Recruitment - Why do the Good Ones Leave?

By International Workplace

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When resources are stretched to the maximum, we are asking more and more from our valuable people resources – so why is it that the good ones always leave?  Aren’t they up for the challenge, the additional responsibilities, or the outcome of doing a job well?

Recruitment - Why do the Good Ones Leave?

A quick and simple reason is inequity; the good ones work harder and the under-performers are left to continue to under-perform with no management direction or consequence.

Management Issues

So what should we be doing, at a time when managers ill need the additional workload of a people management issue?

Again, the simple answer is to look at what the business needs, direct people to achieve it, provide them with the support and management to achieve, and reward when successful.

It does sound simple, but the work involved in setting your team to achieve what your business is looking for takes time, a good understanding of the business needs, and the ability of your people.

Once in place, however, a good recruitment manager can reap the rewards from a successful team and drive the business forward.  The effort then comes from maintaining the success; you’ve worked hard to get there, you’ve recruited the best candidates, so what do you do to retain your people?

A Simple ‘thank-you’

The third simple answer is reward.  And that doesn’t mean throwing lots of money at people, although that will help with some!  When the reward pot has run dry, a well-earned ‘thank you’ goes a long way.  When a manager takes time out to recognise good performance (outside of the normal appraisal process) it means a lot!  Don’t get me wrong, a thank you does only go so far, and then most ‘normal’ employees will want financial recognition, development or more challenges.  But praise and acknowledgement of a job done well is a great start that managers often miss out on.

The other element that will retain good people is seeing the effort that everyone puts in.  If one person is under-performing, whatever the reason, this will eventually cause upset within your team.  Along with directing, motivating and recognising good performance, managers also need to deal with poor performers.

People don’t often look to under-perform, if they do this is more to do with their conduct than capability.  But with true capability issues, the key is understanding why people are not performing and then address this, be it the right tools/resources to do the job, more authority, clearer direction and support or training.  

Lack of Recognition

So in a nutshell the good ones leave, in my view, due to inequity from lack of recognition, be that reward, promotion or development, and the inability of managers to identify and then deal with under-performers.

A manager who can address these issues will be on the road to having a successful team who will drive the business forward!


Alex Davies                                                                                                              
Head of Development, International Workplace                                                  
You can find her on Twitter: @AlexDaviesIW

International Workplace offers expertise in the management of people and places: health and safety; sustainability and the environment; facilities management; HR, leadership and development. We help organisations achieve the highest levels of compliance and performance, to a consistent standard across their international operations.

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