The last time a valued employee resigned at your organization, what emotions ran through your mind? Surprise, disbelief, astonishment, wonder, and sadness are but a few that you may have experienced.

Some say that people leave their employers for one (or more) of three reasons:

1) They don’t like their boss.
2) They don’t enjoy the work.
3) Compensation is lacking.

Data from the Gallup* organization reveals an unsettling pattern in the U.S. workplace that employees have little belief in their company’s leadership.

Gallup found that only:

  • 22 percent of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization has a clear direction for the organization.
  • 15 percent of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization makes them enthusiastic about the future.
  • 13 percent of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization communicates effectively with the rest of the organization.

But these numbers can certainly improve with leaders’ renewed commitment to their employees.

So, what can be done about losing good people? As Barney Fife said, “Nip it in the bud!” Well, sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t. However, without trying and adopting these practices below, it’s a sure-fire recipe for an outflow of those “good people”…and ole Deputy Fife shaking his head saying, “You didn’t nip it in the bud!” Nobody, but nobody, wants the wrath of Barney.

  • Be consistent.
  • Be flexible.
  • Proactively ask good performers, “What can we do to make you happy/make you want to stay here?”
  • Give people clear direction and a clear path towards opportunities in the organization that don’t necessarily involve moving up the ladder.
  • Recognize the unique strengths of each person.
  • Do your best to provide the circumstances for people to feel emotionally attached to the work and mission of the organization.
  • Ask for a commitment. Some employers ask their team members, especially managers, to commit to staying in their positions for at least two years. There is no guarantee, even with a verbal agreement, but most people think twice before moving on.

*State of the American Workplace, Gallup, Inc., 2017

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“Losing feels worse than winning feels good.” –Vin Scully

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