5 Things That Drive Good Employees To Quit

Aug. 20, 2015

In every organization there are employees that shine. These top performers are the backbone of any business, but especially a small one, and should therefore be considered one of your most valuable assets. It’s time to pay close attention to them.  

The economy is improving in most areas, and that means more jobs and larger workforces. This is a good thing for our industry because it means more money is being spent in vending machines and micro markets. It leads to increased sales of office coffee and related services too as employers increase benefits in an attempt to keep their best employees and lure other top performers from competitors. Unfortunately, this last idea is one that threatens vending operations, too, and with many small, close-knit workforces, operators are most at risk if a top performer leaves. To avoid this, let’s look at some of the things that drive good employees to quit their job. 

Being unable to work. Sometimes things happen in operations (a person is fired, a new system is implemented, etc.) that creates a more complex process for the employee. When the employee can’t inform someone of these hurtles and can’t see a faster solution coming soon, it frustrates them and destroys the dedication that employee feels for the organization. Your star employees view these as obstacles to doing their job, when they expected the change to be a solution. It’s important to survey employees regularly about their job satisfaction (formally or informally) and keep communication open. Encourage top performers to tell managers about grievances and then address them. Maybe the situation can’t be fixed, but perhaps it can be explained or given a timeline. Those top performers may even have a suggestion to correct the issue, creating more efficiency and benefiting you both.  

Working long hours and given more to do. Since these employees are often internally motivated, they will put in effort and get the job done without reminders or even direction from management. These are those can-do people. It can become so that the worker is taken for granted and asked to do even more – a victim of their own success. This will certainly drive an employee away as they begin to feel taken advantage of, unappreciated and overworked.  

A lack of recognition. While being asked to constantly work more drops employee morale, an environment where recognition and compliments aren’t given can also create a festering resentment. Some employees are looking for monetary bonuses and some are looking for public recognition of their achievements, such as company announcements that they have been nominated for an award. Even a weekly and specific “Good Job” email may help in reassuring star employees their efforts are noticed and appreciated. 

The robot syndrome. This is what I call a working environment that encourages a nose-to-the-grind-stone work environment that has no comradery. Certainly, lots of socializing wastes time, but there is an acceptable range. Much research has been done about how talking over coffee in the breakroom can inspire new ideas and lead to greater productivity. It is research we use in selling vending, micro markets and OCS. Don’t forget to apply it to your own company and breakroom. If other employees like your service, your own employees will too, especially when it isn’t possible to reward their efforts with higher pay. That feeling of belonging to a team and that co-workers are friends is an invaluable retention tool.

Micro management. This shouldn’t be new to anyone, however, this takes on many different forms that are hard to identify. Employees are different people, with different ways of achieving end results. If your goals are being fulfilled, don’t criticize the process the employee used. Often managers believe being the devil’s advocate can help employees excel, but often it makes them second guess every decision they make and wonder if they aren’t a good fit for this company after all.  

A better economy fostering a more confident workforce is good for business, but it also means that employers need to be more vigilant than ever in keeping those 5-star employees. Look to processes, morale and how managers communicate to their employees to really ensure those top performers stay the course with you. It will lead to certain success.