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You Won't Believe What Might Drive Your Top Employees to Leave

Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

Job hopping is a fairly common practice these days, and in a healthy job market, it's more feasible than ever. If you're an employer, you'll therefore need to take extra steps to retain your key workers . Normally, that would mean doing things like compensating employees adequately and reassessing your benefits package . But these days, that may not be enough.

A good 79% of employees say they're either likely, or very likely, to start searching for a new job after one bad day at work, according to staffing firm Addison Group . Let that sink in for a minute. A single bad experience at the office could drive an otherwise steadfast employee to suddenly want to jump ship. And that means one thing: As an employer, you can't be complacent about worker satisfaction. Rather, you need to constantly focus on it to ensure that you don't lose out on talent you can't afford to part with.

Woman with stressed expression holding her head while talking on phone, with a laptop in front of her

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

What's making your employees unhappy?

To let a sole bad day at the office prompt a job search might seem a little extreme, but let's remember a few things. First, just because an employee goes looking for a new job doesn't mean that he or she is going to accept the first offer -- or any offer -- that comes his or her way. Secondly, hopping online to look for jobs is, in some ways, a natural reaction to a temporary feeling of dissatisfaction. Think about it: If a customer has a bad experience shopping at a store, he or she might storm out vowing never to shop there again, only to return several weeks later during a sale. The same holds true in this sort of scenario.

Still, because jobs are now plentiful, it's a chance that you, as an employer, would probably rather not take. Therefore, it pays to sink some time into understanding what exactly causes your workers to have such bad days that they're tempted to seek employment elsewhere. To that end, you can try observing different teams' interactions and noting red flags. A micromanaging boss, for example, might be the sole factor that drives people away. The same holds true for unreasonable deadlines or disrespectful communication from other teams or managers.

At the same time, encourage your employees to provide feedback so that you can better understand their pain points. You can do so via anonymous surveys, or by setting up a web page that gives your workers an opportunity to submit complaints as they arise. This way, you'll have concrete issues to act on.

Losing key employees to a single bad day at the office might seem like a laughable idea, but it can happen. To avoid that, be proactive in assessing the state of your workplace and its environment, and give your employees a forum for voicing concerns without reservation. By understanding what makes those bad days at the office truly bad, you can prevent them from happening and lower your chances of seeing your most valued workers pick up and leave.

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