10 ways to prevent employee resignations

Last updated:
December 14, 2020
April 4, 2022
min read
Sim Samra
Table of contents

With many employees, keeping them on board could be as simple as providing them with a salary they deserve, a little room for growth, and keeping their daily role safe and secure. Keeping your best employees, however, can be a different challenge altogether.

You know which ones they are: those that are the most driven, who achieve the best results, and are consistently ahead of everyone else in performance and numbers. The ones you really don’t want to lose, and everyone else wants to poach from you.

In this article, we'll be examining 10 ways you can prevent employee resignations at your company.

Hold on to your best assets, or you will lose them

Yet, many businesses still regularly lose their best assets. Your star players might be the prime option to be headhunted by competitors or businesses that need a champion for a similar role in a different industry. However, their resignation may not come from a direct lure away from your business. It could just as easily be something you’ve done or have failed to do.

Let’s look at 10 positive retention strategies to prevent your elite employees from handing in their resignation.

Problem: Your gifted employees aren’t getting enough attention

1. Shower your stars with praise and recognition

If you’re smart, and you want to keep your team, you’ll already be paying each of them the salary they deserve. If you’re not? Well, you probably don’t deserve to keep them.

But that’s not always enough. Somebody, somewhere, will be able to offer a better financial package with better bonuses—so what can you do that’s different?

Psychology tells us that humans thrive on praise and admiration. We all want to feel useful and appreciated for the effort we put in.

If you can figure out the best way to stroke your star employee’s ego (award nominations, press coverage, etc.), they’ll keep working hard for more of the same.

Problem: They can’t realize the results they need to feel validated

2. Set them the targets they thrive on

If your star player gets bored, they’ll look for a challenge that’s more suited to their talent. If your objectives are too complicated for them to see a clear goal, they won’t quite know what they’re supposed to do. Without those goals, how can they show you how great they are? And more importantly, how will they achieve that feeling?

Your strongest employees will be driven by results and reaching their goals. Whatever your business product or service is, you need to provide a clear route for them to get there.

Problem: They don’t see an exciting future for themselves

3. Present a plan that your employees will be excited to be a part of

Operating and achieving at the moment is the rush your employees thrive on—fuelling their pride and satisfaction. Maintaining that level of stimulation is difficult in the long-term, especially within a role that barely changes throughout the year.

Creating a future that your staff can grow into, unleashing exciting new challenges to keep them engrossed, can be a sure-fire way to develop commitment.

Problem: They lose the feeling that they belong

4. Make them part of the process

Asking your best employees for their input and ideas into your business processes won’t just make them feel important—they’ll be invested in the project as a whole.

If they are as good as you think they are, they’ll always have something worth volunteering, so it’s a win-win at every level. If your team is brilliant—let them be brilliant at every stage.

Problem: They feel stagnant

5. Engage more and give them what they need

To prevent employees from feeling as though they’re drifting or not accomplishing enough, they need regular feedback. Keeping them informed and praised for their progress at every step will keep them invested. It could be a long wait to see the results of a major project, so feeding into their needs regularly to raise energy is a must.

Problem: They don’t like empty flattery

6. Provide praise through data

Constant cheerleading might be grating to your employees if it’s fake and over-inflated. You need to be able to measure their progress to deliver your satisfaction in them. Measure achievements along a timeline, especially where a definite schedule is involved. It could be the steady growth of sales or other definable data.

These figures should tie in with short-term targets, killing two birds with one stone.

Problem: You’re wasting their time

7. Keep meetings brief and stimulating

Too many of your star players become frustrated by not being left to get on with what they love doing the most.

We understand that you need to hold meetings, but what you don’t need is for them to run on and on, covering unnecessary material, wasting everyone’s time, and your money.

Prepare well. Replace any items that aren’t prime discussion fodder with more efficient ways of dealing with them. When your team leaves your meetings, they should be full of excitement to move forward in line with what you’ve just uncovered, not need a gallon of coffee to wake back up again.

Problem: They don’t feel it anymore

8. Treat them like the humans they are, not just cogs in a machine.

Delighting in results and offering praise isn’t always directly linked to how an employee feels. So, ask them.

Asking them about their feelings relating to a project or their position as a whole will provide different answers than asking about its mechanics or progress.

Listening to their feelings will let you know how they connect emotionally to the business. This helps build bonds and develop better relationships, leading to respect and loyalty.

Problem: You’re dragging them down

9. Ditch negativity

Motivation is driven by positivity. Being negative about poor results or missed targets won’t enthuse your team to develop better methods. Even if you aren’t achieving what you set out to, find ways to lift morale and drive your team forwards.

Lift your stars and let them fly. Don’t be the sour face that drags them down, even at the lowest points in your journey.

Problem: Your right arm doesn’t know what your left is doing

10. Communicate

It’s the golden rule. All relationships need healthy communication to thrive, and those within your business are no exception.

A close-knit team creates strong bonds, making it harder for any part to pull away. Loyalty and commitment come from deep-seated connections—attentive and unprejudiced communication are how they’re made.


Keeping your expert employees means keeping them engaged, excited and committed to you and your business.

As part of your retention strategies, try letting HR stand for Human Relationships instead of Human Resources when you’re looking for ways to improve loyalty and value. Evaluate what your employees really need to stay connected to you—and play into their hands. You’ll find the things they value more than money are the things that keep them coming to work.

Strong personal bonds, a challenge worthy of them, and goals to be proud of—it could be just the package they need to remain invested.

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