As an employer you don’t enjoy those moments when an employee presents you with their resignation. You would much rather focus on job retention. I’m going to let you in on a little secret… most resignations are preventable!

An employee quitting their job is an inevitable outcome. Naturally there are many reasons your employees quit; career change, raising a family, a move interstate or overseas, even a return to study. These reasons concern the employee’s life outside of their working environment. Consequently there is little you can do to retain their employment. Yet the majority of reasons why people quit their job are under your control, and they are often associated with your workplace, culture and your employee’s perception of the role they play. Now that you understand that employees don’t simply wake up and commence searching for a new job role, we can get to the critical drivers behind why an employee quits their job… all of which you can manage.

Boredom is a key reason why a staff member leave. We like to be challenged in our everyday job role. When our boundaries are pushed and we still come out the other side feeling like a victor, it gives us a sense of achievement. And that gives purpose to our role, particularly if what we do directly relates to the achievement of the company’s core objectives. If you recognise that your staff are being underutilised, you need to find a means to challenge them further or their productivity and commitment will deteriorate. This may mean assisting them to rediscover their purpose in their role or allowing them to engage the full scope of their skills and abilities. That said, your employee too is responsible for setting standards and generating a role that is stimulating for them.


Opportunities for growth and development is also a highly sought after job aspect for employees. The ability to set a career path and promote employees is important. For smaller organisations and those with a rather flat structure, these opportunities can be presented in the form of further training, certification and managerial prospects. If you do not demonstrate that you are invested in your employees, they will not be invested for you. At least not long term. Employees need to see a future with you.

Employees also need to feel valued. You can demonstrate your appreciation of your employees efforts in many ways; appropriate pay, saying thank you and giving positive feedback, offering benefits and upholding bonuses linked to KPI’s, and listening to and implementing their concepts. It is important to your employees to receive recognition for their work. Continually bringing value to a company without acknowledgement of effort will send a message that their contributions are not appreciated. If you treat your employees as if they are invisible, they soon will be.

Internal relationships serve as a key factor in retaining the service of an employee. As the boss you need to be able to connect on a level that is comfortable. You form an integral part of the team and your employees need to feel they can approach you and engage with confidence. A bad boss rates highly on the reasons why an employee quits. It is equally important that your employees get along with each other. They are a critical component of each other’s working environment. The nature of their relationships with one another will affect their ability to interact, work as a team and generate great results. Where you see tension, intervene if it does not appear that your workers can rectify matters amicably. You want a happy workforce!

Trust is also an important element in creating a motivated and eager workforce. When you give your team the tools and support to perform well, and not micromanage their every move, they will feel empowered. This autonomy and independence to drive the activities of their role will create a culture of accountability. When employees are allowed to take responsibility for their role, they feel more impassioned and produce greater results. And when an employee owns their role, they have a purpose to stay. Discussing the relevance of your employees’ roles to the key deliverables of the organisation will make them feel connected to an even larger purpose.

A culture that induces satisfaction and engagement, that celebrates successes and brings teams together, that demonstrates respect and rewards effort is truly a great place to work. It is the sort of working environment that enjoys a high job retention rate. As an employer, you can control your company’s culture. You can control the working environment. You can control your employee’s perceptions of their value to the business. You can control the opportunities available to staff. You can control whether your staff are happy in their job role. And you control whether or not they go looking for other prospects.

To generate loyalty and retain the services of your employees over the long term, you need to understand if their job needs are being met. And that means asking questions. Are you happy? Do you feel challenged? Do you feel like you belong? How can we improve this company? This is how you bring the resignations to a grinding halt. This is how you attract and retain great employees.

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