5 Reasons (and Solutions) Why Your Best Employee Quits

Having an employee you really admire resigns from your company can sometimes feel like an insult. In a perfect business world none of your best employees would ever leave, but sometimes they do.

Instead of stalking their LinkedIn account, desperately waiting to see who they’ve left you for, use your time more productively and consider why they left. A company that can work for some may not work for others. That being said, there are some particular workplace gripes that commonly lead to your best employee quitting.

We’ve complied the top reasons why your best employee quits and we even have the solution for it!

Reason #1: Employees Are Not Recognised

One of the reasons why your best employee quits is because their work is not recognised or they do not get the recognition that they deserved. Over half (55.3%) of the Australian workforce don’t feel recognised within their job and 49% of people would leave their job for one in which their efforts and contributions were recognised. (https://recruitloop.com/blog/why-do-people-quit-their-jobs/)

The Solution

Employee recognition has proven to be key in employee satisfaction, thus retention. Taking a couple of minutes out of your day to notice the good things your employees contribute has been proven to lower stress and increase productivity. Here are three ways how to recognise an employee.

  • Recognise their contribution as an individual by thanking them for how they improve the vibe in the office.
  • Recognise their contribution to the job by commenting on something they did well on a recent project; example “You did great on that client presentation, especially how well you handled that question”.
  • Recognise their contribution to the company, “Thanks for being a great accountant”. It’s as easy as thanking them genuinely and a little goes a long way.

Reason #2: Poor or Lack of Communication

When people aren’t told what they’re doing, more often than not they won’t do it. Clear communication is paramount for any business to run well. A good workplace exemplifies transparency between employees and employers with easy and open means of communicating. When there is a lack of communication employees feel overlooked, often resulting in a distrust of management and confusion.

Though poor communication is possibly the greatest reason your best employees are leaving, it can be easily fixed. Simple changes to workplace practices can completely transform office communication.

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The Solution

Though poor communication is possibly the greatest reason your best employees are leaving, it can be easily fixed. Establish a simple change to workplace practices such as replying to employee emails in a 24-hour time frame would work greatly.

Another solution is following up tasks and conduct weekly debriefs in order to keep your employees updated and this is also a good time to take note of what is going on at the workplace. Remember that this action goes a long way for establishing effective communication.

Frequently, employee won’t reach out because they don’t want to disappoint you and this is an issue as it might be an important issue that have been bothering them. Employees won’t feel confident if they can’t talk to you openly. If employee isn’t confident that means they’re not confident in their job.

best employee

Photo: Anztowa, Flickr


Reason #3: They Can’t See a Future in the Company

One of the reasons why your best employee quits is because they see no future for them themselves in the company. If your staff are not working towards a career or company goal, it’s likely they are unable to see a promising future. That is a sure sign their job will reach a dead-end.

No one wants to be a sailor for five years with the only task of scrubbing the deck. Staff need to see themselves and the workplace progressing and you owe them that. Remember that by developing your best employee, you’re developing your company.

The Solution

A simple solution to the issue is to turn your employee into leaders. Try to give them the opportunity to take the reins in a project and allow them to figure out their own resolutions.

Support your employees to learn and educate themselves. Whether it be formally through classes and progression of their qualifications or informally, through workplace mentorship opportunities. When employees realise their manager’s care about their career development, they will make an effort to stay with the company and reach these goals.

Furthermore, encourage them to assess their own job responsibilities and detail what they do well, what they want to focus on to do better.

Reason #4: Not Mentally Challenged

There is nothing worse than sitting at a desk all day and feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing. When most days are spent in a monotonous cycle, employees repeating the same tasks every day become unmotivated to do their job well.

Your staff become no longer passionate about what they do and are not satisfied with the work they submit to your company. Work quality steadily declines at a rate parallel to employee morale. Your best employees who are unchallenged in their jobs are wasting their time and yours and may even become a liability.

The Solution

Utilise an employee’s skill set and encourage them to go beyond what’s expected. It’s easier than you think, look for potential in staff and call it out, give staff opportunities to go beyond their titles. Assert that failure is a learning process and encourage the journey.

Lastly, ASK; ask your staff for solutions, opinions and ideas, they’re your best resources and hold a wealth of knowledge. Not only are they being challenged you may even be surprised.

It is simply good if everyone understand what they are currently working on and how it fits into the big picture.


Reason #5: Overworked Employee

Nothing burns out your best employees out quite like overworking them. Overworking good employees tend to get confused, as it makes them feel as if they’re being punished for great performance.

New research from Stanford shows that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that you don’t get anything out of working more.

The Solution

If you must increase the workload your best employees are doing, you would need to increase their position as well. Employees will take on a bigger workload, but they won’t stay if their job suffocates them in the process.

Remember to provide the raises, promotions, and title-changes together with the increased workload. If you solely increase workload because without changing any other aspect, they will seek another job that gives them what they deserve.

Bonus Reason: It Just Wasn’t Meant To Be

Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. It could have nothing to do with you or the company, but that this staff member has their own personal reasons for leaving, all out of your control. Yes, it might be disappointing but this upheaval paves the way for opportunity.

A new hire is a possibility for fresh ideas, different skill sets and untouched talent. Take it in your stride and look to the future. They could be your new best employee.

In Summary

Managing a pool of employees is never easy and seeing some of your best employees walk out the door can be devastating. However, it’s important to consider why the relationship did not work out and take some time to reflect.

Remember to appreciate the employees you have and give credit where credit it due. Have a read of our blog post on 27 Fantastic Cheap or Free Employee Retention Strategies for more.

Good luck!


About Monique Tilt

Monique Tilt is a Creative Advertising and Graphic Design student, with a second major in Advertising under Commerce; a complicated degree she’s studying at Curtin University.

In the long run, Monique aims to be a Creative Director, specifically focusing on graphic design and the new possibilities in digital marketing and web advertising.

Lauren Clarke

Lauren Clarke

Lauren writes for 6Q and a number of other blogs from her home office in Australia. She spends her time writing, reading and changing US to International English on many articles that she edits.