The #1 Reason That Good Employees Quit

I had a conversation with a former client the other day.

We’d been working with him for two years. Most employees we sent to his business burned out quickly

Finally, I said enough.

I met with the owner. He blamed financial and production problems.

I offered a different explanation.

“You want to know the #1 reason your good employees quit?” I asked.

He nodded.

I told him: “It’s you and your management team.”

The #1 Reason that Good Employees Quit: They Feel Mistreated and Under-Appreciated

I’d heard horror stories from employees we sent there. Managers yelled at them and provided no direction.  Some of the employees quit during their first shift.

I told him, “You may be in a commodity business. But you can’t treat your people like a commodity.”

He told me he’d hired five other agencies with similar results.

None of those agencies told him the hard truth.

He thanked me for my honesty and asked what he could do to fix things.

The #1 Reason Good Employees Stay

I told him: “Show your employees you value them.”

Good employees want to feel part of a team. They want to understand they’re contributing to something meaningful and getting something back from it.

This is especially true in a job seeker’s market. Your employees can quit and have a new job before they get home. If you want to compete, you have to give employees reasons to stay.

If employees feel valued, if they feel like they’re part of the team, if they feel like they’re contributing to the big picture, they have reasons to stay.

It Starts with Onboarding

Here’s what happened to one of the employees when he arrived for work:  He was thrown straight into the fire. No welcome. No training. Just, “Get to work!” followed by some hot-tempered manager who began yelling at him.

Instead of throwing new employees into work like cattle, welcome them in. Offer training. Guide them through the work processes. Explain the big picture.

We’ve learned from our experience with our client.

Now, when we send an employee to a new workplace, we often send one of our recruiters with the employee. We help with onboarding.  Our recruiter walks the employee around, introduces them to other members of the team, and connects them in a positive way with their supervisors.

In general, it’s about treating employees with respect and giving them something to look forward to in the workplace.

Small Perks Pay Big Dividends

Maybe it’s pizza Fridays or ice cream socials on Wednesdays. Lighten the load. Lift the spirits.

I told my client: If you take these steps, and your competitors don’t, you’ll come out on top.

My client thanked me again. But he didn’t change his ways.

That’s why we don’t work with him today. We work with employers who treat employers with respect.

Managers spend so much energy worrying about the bottom line — budgets and costs and revenue. But they fail to realize you won’t generate as much revenue and control costs if you can’t keep good employees.

I’ve worked with many other businesses that learned this lesson and changed how they treat employees. They’re now thriving. They’re happier, and their employees are happier.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Changing a mindset and culture is a lot of work.

But with the right help, you can do it.

Start showing employees you appreciate them, and you’ll avoid the #1 reason good employees quit.

Then everyone wins.

We know how to recruit AND retain top employees…

…and we can help you do it. 

Give us 30 minutes to share how our recruiting and screening process will give you the right candidate, the first time.


Chuck Vogel