How to Stop Good Employees from Quitting

why good employees quit

Why Good Employees Quit

Once upon a time, I made a decision to leave a job. I wanted to no longer have to mute my voice or my presence. I knew I deserved to belong, to be heard, and be appreciated for all that I have to offer. So I left. I was good at my job, and I even had development opportunities in front of me. But I left. And boy, am I glad that I did. 

Now my story might be unique, but the feelings of being unimportant, unheard, and devalued are not uncommon. I’m sure that every one of you reading this has experienced those feelings in some capacity in their professional life. That is why good employees quit their jobs. I now make it my mission to give employees a voice where I didn’t have one. I work to fix the hiccups, and the ill-fitting feeling that strikes before employees quit so they won’t feel forced to leave. 

To Fit is To Belong

From an employees’ perspective, managers don’t have a clue what to do to keep their best people. So they leave them feeling devalued and taken for granted. As a result, employees feel so disregarded that they mentally and emotionally check out from their work and become overwhelmingly disengaged. 

This occurs often and all over the place. Employees that experience this can be the best in their fields. They can be doing work they are passionate about and serving people in a way that matters to them. But if they don’t fit with the organization, if their managers don’t see that they have a space and a voice, they will continue to quit. 

We all deserve to belong at work. 

Today, more people are quitting their jobs than ever before. Employees everywhere are taking their futures into their own hands and prioritizing what truly matters–their wellbeing. 

I offer a course for managers to learn three crucial ways to make their employees feel like they belong. 

 Step 1

To make your employees feel like they belong, you must get to know them first. Take the time and put in the effort to learn your employees’ passions. By knowing what motivates your team members and what they truly care about, you can better connect with them and connect their work to them. The more invested and connected they are within your organization, the more likely they are to want to stay. The more they will feel like they belong and have put down roots. 

Step 2

The next step is strategic. Once managers build a deeper connection, like the one mentioned in step 1, they must continue to nourish it. For example, managers should lay out a plan for consistent one-on-one meetings. Create a system for checking in and cementing this connection so that it becomes routine. Making your employees and their well-being a priority will never leave them feeling like they don’t belong. 

Step 3

This third step is perhaps the most complicated but also imperative. Have you ever had a good rapport or a solid relationship with your immediate manager but felt like senior leadership wasn’t aware of your existence? Organizations need unity across all levels. Managers need to fill a crucial void and mitigate the disconnect between top management and frontline employees. If an employee belongs, they must feel that belonging in terms of the whole organization, not just their little corner. 

There is much more depth to each of these steps, but take the course, or work to implement them into your management style, and your good employees will know they are taken care of and truly looked after by you, their caring leaders. 

186: Leaders with Heart Assume Positive Intent

leaders assume positive intent
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In this episode, Heather interviews Barbara Lovejoy SHRM-CP, PHR, who is the Director of Human Resources at Otelco. Barbara’s parents instilled in her a passion for leadership and caring for others at an early age. Today, as Director of Human Resources, she strives to remain true to that behavior. As a leader, Barbara believes everyone has the best of intentions – and that’s how she approaches her work. She is a strong believer that most people on most days show up and truly try their best. She leads with positive intent. This 35-minute conversation is rich with information, plus, Barbara asks Heather two juicy questions as part of a new segment called “Ask Heather Anything”.


Key Takeaways: 

  • Building deeper connections with your teams leads to greater results
  • The best way to lead people is to truly understand who they are as a whole
  • Assuming positive intent results in less conflicts
  • Leading with trust creates a sense of belonging and transparency
The best way to be able to support people and lead people is to truly have an understanding of their whole being. – Barbara Lovejoy #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Barbara has served in HR for over 20 years in various roles and industries, including not-for-profit, healthcare, and currently, telecommunications. She is most passionate about Leadership Development and Culture Creation, and Sustainability. In her current role, she serves as the Director of HR and supports a team of 4 HR professionals. She also volunteers her time serving on the Board of Directors for the local SHRM Affiliate chapter, Central Maine Human Resource Association. In fact, she will be moving into the President role in January. Barbara currently holds dual HR certification from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). Barbara also has her Bachelor of Science degree in Leadership Organizational Studies from the University of Southern Maine. 

When she is not busy at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband Mark and two fur babies, Baxter and Sydney. She and her husband have started investing in real estate, and her favorite part is conceptualizing layout, color coordination, landscape, and décor. Barbara also enjoys her own company and loves the idea of curling up on a couch and reading a good book.

Lead with Trust

I have a tendency to trust immediately. Most of the time I give people 100% of my trust. Truthfully, I don’t really make them earn it. Because for the most part, I do think that people want to come to work every day and do the very best they can. So I think that’s an element of the type of leader that I am. Additionally, my team members would say that I am very transparent in that aspect. I really try to find a way to connect with them on a personal level, not overstepping but definitely being personal. It’s important to find an additional way to connect with your teams, which I try to do with every team member.

assume positive intent leaders

Leadership Behavior: Be aware of your audience

leadership audience behavior leader

A way to serve

My son recently received a promotion in the civil air patrol. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be at the ceremony, but my husband was there, and he recorded it for me. 

