why do top performers leave

10 Surprising Reasons Why Top Performers Leave a Company

Are you alarmed by the swift departure of your top performers? Such an occurrence can trigger serious concern for any business.

Research has revealed that top performers outdo their average counterparts by a whopping 400% in productivity. Thus, it can be deduced that one top performer is more valuable than four average employees.

With top performers constantly leaving your organization, you risk facing grave repercussions in terms of company growth and progress. Consequently, it is crucial to understand the reasons behind the exodus of top performers from organizations.

Only through this understanding can you take the necessary steps to retain your top performers. You can begin this journey by reading about the top 10 reasons for the departure of top performers in the blog post below. Let us embark on this insightful journey.

1. They Want More Money

Everybody cares about making more money. Employers typically believe that around nine in ten people who quit their jobs, do so for more cash in their pockets. However, this isn’t actually true. Only 12 percent of people who leave their jobs claim that money is the most important factor. Nonetheless, you may be surprised to learn that high performers place an even greater emphasis on earning money than the average employee. 

If you want to retain your best people, then you need to be prepared to spend more money. If you’re not willing to pay your top performers more, then someone else will. Therefore, when considering how to keep your top workers happy, you need to make sure you’re paying them fairly. Putting together a competitive compensation package for your workforce is crucial if you want people to hang around for longer.

Remember, it’s not only the basic salary. You should also provide your top performers with generous bonus payments to improve job satisfaction. Give your best talent great reasons to keep working hard with regular pay raises as well. This helps to show that you recognize their excellent performance at work.

2. They Hate Their Boss 

Good leadership helps you retain the top performers in your company.

It is common for people to love their jobs but loathe their bosses, leading to more than a fifth of individuals leaving their jobs to escape their superiors, according to a survey. Working in close proximity to their bosses can make it difficult for employees to work independently, exacerbating any issues they may have with their bosses. This can result in top performers feeling trapped between tolerating their poor leadership or leaving the job altogether.

While any worker can find themselves in this situation, it can be especially frustrating for top performers. Although poor management skills may not always be the fault of the bosses, as more than half of managers never received training, it is crucial to ensure that leaders are effective in their roles to prevent top performers from working under incompetent managers. Pairing top performers with the best managers in the organization is an excellent way to ensure that your employees are satisfied with their job and their boss.

3. They’re Just Bored at Work

Shockingly, around 43 percent of Americans say that they’re bored at work. This could be because they don’t have enough to keep them busy. Or perhaps it’s simply because the tasks are extremely dull and repetitive. Of course, this is usually less of a problem for your high performers because they are usually more engaged at work. However, when your best people get bored, they won’t stay at your organization for long.

High performers are usually ambitious. You can be confident that they will refuse to waste their time being bored at work. How can you prevent this? Ensure your high performers are engaged with interesting and challenging tasks. This will also allow them to stay productive and achieve better results for your business. You don’t want to waste the talents and work ethic of your best performers on dull paperwork or answering the telephone. Make sure your best people don’t find themselves doing anything that doesn’t engage them.

4. No Opportunities for Career Development

Top performers leave when there’s no career direction or career development.

Over 93 percent of workers say they will stay longer at an organization if it provides them with career development opportunities. Your top performers don’t just want to take home their salary at the end of each month. They also want to develop skills and acquire valuable knowledge. Surveys show that around two-thirds of top performers state that they have left an organization because there were no training opportunities.

Everyone benefits if you focus on how you can improve the qualities of your employees. Investing in your top performers is essential to retain them. You need to assemble a package of training and career development programs. This could be anything from arranging a workshop to sending workers to conferences.

5. Too Much Stress and Overwork

Up to 55 percent of Americans report being stressed. Work is usually the biggest cause of stress in our lives. On average, high performers are better at coping with stress and pressure compared with average employees. Nevertheless, even the best employees can suffer from stress under certain work conditions.

If your workplace is characterized by long and demanding hours in the office, these stressful conditions could drive your best employees away. That’s why you have to find ways to encourage your high performers to deal with stress better and create a better work environment. 

According to one survey, over half of American workers say that they find it impossible to find time to take a proper lunch break. Without regular breaks at work and enjoying some lunch in peace, your high performers will be overworked and less productive as a consequence. As well as a proper lunch break, you also need to provide Paid Time Off (PTO) for your workforce. Over 700 million days of paid vacation time aren’t claimed by Americans every year.

