Why Good Employees Quit

We’ve all had that one employee who sets the standard for everyone else, who shows up early and stays late, and who is beloved by guests. Yet, more times than not, that employee ends up quitting, leaving the rest of the team wondering what went wrong and what could be better.

This issue is ultimately a question of how to reduce the pernicious 75 percent turnover rate plaguing the restaurant industry.  Turnover can cost a business up to $150,000 per year due to waning efficiency and associated training costs.  

So what are some of the factors that are making great employees quit, and how can restaurants combat these issues?

Toxic Team

The employee-employer relationship is much more than a paycheck. There must be a transaction of shared values and respect in order for that relationship to thrive. There is nothing more detrimental to that relationship than making great employees work with toxic employees.

In order to keep great employees around, managers need to focus on fostering a work culture centered on mutual respect and hard work. Otherwise, you’re almost begging your good employees to leave.

Take the time to investigate claims of disrespect or laziness within your team, and make sure you employees can see the results of your investigation. Don’t just talk to the alleged miscreants. Implement new policies and make sure you retain a positive work culture.

Lack of Mobility

It’s no secret that most employees want the chance to move up the ladder. But, many great employees deserve the opportunity to hold more responsibilities within any organization.

However, some factors that come with promotions can complicate the calculus of whether to accept that coveted promotion or not. Those factors include more time spent away from friends and family, facing more scrutiny, and having a less clear path after being promoted.

One way managers can combat these concerns is to have an honest, open conversation with the employee they want to promote. Ask them about their goals and assure them that you are there to help them reach those goals. Tell them how you plan to further their career and shine a light on the path forward.

Positive Recognition

Ironically, being open with your employees about their future isn’t enough to keep the great ones around. All employees need positive recognition while they’re on the clock, but its most beneficial to keep your great employees apprised of how much they mean to your organization.

It may sound counterintuitive, but research from 7shifts, a compliance and scheduling software company, shows that managers that hold regular staff meetings retain their employees 56 percent more often than managers who hold meetings less frequently.

Take the time to tell each and every one of your employees how well they are doing and how much you appreciate their hard work.


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