Blog post hero

9 Reasons Why Top-Performing Employees Leave

Cassandra Rose, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Top-per­form­ing employ­ees are hard to come by, so it can be dev­as­tat­ing for an orga­ni­za­tion when they leave. In fact, only 7% of com­pa­nies feel they have the abil­i­ty to retain top performers.

Why is that? As with all employ­ee reten­tion issues, there isn’t a sim­ple answer. In fact, there are many rea­sons why great employ­ees leave, and those rea­sons can be as diverse as the employ­ees them­selves. There­fore, it’s impor­tant to under­stand why top tal­ent leave organizations.

1. Overworked and Burnt Out

A worker is sitting at their desk and has their head in their hands. There are two people standing in the background, and they are talking to each other. There are papers and a jar of pens on the desk.


Many peo­ple strug­gle with feel­ing over­worked and burnt out; in fact, 52% of work­ers in the U.S. feel burnout at work. If an employ­ee feels over­worked from their job for an extend­ed peri­od of time, they will like­ly leave the orga­ni­za­tion. So, super­vi­sors should work to pro­vide a healthy work-life bal­ance for a more sat­is­fied team and to avoid employ­ee burnout.

2. They Don’t Feel Valued

Top per­form­ers are valu­able because they often pro­duce bet­ter results than their peers. How­ev­er, when best achiev­ers don’t get rec­og­nized for the work that they do, they start to look for job oppor­tu­ni­ties else­where. If com­pa­nies don’t acknowl­edge and appre­ci­ate the added val­ue top-per­form­ing employ­ees bring to the orga­ni­za­tion, then they’ll start to feel less moti­vat­ed to put in the extra effort.

3. Lack of Flexibility

Remote work options and work-life flex­i­bil­i­ty are cru­cial must-haves to attract and retain top tal­ent. These top per­form­ers may need to work in uncon­ven­tion­al set­tings and at odd hours, so their nat­ur­al work­flow should be sup­port­ed. More­over, stud­ies show that flex­i­ble work­ing arrange­ments increase job sat­is­fac­tion, health, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, loy­al­ty, and retention.

4. They’re Not as Engaged

A frustrated person is sitting at their computer while in a work booth. Their silver laptop has stickers on the front. This person is wearing a white shirt and black pants.


Employ­ee engage­ment is crit­i­cal to reten­tion, and that’s espe­cial­ly true for top per­form­ers. High-per­form­ing employ­ees need an excit­ing and chal­leng­ing work envi­ron­ment that uti­lizes their skillset every­day. As a result, super­vi­sors need to pour atten­tion into ensur­ing their peo­ple are engaged and hap­py to pre­vent them from mov­ing on to the next best opportunity.

5. Career Development is Limited

Top per­form­ers need a clear growth path, so the best peo­ple can see how they can have a long and suc­cess­ful career with their com­pa­ny. In addi­tion, super­vi­sors should have fre­quent career devel­op­ment dis­cus­sions and train­ing to ensure that their team’s learn­ing and devel­op­ment needs are being met.

6. Lack of Creativity

A person looks bored sitting at their desk. They are wearing a white top and black dress pants. There is a desktop, a laptop, a keyboard and headphones sitting on their desk.


Top per­form­ers are often wild­ly cre­ative. As a result, jobs that don’t allow them to col­or out­side the lines can quick­ly become stale. Com­pa­nies should let their peo­ple tack­le chal­leng­ing prob­lems, sit in on brain­storm­ing ses­sions, and work out­side their job scope. Super­vi­sors should avoid keep­ing their ris­ing stars in repet­i­tive posi­tions — instead, they should offer oppor­tu­ni­ties where their peo­ple can real­ly shine.

7. Not Enough Feedback

Top-per­form­ing employ­ees want reg­u­lar feed­back. They want to know how they’re doing and where they can do bet­ter. They also don’t want to wait for their annu­al per­for­mance review. Super­vi­sors need to pro­vide spon­ta­neous feed­back and recog­ni­tion, so their peo­ple feel seen and encouraged.

8. They Don’t Have Autonomy

A person is sitting at their computer is looking frustrated as one person is talking to her and another person is showing her graphs and charts. The frustrated person is wearing a white button-up and a black blazer.


Com­pa­nies need to allow their peo­ple plen­ty of auton­o­my. In oth­er words, no micro­manag­ing. Peo­ple want to feel like they’re trust­ed and have some own­er­ship over their role and out­put. Lead­ers who micro­man­age their employ­ees sti­fle cre­ativ­i­ty and dri­ve their top per­form­ers away.

9. Lacking Meaningful Benefits and a Competitive Salary

Top tal­ent will not stay at a job where they are under­paid or receiv­ing sub­par ben­e­fits. Peo­ple need com­pre­hen­sive salaries and ben­e­fits pack­ages, and they need those ben­e­fits to be mean­ing­ful for their lives today.

Too often, com­pa­nies offer ben­e­fits that are only applic­a­ble if the employ­ee is sick, retired, or deceased. Instead, com­pa­nies need to pro­vide their peo­ple with per­son­al­ized lifestyle ben­e­fits they can use right away – like gym mem­ber­ships, food deliv­ery ser­vices, ther­a­py, and more.

Retaining Top-Performing Employees

Fringe can help retain top tal­ent by mak­ing them feel val­ued. Fringe’s per­son­al­ized lifestyle ben­e­fits plat­form lets peo­ple choose the ben­e­fits that impact and improve their dai­ly lives the most.

From ther­a­py and edu­ca­tion to sub­scrip­tion box­es and food deliv­ery — Fringe’s plat­form has the ben­e­fits all employ­ees want.

Talk with our team today to get started!

Request demo

Subscribe to the Fringe newsletter.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.