I watched the ceremony unfold, and I saw my son up there at the front of the room with two senior people, saluting and holding his certificate. But then, I quickly noticed all the new cadets, sitting bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I saw them looking at my son in awe. And as my mother’s heart filled with pride and admiration, I realized the importance of that young audience. 

I thought to myself, how often do we ask ourselves who is sitting at the table watching us? As leaders, it is so important to pay attention to our audience at all times. 

Given that leadership is an action primarily dedicated to others, we should be highly aware of our audience and how others perceive us. 

How will others view your leadership style? 

It can be incredibly difficult to maintain a carefree and confident leadership stance at all times. Especially in the moments where things are going wrong at work. When things seem to be falling apart, or you’re constantly caught up in putting out fires, it is extra crucial to maintain strength in your leadership position. 

Remember that there is an audience observing you. Try not to crack under pressure, and definitely don’t cast negativity on peers, leadership, or your organization. A leader is a representative of their company’s vision, brand, and mission. Leaders cannot be duplicitous in their allegiance. 

How would those fresh, excited cadets view my son if he left that ceremony and tossed his certificate in the trash or made fun of one of his superiors? So often, leaders exhibit behavior like that and don’t bat an eyelash. Unfortunately, complaining has found too complacent a home in many of our organizations. Leaders, I encourage you to rise above and exhibit the ideal you represent. 

How will they assess your choices and decisions?

Leadership usually consists of our words and actions, but the less vocalized aspect is our choices. As leaders, we can easily forget that every choice we make has a ripple effect that will touch the rest of our organization. 

Again, other people should remain at the forefront of our minds as it is for their sake that leaders serve. 

I have an entire chapter in my most recent book on leadership, The Art of Caring Leadership, on Team Decision-Making. I detail how to consider the strengths of your team before making decisions that will affect them. 

While the decision-making process can feel very lonely in theory, especially for leaders who are part of a one-person team, it is a process that thrives the more perspectives it takes into consideration. A leader who makes decisions without consulting others comes across as self-centered.

Impact: the end goal of leadership

The most notable sign of a good leader is the impact and legacy they leave behind. Ideally, this takes form as their caring leadership legacy extends into their peers, who exhibit caring behaviors in their own lives. 

One way to ensure that those around you develop in their leadership journeys is to maximize their strengths. Delegate to your team and test their limits. Give them leeway to make mistakes but also to grow and reach new heights. 

There are five ways to assess your employees’ strengths to meet their needs better and encourage their growth. The five ways are: all staff feedback, the employee themselves, social or intranet posts, gauge team success and notice who was involved on each side, and assessments. Use assessments such as Strengthfinders, DISC, Meyers Briggs. 

The next time you assess one of your employees, focus on these five areas to understand how to work together with their needs in mind as you make your next strides in your leadership journey. 

Leading is all about the others. Who is your audience? Do they know that you care?

185: Leaders with Heart Show their Intent Everyday

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In this episode, Heather interviews Jana Cinnamon, the COO of an accounting firm. Many people assume that Jana must be an accountant or CPA herself, but her background is actually in Human Resources. Leading is her passion, and she takes pride in equipping her people with the right tools to succeed. Her lens of view as COO is one in which she considers the implications of her decisions on her people. She makes every decision with intent in mind. Above all, this 35-minute conversation is full of wisdom, advice and is a human-to-human conversation about what being a leader really is.


Key Takeaways: 

  • Leadership has less to do with your title and more to do with how you are as a person
  • Being human and vulnerable with your people is key 
  • Equip people with the tools they need for success
  • Don’t beat yourself up over negative outcomes, avoid the dark place of self-sabotage
  • You are your biggest critic
  • Lead with intent and the rest will follow
Results aren't the only thing that matter. – Jana Cinnamon #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Jana Cinnamon is the Chief Operating Officer at Abdo Eick & Meyers, LLP. She oversees various functions within the firm such as Human Resources, Firm Administration, and Technology. Her goal is to attract, develop, and retain the best employees. 

Previously, she worked as the Director of Talent Management where she was in charge of directing learning and development efforts for partners, CPA’s, accountants, and support staff.

Before coming to Abdo Eick & Meyers, LLP, she worked at General Mills Credit Union for almost 6 years as Organizational Development Manager, creating and conducting training to support organizational objectives. Additionally, she contributed to the development and implementation of new technologies, systems, and processes that support the goals of GMFCU.

Lastly, Jana earned her BA in Communication and her Master’s in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota.

Do Results Matter?

Results matter but it’s not what the full focus of what being a leader is about. It’s not just the end outcome of a project that was phenomenal, or that you that got a big win for that matters. Sometimes it’s about being able to step up to the plate. I think that a really huge turning point in my career was recognizing you’re not always going to be the grand slam hitter or you’re not always going to be the one who exceeds all expectations. Finally, I realized that everything you do matters leading up to those moments, and sometimes showing up at that moment and being there is enough. Remember that intention is key. Lead with intent!

intent every day people leader