Running A Business

Why Your Best Employees Quit – and How To Keep Them

Aug 29, 2018 • 3 min read
Young warehouse employee with manager
Table of Contents

      A Gallup poll found that when a company’s best employees are not engaged, they are just as likely to leave an organization as employees who tend to have performance issues or are unhappy. We know business owners don’t want to lose their top performers. So why do these people leave and how can managers get them to stay?

      Many speculate that the most talented employees are likely to have higher expectations for their workplace and more opportunities for jobs elsewhere. Consequently, if a top performer isn’t having his or her expectations met and is not engaged, he or she will begin looking for other jobs – and likely find them.  

      Gallup reports, “You can’t tell how engaged a team member is by performance alone. Engagement raises performance, but your best people may be high performers even if they are miserable. Managers make a fatal mistake if they assume that their top performers can be safely left alone.” Fortunately, there’s a way to keep those rockstar employees. In fact, there’s even an equation for success: Talent + Engagement + Tenure = High Performance.


      Hire the right person for the right job. When people are a natural fit for their position, they are more likely to excel in that role, and enjoy higher job satisfaction.


      When people are actively engaged in their job, they come to work with passion and a desire to do their best work. They’re invested in the growth of the company they work for and will act as a cheerleader and advocate for your business. The Gallup report says, “It is much easier and more effective to engage employees who are a natural fit for their roles.”


      When talent is combined with engagement and tenure, a manager is likely to get magic! When highly talented employees are engaged in their job, tenure is a huge benefit as these top employees work hard to master their craft.

      Gallup concludes, “Employees with all three — good fit, high engagement and 10+ years at an organization — dominate performance. They perform 18% higher than the average employee and 35% higher than a worker who lacks all three elements. While the concept is simple, only 5% of employees have the right fit, high engagement and 10+ years at the same organization.

      The cardinal sin of management is not engaging an employee who is a good fit for their role.”

      It’s a manager’s job to know his or her employees. Managers must know their staff’s strengths and weaknesses and make sure everyone is in the correct positions. It’s also key that managers are aware of their employee’s job satisfaction. If a manager doesn’t meet the basic emotional needs of his or her more talented employees, he or she could be missing out on years of performance gains and tremendous success for the business.

      Tools that aid in analytics-based hiring and track engagement (like the Q12) can help businesses identify high talent/low engagement hot zones. They’re also fantastic conversation starters between managers and their star employees. Managers should not be afraid to engage their top talent. Instead, they should train themselves and their management staff to better understand the needs of their team members. The long term rewards will be well worth the effort.

      About the author
      Brandy Jesperson

      Brandy worked in social media, publishing, and technical writing before joining the Lendio News team. She has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Utah. When she's not writing, Brandy enjoys cooking and traveling.

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