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Losing Motivation and Enthusiasm: When a Top Performer Resigns



“Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that’s more productive”.

Employees come and go, but losing a top performer can be painful. When employees start a new position, they have a reckless enthusiasm and motivation because they feel ready to conquer the business world! However, although it makes intuitive sense that this enthusiasm and motivation will sharply decline over time, receiving a resignation from your best performer is not pleasant. It is not just the better salary or the workplace the strongest factors of resignation, but also the culture of the company where employees feel unchallenged, underappreciated, and stuck in one position for too long without new opportunities for career development. Additionally, your top performers will give you a lot of signs before they decide to resign, such as increased absenteeism, avoiding social events related to work, decreased productivity, negative attitude and complaints.

How to avoid an employee turnover?

1. Find out the source of the problem

As I said above, employees will show you several signs before they resign. You need to identify these signs and act in advance. Finding out the reason your top performer is leaving goes beyond this one individual, it will actually help you to avoid future turnovers. If you notice that something goes wrong, you need to address it in your one-to-one meeting. You can ask your employee what has changed and if he is dissatisfied. Many employees will be honest with you. Find out what you can do to help them and make an effort to understand what they feel would help them most and then offer suggestions. Your responsibility will be to listen actively and attentively and provide some satisfactory options for both parties.

2. Do not take their work for granted

One of the biggest mistakes leaders do, is to take for granted the efforts of their top performer because he has a constant record of success. Just because someone is good does not necessarily mean that he will keep up the good work. If his efforts are taken for granted, he will start looking for opportunities elsewhere. Thus, you need to be generous with praise, recognition and rewards. However, it is imperative to keep in mind that rewards do not only mean bonuses or awards or titles like “employee of the month”. It has to be something more meaningful with higher impact for the employee.

3. Provide development opportunities and new career paths

The major goal of a leader should be to coach and develop his employees professionally and give them all the skills set to grow. It is critical to encourage and support growth as it is a constant demand of the employees, especially in repetitive jobs, such as call centers. These development opportunities need to not only align with the organizational needs, but also to employees’ abilities and career plans. Training, management development, field trips to successful workplaces, support or internal promotions as a continued investment in employees should be the number one priority.

4. Understand their motivations

Top performers might perform exceptionally because they want to move to a new position and not because they are genuine interested in their current role. If a leader fails to understand that, then the employee will start looking for new opportunities and lose his productivity. Every employee has a different motivation for why he or she works. Leaders need to understand what motivates their employees within the roles they perform and establish a transparent environment of regular feedback and communication. Start asking your employees what they want from their work and whether they are getting it.

5. Reflect on your leadership style

Poor leadership style is also a reason why you lose your top performers. Do you have a clear understanding of what your employees are doing and the challenges they face on a daily basis? Do you keep your promises? Do you blame your team to cover up a failure? Do you promote a friendly, supportive, open and collaborative environment? When you fail to understand your people and behave in ways that propagate positive cultures, they will turn over. An effective leader is someone who constantly focuses on the improvement of his leadership skills while he is creating an inclusive and supportive culture that engages and respects employees.

Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is taking care of those in your charge.

#turnover #motivation #resignation

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