When you find an amazing employee, you should be putting effort into keeping them. Too often, businesses only focus on the recruiting and hiring process, then drop the ball when it comes to employee retention. When this happens, these star employees can grow dissatisfied and decide to seek greener pastures. But you can keep them happy simply by avoiding some of these key problems that can sabotage employee retention.

1. Overwork and burnout

Employees who demonstrate talent and hard work should be valued, not exploited. The quickest way to alienate a top performer is by piling extra work on top of them while letting the slackers skate by. They’ll feel taken advantage of (and rightly so). Let them focus on quality instead of trying to increase their workload quantity, which will only lead to stress and unhappiness. 

2. No goals or challenges

Passionate employees love to feel like their work matters and will usually embrace a challenge. This doesn’t mean giving them unattainable goals, but rather providing opportunities for them to get out of their comfort zone and work on new, exciting projects. Keep them intellectually stimulated and give them the satisfaction of reaching a goal they had to stretch for. 

3. Being put in a box

Micromanaging is annoying to almost any employee, but especially your smartest ones who know they have the talent and drive to manage themselves. Let them decide what work processes are most effective for them. Welcome their input and creativity. Otherwise, they might start to feel boxed in and stifled. 

4. Unfair compensation

Today’s employees have come to accept that the best way to increase their salary is to look for a new job. Don’t let them feel like that at your company. Give fair, regular salary increases without being asked. Stay on top of market value for a role and make sure you’re meeting or exceeding it.  

5. No opportunities for professional growth

Top employees often have one thing in common: they love learning and the chance to develop new skills. There are a number of ways you can arrange this–be it a stipend for night classes or online courses, time off for employees to attend professional conferences or mentorship from a company executive.

6. Lack of recognition and appreciation

Finally, everyone likes to know that their work is being noticed. Fortunately, this is one of the very simplest employee retention strategies that a manager can employ. You don’t have to overdo it and give your employees a gold star sticker every single day, but once in a while, calling someone out in a meeting for their great work can go a long way. It costs you nothing, but good relationships and loyalty are worth their weight in gold.