Why Good Employees Leave (& What To Do About It)

Author Image Written by Garth Belic

Looking to retain top talent in your organisation? Learn why good employees leave and how to prevent turnover in our latest article.

Keeping top talent in your organisation is not an easy feat, that’s for sure. But with the right resources and approach to your workforce, it can be the difference between maintaining a competitive edge in today's fast-paced business world and falling flat. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at common reasons why good employees leave and what you can do to prevent these situations.  

Back to top


Knowing the behavioural cues that often show your best employee leaving could just be on the cards, is a handy skill to have. It can also be the best way to maintain a high retention rate. 

Sometimes, these behaviours are extremely subtle and require keen observation and even an intuitive leadership approach to identify successfully. Here are a few examples to keep an eye on:

  • Changed behaviour: An increase in nonstandard appointments, such as personal days or long doctor’s visits, could indicate that an employee might be interviewing elsewhere.
  • Lack of engagement: Decreased initiative, dwindling enthusiasm, or increased negativity about their job or colleagues might be clear signs that an employee is contemplating a career change.
  • Disconnect from the organisational mission: If an employee seems less committed to the company's goals and values, this could be a clear indication of their intention to leave.

Back to top


But turnovers aren't always negative. They can occur for various reasons, from an employee deciding to relocate due to personal reasons to an underperforming employee leaving for a better opportunity. 

However, understanding the different scenarios and their potential impact on the company can help businesses develop dynamic strategies to minimise disruption and maintain team morale. 

Here are some scenarios that can make good employees leave and how to persuade them to stay.

Reasons for Leaving

Actionable Solutions

Competitive compensation is non-existent

Conduct market research to ensure your salary packages are competitive and, consider performing annual salary reviews to keep in line with market trends. Valuable employees should be compensated with the appropriate pay for their efforts.

No career growth opportunities

Create a robust professional development plan for each employee. This could include mentoring, on-the-job training, or offering courses to help them acquire new skills.

Poor management

Invest in leadership training for your management team to ensure they can effectively guide their teams. Frequently review management processes to keep them aligned with best practices. They should also be able to provide constructive feedback and help staff become their best employees by nurturing their skill sets. 

Work-related issues such as harassment, bullying, unfair treatment

Establish a strong HR department and implement zero-tolerance policies for such behaviour. Offer open avenues for employees to express their concerns without fear of retribution. A managed or outsourced HR service can do this for you, too.

Underperforming/ becoming complacent

Regular performance reviews, positive reinforcement, and setting challenging yet achievable targets can help keep employees engaged and motivated instead of becoming victims of reduced productivity. Keeping tabs on ideal employee qualities during your hiring process can also help you identify potential ‘risks’ with this.

Personal reasons such as relocation

Offer flexible work options, such as remote working or adjustable working hours. This can accommodate for personal changes in an employee's life while retaining them within your organisation. Disengaged workers can sometimes be re-engaged just by offering these simple quality-of-life benefits.

Back to top



Use your recruitment plan to create a solid onboarding process and ensure that you’re implementing all the right steps to keep talent on board when you’re going through the selection process.

Your goal should be to foster a sense of belonging for employees you hire from day one. Welcome them wholeheartedly into your organisational community, allow them to understand the company's culture, norms and expectations, and equip them with the necessary tools and information to do their job efficiently. 

Knowing why an employee quit in the first place means you can then adjust your onboarding system to ensure everything is up to scratch for new hires coming on board.

A well-planned orientation and onboarding program can make all the difference here. It's not just about clear communication of responsibilities and logistics. It's also a time for creating connections, instilling the company's values, and bolstering their confidence in their decision to join your organisation. 

  1. Take time for introductions: Ensure your new hire gets the opportunity to meet the team, understand everyone's roles, and start building relationships. Use team-building activities to your advantage here.

  2. Lead by values: Reinforce your organisation's values from the start to reinforce good company culture. This will help new employees align their personal values with those of the company, resulting in higher job satisfaction and increased commitment.

  3. Provide guidance and support: Assign each new employee a mentor or guide. This person can help them navigate the early days in their new role, answering questions and providing support to ease the transition.

It’s also important to note that an off-boarding program is just as important. When an outgoing employee is ready to finish up, make sure you sit down with them to understand their frustrations or reasons for leaving and collect feedback in a productive exit interview environment.

Back to top


  • Recognising key predictors of turnover, such as job satisfaction, role clarity, and workgroup cohesion, is significant in maintaining your star employees.

  • Promoting a culture of teamwork, collaboration, and celebration of achievements can greatly enhance employee commitment, employee morale, and boost retention levels.

  • Employ strategic frameworks to track employee retention rates. This enables an early identification and address of key turnover triggers.

  • Investing time and resources in employee engagement schemes is an effective strategy. Happy, engaged employees tend to stay with a company longer.

  • Understand the standard turnover rate within your industry. This benchmarking can be used as a yardstick for setting your organisation's retention goals.

  • Employ strategies for retaining top performers, such as offering challenging work, offering cross-disciplinary skill improvement programs and implementing a succession planning program.

  • Communication is key, particularly with remote or hybrid teams. Consistent, clear communication contributes to increased productivity and improved team dynamics.

  • Retention begins on day one of an employee's journey with your company. For this reason, a well-designed, thoughtful onboarding process is crucial.

  • Creating an environment that promotes employee engagement is essential in ensuring employees feel valued and committed to your company’s goals.