.

With all these challenges its key that you regularly communicate with your employees. Take the time to understand what matters to them and ensure that where you can you meet their needs.

In summary, if you do all this then you are probably stuffed but there is lots you can do to not get in this position in the first place, work on one thing at a time.

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