The best way to retain employees is to stay in touch with what they’re thinking.
—Susan M. Heathfield

Even the best leader struggles with retaining top talent.  Quitting could be the result of life events (ex. career change, family needs), but most reasons are related to the organization itself.

In 2015 we shared the following 4 reasons why top performers quit:

1.   Reward System
2.   Management
3.   Hiring/Promotions
4.   Too Much Work

This year (2018), Human Resource expert Susan M. Heathfield has published what she views as the top ten reasons why employees quit:

1.    Relationship with the boss

2.    Bored and unchallenged with the work

3.    Relationships with co-workers

4.    Opportunities to use their skills and abilities

5.    Contribution of their work to the organization’s business goals

6.    Autonomy and independence on the job

7.    Meaningfulness of the employee’s job

8.    Knowledge about your organization’s financial stability

9.    Overall corporate culture

10.  Management’s recognition of employee job performance

Other studies report that a “bad boss” is the number #1 reason for quitting, but having a relationship with the boss is different. The employee wants feedback, direction, and recognition, with a desire for open lines of communication. Having trust in the relationship is also a plus!

Employees want a stable work environment and they want to feel their contributions are valued and meaningful for the success of their organization. They also want their contributions to be acknowledged.

They want a work environment where relationships exist between team members, and where team members collaborate and build on one another’s ideas.

What type of relationships do you have with your direct reports and peers? Do you know what makes them “tick’?  As a leader what more can you do to stay connected and retain top talent?


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