If you don’t ensure that your workplace encourages a good work-life balance, then you’ll find that your high performers won’t stay at your organization for long.

6. There is a Clash of Cultures 

Foster the right work culture to keep your high-performing employees.

Creating a company culture that matches the values and principles of your top performers is essential in retaining them. While every workplace has its own culture, it may not suit everyone. Research suggests that nearly 40% of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable company. Therefore, it is crucial to assess your organization’s ethics and ensure that they align with your best employees’ beliefs.

Failing to prioritize ethics and inclusivity may drive your employees away, leading to a lack of diversity and high turnover rates. In order to keep your best staff, addressing any factors that could make them feel alienated is vital. Demonstrating your commitment to doing good rather than just making profits will appeal to talented and hardworking individuals. By creating a positive work environment that aligns with the values of your top performers, you can ensure that your business continues to grow.

7. Don’t Feel Valued or Appreciated 

Workers who feel unappreciated are likely to quit, with up to 79% stating that they left their jobs due to a lack of recognition. When your top achievers are not acknowledged, they begin to explore alternative employment options. It’s essential to demonstrate that you value your employees’ contributions and efforts, as financial compensation alone may not be sufficient.

Consider hosting social events and team-away days to foster unity and a sense of belonging within your organization. Providing an Employee of the Month award can also give high-performing employees an extra incentive to remain focused. It’s crucial to recognize the added value that your top-performing workers bring to the table. Failure to do so can lead them to question why they bother putting in the effort.

8. Absence of Any Helpful Feedback

Giving regular feedback will help top performers to continue to excel in their roles.

Giving your workers regular feedback is an important aspect of HR performance management. However, not everyone equally enjoys receiving feedback about their performance. You might discover that some of your workers simply interpret your feedback as nasty criticism. But you’ll likely discover that your top performers particularly value feedback.

Your top-performing employees are constantly striving for improvement and higher achievements, making it crucial to acknowledge their successes and areas for growth. However, determining the appropriate amount of feedback can be a challenge. In a study of exceptional performers, the majority expressed the need for monthly performance evaluations with their supervisors. Surprisingly, only slightly more than half of employers are currently providing this level of feedback-oriented communication.

Therefore, if you solely rely on yearly evaluations, it will not suffice for your best employees. Regularly engaging with them and offering feedback will increase their motivation to remain loyal to your company.

9. The Desire for a Career Change 

High performers are usually able to adapt and learn better than most people. That’s why the appeal of changing careers several times in their lifetime is attractive. Your high-achieving workers may have always wanted to quit their day job to become an entrepreneur. Or maybe they wanted to stop working in your industry to try teaching high schoolers instead. You never know what career changes may appeal to your best workers. This might be out of your hands. But you can actively seek to make your workplace the best it can be.

You don’t want your high-performing workers to be swept up in thinking the grass is greener somewhere else. Keeping your high performers happy is the only way you can deter them from looking at alternative career routes.

10. Taking Back Control for Themselves 

High performers in any organization will want independence.

Typically, high performers possess specific attributes. In addition to their desire for continuous feedback, proactivity, and goal achievement, they value self-reliance and independence in their work environment.

To maximize the potential of your exceptional employees, grant them more responsibilities. Encourage them to tackle challenges on their own, and they will thrive.

Do you frequently monitor your employees’ actions? This micromanagement can quickly demoralize your top performers. Instead, cultivate an atmosphere of trust in their capabilities and potential for success.

Why Top Performers Leave Organizations 

Organizations are built on the backs of top performers. So you can’t afford to consistently lose your best workers.

If you’re going to get better at retaining your workers, you need to develop an understanding of what your high performers want from an employer. 

From a better salary to a sense of purpose, there are many reasons why top performers leave for other opportunities. You should ensure you’re making the right changes to prevent your best employees from leaving your company. 

Solvo drives business growth by connecting North American companies with exceptional remote workers and AI-powered tools. Our unique nearshoring model ensures efficient collaboration in the same time zone, reducing turnover, and driving cost efficiencies. With a focus on fostering a great work environment, Solvo is dedicated to attracting top talent, ensuring our partners never have to choose between cost and quality.   

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