Four Seemingly Harmless Mistakes That Could Drive Away Your Best Employees

GettyImages-860176390.jpgBuilding a solid team takes a lot of time and money, so it’s understandably frustrating and even painful when one of your top performers hands in his or her notice. You hired with care, offer competitive pay, invested in training, and offer great perks. So what went wrong? According to experts, some factors that ultimately make great employees walk away are the very things that some employers do to make their workplaces “better.” Here are some common practices that may just cost you your MVPs:

Too Many Rules

Rules ensure order and efficiency, and every company needs them. Some rules, however, get in the way of productivity and are even described by some employees as borderline insulting, mainly because they seem to express a lack of trust in your employees’ good judgement. Whether it’s an antiquated dress code, awkward feedback mechanisms, or robotic attendance policies, recognize that you took the time to hire and train quality people who have earned your trust. Even the rules have always worked for your company, do they still work to your advantage as an employer?

Too Much Equality

We all want to be treated fairly, hence treating everyone the same is the answer! Or so we thought. Equality has its place: to avoid discrimination and to ensure performance wins over race, sex, color, gender, and so on… but don’t ignore the power of incentive and positive reinforcement. Recognize and reward outstanding employees. Those who go the extra mile, contribute more, and care more – and make your company or department look good, deserve and should be given special treatment. Otherwise, why should they try so hard when the laziest member of the team gets the same thing?

Too Much Insulation
Gone are the days when people clock in, do their work, and clock out; today’s employees, which are increasingly Millennials, demand that their work be meaningful and make a difference. They need to be recognized as vital threads in your company’s fabric. Smart employees, particularly those who are invested in their careers, thrive on transparency and detest “mushroom management” – when they are kept in the dark about the company’s larger goals, challenges, and performance. Including them will give them a greater sense of purpose in the overall scheme of things, increase their emotional and professional investment – and improve your employee engagement and retention rates.

Not Enough Fun

On average, we have 113 waking hours per week – and typically spend 40 of them at work. That’s nearly a third of our waking life, year after year. Recognizing this, many innovative companies have turned many long-held workplace rules on their head to help employees have more fun on the job. From allocating comfy sitting areas to setting up ping-pong tables, to silly (but awesome) events like ‘Yay Days’ and team painting classes, there is ever-increasing proof that happy employees are effective employees who know how to and do (cheerfully) get the job done.

While avoiding these mistakes does not guarantee that your best employees will stay forever, they could definitely help decrease the likelihood of you personally driving them away. There’s also the added bonus of a better work environment that will attract future superstars down the road.

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