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7 Company Moves that Make Good Employees Leave

The last thing a company wants is for good employees to leave. It’s expensive to replace employees, and it can be troublesome to hire staff over and over again. It will also be hard to tell whether replacements are good. Regrettably, companies sometimes make moves that cause good employees to leave. 

This article will detail some of the unfortunate moves that may cause a good employee to leave and get a job elsewhere. Companies should avoid these moves and try to keep their good employees through custom staffing solutions. 

Taking Good Performances for Granted

Companies depend almost completely on their workers to keep going, provide quality products and services, and retain profits. However, companies may not show enough appreciation to good employees, and even when they do recognize contributions, it isn’t always in a way that’s meaningful.

  • 82% of employees say they don’t receive enough recognition at work per O.C. Tanner.
  • 79% of employees who quit their jobs listed lack of appreciation from their employers as the reason, Achievers noted.
  • Employees also told Achievers it had been an average of 50 days since their employers expressed any appreciation.
  • 53% of employees in a different study by Glassdoor said they would be more likely to stay in their jobs if they felt more appreciated.

Employers need to create cultures of appreciation and recognition by building in celebrations when projects are completed on time and when goals are achieved, as well as recognizing work anniversaries and having annual or more frequent appreciation days in the workplace. Providing positive feedback in the moment is another good way to cultivate habits of appreciation. 

Cost-Cutting in the Wrong Places

During times of economic uncertainty (like what was experienced during COVID-19), companies may need to cut costs to have operating capital and to avoid layoffs. Cost-cutting can be a necessity, but employers could risk losing valued employees when they make cuts in the wrong areas. 

One mistake employers often make is cutting salaries or benefits first instead of as a last resort when they’ve tried everything else. It never feels good to take a pay cut, and the resulting disappointment can turn into disengagement and a search for an employer willing to pay for quality work. 

The other place to avoid cost-cutting measures is employee training as without training, employees won’t be able to advance in their jobs. Training is essential for the growth and longevity of your long-term employees. If you can’t provide training directly, tuition reimbursement so they can get it on their own is the next best thing.

Playing Favorites

Playing favorites may get a few employees to stick around, but there’s always unfavored employees on the other side who get tired of seeing others treated better and want to leave. It’s important for employees to see the workplace as impartial and fair if employers want their good employees to value their jobs and stay. 

It’s common for managers and owners to like some employees more than others, but it’s not professional to treat some employees better than others, to make exceptions for them when they don’t perform well, or to promote them over others who are more qualified. Playing favorites like this can make other employees feel like they’re on the outside of the inner circle and that they can never get fair deals, so they’ll eventually decide to look elsewhere for better opportunities.


Too often, good employees who are micromanaged become frustrated and look for better, more autonomous employment options. Constructive feedback and adequate training should be sufficient to produce the desired performance results, and employers need to pick their battles while letting go of perfectionistic attitudes. 

It’s irritating to be corrected all the time or to get complaints about minor performance aspects that don’t affect the end results. Sure, your supervisors may want things done in particular ways, but is it worth losing good employees to get small adjustments accomplished? Probably not. 

Professional meeting

Maintaining the Status Quo

Employers who work to maintain the status quo rather than pursue change may be making a mistake when it comes to retention of the employees that make a difference. When you merely maintain the status quo, you discount important changes that will improve your company and lead to greater employee satisfaction.

Maintaining the status quo in your company may also lead to bored employees who can’t see any opportunities to grow or advance. This will lead to an exodus because most employees want more from their jobs and careers. 

Inconsistent Reviews

Employees depend on regular reviews for feedback about how they’re performing in their jobs and for areas to improve. If employers conduct reviews at inconsistent intervals or seem to use different criteria in subsequent reviews, it could be a turnoff for them and lead to attrition. 

Management needs to clearly explain the review process to employees so they know how they’ll be evaluated each time and can prepare for the reviews in how they do their jobs. While reviews are important within particular positions, most HR departments will not share reviews with subsequent potential employers, so a bad review will not necessarily deter an employee from getting another job. 

Leading With Bias

Today’s workers are more aware of bias, and many are sensitive to scenarios where companies lead with it. Examples of this include giving hiring preferences based on gender, race, or ethnicity, as well as promoting and recognizing employees on these bases. 

Bias can be so subtle that the company doesn’t even recognize it, so getting feedback from employees, former employees, and neutral outside observers can be effective in eliminating bias in your workplace and preventing people from leaving because of it. Bias can also lead to liability exposure if it’s not addressed, so it’s important to address this fast if it’s an issue. 

If you need help with your recruiting and staffing,  GDH can help you find the star employees you need. 

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