9 Things Managers Do That Drive Good Employees to Quit

Monica Jackson
Published Jul 14, 2023

Anytime a good employee turns in his resignation is a sign that a company is in trouble. But too often managers are blaming everything but their own behavior for helping to drive good employees out the door. Not only is it costly to have good employees become so frustrated that they hand in their resignation, it is also counterproductive for the company's profitability as well as stability and personnel morale. More often than not, managers need to look themselves squarely in the mirror and ask if they have participated in any of the following activities that tend to make good employees leave.

1. Overwork

Rather than see a manager's demands to work even harder and ever longer, good employees who feel overworked are the most likely to start circulating their resumes to other companies and eventually walk out the door. Stanford University research demonstrates that employee productivity swiftly diminishes for every hour worked past 50 hours per week. Managers who like what they see in a good employee and continue to ask for more causes poor morale among good employees, who instead of feeling valued and rewarded for doing good work, simply feel that more work is being piled on them.

2. Failure to Recognize and Reward

Many managers are guilty of never communicating to employees that they recognize the good work they are doing, much less reward them, either verbally or monetarily. People who perform to the best of their abilities usually need a pat on the back from time to time as well as concrete demonstrations of rewards for the efforts they are putting forth.

3. Failure to Show Care and Concern

Good employees will make a beeline for the exit sign if they feel they are working for a manager who cannot empathize, sympathize, or show concern for the challenges they are dealing with in their day to day job responsibilities. A high turnover rate of good employees is too high a price to pay when company managers care only about the rate of production rather than taking the time to establish a personal rapport with each and every good employee performing at optimal levels.

4. Not Keeping Promises

Say what you mean and mean what you say, especially when it comes to making promises to a good employee. Bosses who fail to keep their commitments not only lose respect in the eyes of their employees, they make employees feel totally disrespected. And why should a hard-working employee continue to work for someone who doesn't honor commitments and can't be trusted to follow through on promises?

5. Passing Over the Right People

Few things in the workplace can feel more demoralizing than managers who promote their favorites rather than employees who have demonstrated hard work, loyalty, and commitment. One of the top reasons in exit interviews that good employees give as one of the reasons for their leaving is being passed over for promotion in favor of a candidate who has not demonstrated the same level of productivity.

6. Keeping Employees in the Same Box

Managers often fear losing good employees if they allow them to expand beyond their original duties. But keeping people from pursuing what really makes them feel passionate about their job is the surest way to wind up receiving a resignation letter sooner rather than later. Managers should welcome rather than rebuff good employees who voice interest in expanding their talents into new work horizons.

7. Failing to Manage Constructively

It's essential that managers show interest and provide feedback even for their brightest stars, rather than focusing all of their energy and attention on problem employees. Good employees who feel that they aren't continuing to learn from their managers are the most likely to quit for brighter opportunities.

8. Ignoring Creativity

Managers who quash employee feedback and ideas for doing things better won't be managing those employees much longer. Good employees who can't express their creativity on the job are soon looking elsewhere for employment.

9. Setting the Bar Too Low

Good employees like being challenged and then aided by management in developing their talents. Managers who set their expectations too low for good employees run the risk of their feeling bored and discontented.

The way you treat your good employees, making them feel respected and valued, makes all the difference when it comes to retaining them.

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