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Papa Olabode: Why Do the Good Ones Leave? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You’re Losing Staff



Ade Olabode_2Let’s be honest, some employees are super stars. I’m talking about the type that hardly makes mistakes, knows how to make your  V.I.P customers feel special, constantly improving how your product or how you operate, etc. They’re solid, reliable and worth their weight in gold. That’s why it’s painful to lose them. Especially, if losing them could have been preventable. The departure of your best employees represents an unwelcome disruption to your service. And sometimes, can also be a bad signal as to the health of your firm – like people deserting a sinking ship.

Here are actionable points to consider on why they leave:

You Don’t Appreciate them
Sometimes, people find it difficult to say thank you or acknowledge a job well done. You shouldn’t be that type of employer who finds it hard to show appreciation for a good job or acknowledge when your staff has gone beyond the call of duty.

The truth is a lot of employers feel that all they owe you is your salary. This is not entirely incorrect; but, it’s easier to motivate people by appreciating their efforts.

You Don’t Make Them Feel their Jobs Matter
You have to give people a sense of purpose. Unfortunately, a lot of employers feel you’re lucky to have a job. It’s unfortunate because it’s a lost opportunity if you don’t motivate people that there’s more to work for than just salary.

You have to align their job to the overall objective of the company. A great example ca be seen from how a SpaceX employee who works on steering system describes his work: ‘my job is to help design the steering system that enables our rockets to land back on earth’.

You Neglect Training
Yes, times are hard but training your staff doesn’t have to mean expensive or external training. It means having the mindset that people must be provided with an opportunity to improve themselves. This could be done on-the-job training, paid training, or just being supportive of their need for training e.g time off.

You Underpay them
It’s easy to underpay your best staff below market rates, especially if they’ve been with you for a long time.  This usually happens when you don’t do regular salary review or have no inclination to pay a staff sums you think are too much. Or even worse, you don’t pay them! This is bad for all staff whether superstar or below par performer. But it’s arguably worse for a star performer, especially knowing that they could be elsewhere earning.

You Don’t Put in your Best
It’s true that the best employees want to work for the best managers. A good manager is one who is dedicated and competent on the job.  This serves as a point of motivation and avenue for employees to provide consistent performance

Finally, it’s worth saying that sometimes people leave an organisation simply because they desire another challenge. That’s fine.

What’s not fine, is that they leave because you left them with no choice. Have you got any other ideas on what to avoid? Please share in the comments.

Papa Olabode is an adviser to small business owners. He's the co-founder & CEO of PrognoStore (, the Point-of-Sale Software for small businesses. PrognoStore is a 3-in-1 solution as it combines point-of-Sale, Inventory and Analytics to be all you need to run your store. He's a chartered accountant and has previously worked at Deloitte, Credit Suisse and co-founded HGE Capital. Follow on Twitter @papaolabode


  1. Sippingtea

    March 1, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Excellent article. A lot of startups are revolving doors, constantly hiring staff and then proceeding to over work and underpay them. In a toxic environment, people cannot grow and very soon, the stress will begin to show in the quality of work. Talented and hardworking staff will get laid off or just get sick of everything and quit. In the long run, these businesses won’t last because they aren’t willing to put in the quality they want out of their staff. You can’t give one person the duties of ten people, pay they peanuts and expect them to give you groundbreaking results. Just ain’t gonna werk.

  2. Greatness

    March 1, 2017 at 9:02 am

    This is one of the best articles I have read here. Kudos! I think some employers need to review ‘some’ of the best staff who deserve a promotion, because this is one of the main reasons the best employees quit their job. Every good employee want a new challenge, and especially when they have been at a position for too long, they tend to feel really unappreciated.

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