As every employer knows it’s hard to find good employees. So when you do, you want to retain them. If you have a high turnover rate in a particular department, you should ask yourself why.

Research shows that employees that are motivated are less likely to quit. At work, an employee’s motivation is strongly influenced by the actions of his or her manager. Therefore, if you have otherwise good employees seeking other employment, there may be a problem with management. The old adage holds true: employees don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.

It’s important that your managers are well trained and not making any of the following mistakes that drive good employees away:

Overworking Employees
One sure way to create employee burnout is by overworking them.  Be careful not to give your star employees all the work.  While we understand the motivation, it’s a surefire way of driving your star employee away. The work should be able to be completed in a typical 40-hour work week.  Productivity declines dramatically when the workweek exceeds 50 hours.  Further, anything over 55 hours per week results in zero productivity gained.  If you do need to increase someone’s workload, be sure to reward and recognize them for it with a raise, promotion, or title-change.  If they don’t feel appreciated, they are likely to look for work elsewhere.

Not recognizing and Rewarding Good Work
Let your employees know when they’ve done something that deserves recognition.  Thank them; tell them they did a great job.  This makes employees feel appreciated and motivated to do an even better job on the next project. Employees who feel appreciated are less likely to look for other options.

Failing to Develop Employees’ Skills
No matter how talented an employee is, there are always areas to improve and grow.  Don’t allow your employees to become stagnant in their job.  Mentor them, send them to training to hone in skills they would like to improve, etc.  Allowing employees to grow prevents them from becoming bored and looking for growth opportunities elsewhere.

Not Caring About Employees
According to Gallup, 50% of employees leave their jobs due to their relationship with their manager. Managers must be able to balance being professional yet human.  Get to know your employees.  Show empathy during hard times.  Employees and managers spend the majority of the day together.  Managers that fail to truly care about their employees are much more likely to see a higher turnover rate.

Not Honoring Commitments
If you promise something to an employee, it’s important to honor it.  A solid work relationship must be built on trust.  Don’t make promises that you can’t keep.

Hiring and Promoting the Wrong People
Who do your employees work with more than you?  Their coworkers.  Be sure to hire good people – all the time.  Your current employees are the ones who will be working alongside them day after day.  They are the ones who will pick up the slack of bad hires.  Even more important, be sure you are promoting the best people.  Nothing can be more un-motivating than seeing a co-worker get promoted that isn’t deserving.  You should be able to clearly articulate to the staff why that person was chosen for the promotion.

Not Letting Employees Pursue Their Passion
Meet with your employees regularly and find out what their passion is and what motivates them.  Help them to pursue that passion and grow within their position.  This doesn’t only benefit the employee. The department (and company) benefits from this as well. Studies have shown that employees allowed to pursue their passions at work are five times more productive.

Not Engaging Creativity
Good managers allow their employees to be creative. They listen and truly consider new ideas.  Limiting creativity limits the growth of the entire department.  Go beyond the status quo and always listen for ideas on how to improve work flows, etc.

Not Challenging Employees’ Intellectually
It’s important to reasonably challenge your employees.  Goals shouldn’t be too easy, yet also not virtually unattainable.  But they should be challenging.  Set challenging goals and then help your employees achieve them.  Set them up for success.  Attainable, yet challenging goals will help keep employees.  Bored employees leave.

By avoiding these costly mistakes, retention rates will increase and employees will remain engaged and motivated.  There are always options for good employees, so it is important to keep employees happy with you. Happy employees don’t go looking for greener pastures.

The Nevada Association of Employers offers excellent trainings programs for managers and supervisors. Our Supervisory Skills: The Fundamentals training series is great for current managers or supervisors as well as those slated for supervisory positions in the future. Our Supervisory Skills: Advanced Skills training series explores the soft skills of supervising and/or managing employees, including conflict resolution, team building, communication, and leadership. We offer these training programs several times throughout the year. Check out our training and events calendar for the dates of our next training series.