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6 Reasons Why Your Best Employees Quit Honestly, would you work for you?

By Jacqueline Whitmore Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Just because a person is satisfied with their job doesn't necessarily mean they aren't looking for new opportunities. Because of this, it's critical to keep up with your employees' needs and continue to motivate and challenge them with work they feel is meaningful.

A report by CareerBuilder states that 21 percent of workers plan to leave their current job in 2016 (up from 16 percent in 2015) and as you know, it is expensive to hire and train a new employee. So be aware of these reasons employees quit, and see if you can resolve them so your best teammates will remain happy and stay with you for a very long time.

1. They are disrespected and undervalued.

Regardless how much people love their jobs, they are more than likely to quit if they feel underappreciated. They will feel more valuable if you recognize their efforts. Even if you don't have a huge payroll budget, try offering employee recognition luncheons or bonding activities such as softball or soccer games and lunch-and-learn sessions.

2. They lack upward mobility.

Any ambitious employee will become frustrated if there's little or no opportunity to move up. The idea of doing the same exact thing for a long time is not exactly exciting, especially for top performers.

Some employers favor family members and close friends above others who may be more qualified, or may choose an employee with a more docile personality over one who is more qualified but has a feistier disposition. That will create resentment among the troops, and may spur your best employees to look elsewhere. It may sound like common sense, nevertheless, don't discriminate. Your employees need to know that they will be given equal access to any position within the company.

Create opportunities within your organization for people to move up the ladder by taking on responsibilities that further their career. Provide training and educational opportunities so they constantly get to upgrade their skills and network with others.

3. There is no recognition or reward.

Employees want to feel that you are grateful for their hard work. This can be shown in different ways—some more tangible than others. Offer a heartfelt thank you often. And consider a small bonus, certificate of appreciation or simple plaque. If your budget is bigger, offer college scholarships or tuition assistance. Create opportunities to excel and be recognized and give bonuses for outstanding work.

4. You discourage employee input.

Help employees feel as if they are an integral part of your organization by valuing their ideas and input, otherwise, they may feel alienated and non-essential. Hold weekly or bi-monthly meetings and include them in the decision-making process whenever possible.

5. You don't allow them to be in charge of anything.

Employees need to know that you trust them enough to work on their own. Managers who breathe down their backs will certainly not promote trust. Excellent managers encourage their employees to be independent, make sound decisions and take on extra responsibility. If it's practical, let your employees work from home several times a month.

6. Morale is poor.

One way to boost morale is to encourage your employees to get involved in community projects. For example, provide 8-10 paid hours per month to participate in volunteer activities.

Furthermore, a healthy employee is a happier employee. Treat your employees to a bevy of health benefits, health and wellness-related programs, stress-management coaching, or discount memberships to a local gym or fitness center.

Employees who enjoy going to work and see a future are less likely to look elsewhere. Creating an environment that is challenging, yet stress-free will help keep your best and brightest people as long as possible.

Jacqueline Whitmore

Author, Business Etiquette Expert and Founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla. She is the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

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