They’re professional, they’re proactive, they’re profitable… and then, they leave! Why is it that good employees seek out more? As an HR professional, or a manager, you need to ensure your best employees stay within your organization. Knowledge is the key to success, and knowing why good employees leave can prevent costly departures in the future.

Does your company conduct exit interviews with departing employees? If not, you need to start today. The exit interview is one of the simplest methods of gathering information and can better help you determine the underlying causes for an employee’s departure. Also, the exit interview helps build statistical information for an organization, so moving forward you can prevent making the same mistakes twice! Make sure that exit interviews are conducted by a neutral party, such as an HR Manager. If the reason for departure is conflict or poor management, the employee is more likely to share their frustrations with someone other than the direct person who is causing them discontent.

While employees may leave for a variety of reasons, we’d like to review the most common, so you can better prevent the curse of unhappy employees.  Employers often make the mistake of assuming that the best way to retain employees is with bigger paychecks. While money plays a big role in a person’s decision to stay within an organization, it’s not the only thing that keeps them happy.

Money: An employer is responsible for evaluating an employee’s salary on a regular basis to stay competitive. Are you paying your employee fairly in today’s market? If so, and the employee decides to evaluate their options, chances are they will not make more in a position elsewhere. If they are truly happy, the small difference in pay may not be worth the hassle of relocating. What is their workload like? If your employee is overworked or too challenged, their salary may no longer be competitive when it is broken down into the number of hours they are committing to your organization each week. If they can work less elsewhere, for the same salary, grasses may be greener on the other side.

Conflict: Conflict is not uncommon in the workplace. Behavioral or personality differences amongst co-workers and mangers can often turn into unhealthy environments, where your employees are not comfortable working each day. This can be addressed with anonymous surveys if you are a large organization, private one-on-one HR meetings, or even training on how to adapt to different behavior styles. If you are a small organization, we understand that addressing conflict can be awkward, but it’s important. Welcome opinions and feedback, and routinely check in with your employees on a personal level, to make sure there are no frustrations or concerns.

Poor Management: Many managers become managers because they’ve been promoted after doing well at their first job, but that does not mean they are good at understanding and managing others. A manager’s attitude speaks volumes, and a better attitude and understanding of his or her employees can create a more upbeat atmosphere. Again, welcome feedback; interview your best employees to learn their likes and dislikes of the manager/employee relationship. Ask them what they’d like to see done differently. Ask them for a wish list.

While these are just some of the reasons employees may be unhappy, a handful of HR management best practices can go a long way in bettering your working environment, and preventing employee unhappiness. For questions or concerns about current employee situations, there’s a team of HR professionals that are just one phone call away, and can provide a second opinion and support should you need it: HR Shield.