The 5 Main Reasons Employees Leave Startups

Startups are vulnerable, and they depend on a number of interrelated resources working together to self-sustain into bigger and better stages of development. Take away any one piece–a chunk of capital, a launch date, a major client, or an important employee–and recovery immediately becomes the No. 1 challenge.

This is compounded by the fact that these resources are in such short supply. Take employees, for instance; when you’re just starting up, you might only have a handful of people working for you. If any one of them leaves, itĀ could put your deadlines, production, and short-term goals in serious jeopardy. To make matters worse, startups are especially prone to employee turnover, which leaves them even more vulnerable to unforeseen departures.

To mitigate this risk, you have to work hard to decrease your employee turnover, and to do that, you need to understand why your employees would leave in the first place. In general, startup employees have five motivations for leaving–and nearly all of them are preventable:

1. A better offer.

Maybe your employee was browsing job opportunities, or maybe a competitor reached out with a promising opportunity. Either way, your employee is now looking at a job with more benefits, better pay, and fewer hours. The choice is obvious, right? You can’t blame an employee for taking what is, on paper, a better deal, but you can make your own offer better–even if you don’t have the money to front. Offer intangible benefits like camaraderie, flexible hours, or a more fun, flexible work environment. Show your employees you care about them, and they’ll stay no matter what the pay difference is.

2. A lack of faith.

Startups are inherently volatile, and employees know this. Most workers are focused on building a career in the long-term; they want to start moving toward a future that’s going to reliably support them. If they feel like your business doesn’t have long-term potential, they may bail out early in the search for something a little more stable. To counteract this tendency, work hard to show your employees the potential for your startup to succeed, and make them an active part of building the company from the beginning–stock options or part ownership goes a long way here.

continue reading… Inc.

by Samuel Edwards


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.
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