marketing, business coach, painting contractor

Employee Turnover…ugh!

It can kill ya… or it feels that way…

Here are 5 major reasons employees leave:

  1. Lack of_________
  2. Lack of_________
  3. Lack of_________
  4. Lack of_________
  5. Lack of_________
  6. __________ a bonus fry! (Ooh the suspense!!!)

Before we dive into the answers to each of these problems, please get out your calendar and schedule a time to ask your top performing team members the following question:

“What would another company have to do to make you leave us and join their team?”

Then do THAT. As quickly as you can.

Shout out to Christian Militello who gave out this piece of gold during our last DYB Workshop in Chicago, October of this year!!

Okay, now we can look at each of the top reasons employees leave and make sure that they won’t be an issue for you.

1. Lack of Appreciation

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It’s nice to know you’re appreciated. Do you appreciate your employees?

Great! Tell them.

Give them an “Atta boy!!” and genuine appreciation.

Even better, tell this to the team or in front of the employees family. Brag them up to their kids.

That makes a person feel good!

Give out bonuses for jobs that your team CRUSHES. Use the GroupMe app to give praise to your team as they finish up a tough job.

2. Lack of Team Morale

Did I mention the app GroupMe? Talk about raising the bar for Team Morale.

Once you encourage and build up each employee in the team chat, they’ll follow your lead and start praising each other’s work, endurance, and skills on their own.

Boy that feels like a team I want to be a part of!

Do you have monthly team get-togethers where you might go bowling, or have the Christmas party BBQ at your place – inviting their families?

Have you done charity work together? We’ll talk more about the Paint-It-Fowards in the “Lack of Work” section below, but this is also a HUGE team building event!

3. Lack of Benefits Offered

Do you offer Aflac or accident insurance? Health Insurance? A retirement fund?

Some employees don’t care about the benefits, but some do – so don’t forget to use your BNI group or local chamber of commerce to help you get insurance benefits set up (Aflac was the most utilized and easiest to set up for us).

Your accountant can go over different IRA plans and the benefits of these.

Again, many are simple to set up; you just need to ask.

4. Lack of Clear Expectations

I’ve heard it said, “If the majority are getting it wrong, it’s not an employee problem. It’s a leadership problem. Ouch!

Make sure you have an employee handbook and have it signed before any employee starts with a brush or roller.

If you don’t like dealing with habitual tardiness, missing work, insubordination, and you don’t like to confront it – let the paper take the emotion out of it.

Clearly spell out what’s expected –  what happens the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and final offenses occur?

Ours was first a verbal warning, then 1st write up (into employee file to be looked at when doing yearly reviews), 2nd write up, 3rd write up, and 4th letting go as not a good fit.

Your consequences can be different, but they need to be clear.

The same goes for the good things you expect: tidy workspace, clean and neat appearance, uniform, no smoking on the job site, etc.

*DYB Café Members – you have access to ours and other members employee handbooks to “tweak and take” to use as your own in the All-Star Team Course.

5. Lack of Work

Is it slowing down? Do your employees wonder how THEY are going to put food on the table this winter?

This is a valid reason for employees to leave, but a very sad one. Your calendar should and can be full, year-round.


Join your local chamber, BNI, and Rotary clubs. Volunteer in those groups.

When you give a commercial for your company, make it remark-ABLE and stand out.

Dress up as Hulk Hogan and give your commercial, sing a song changing the lyrics for painting.

You can see these and more here.

Put a Pay-It-Forward campaign together and donate a $3000 painting job to someone who needs and deserves it, but maybe can’t afford it.

Ask for nominations. We have the entire step-by-step process for the 8 week campaign in the Paint-It-Forward course in the DYB Café.

Are you utilizing your Facebook Page and personal page to CONNECT and be real and fun with your market?

Friend all of your BNI and chamber, and Rotary friends on Facebook, invite them to Like your page. Post weekly contests, Freebie Fridays, and the recording of your Hulk Hogan presentation!


6. Lack of Education (to move ahead)

Do you have a clear path for someone to go from Apprentice to Estimator?

Ron Ramsden is sharing his research in his DYB Mastermind Groups.He has discovered that the lack of a clear path to increasing knowledge and skill (and of course, the pay that comes with it, naturally) is really big for the millennials.

But who doesn’t like to know that there is always another ladder rung to reach and another step to increasing skill, knowledge, and potential?!

This is why games are so addictive. Is your company capitalizing on the “gamification” attribute of increasing knowledge, skill, and pay? Have you laid out the roadmap for success?

Do you have an employee who always wants a raise? GREAT!

Try saying this, “I’d love to pay a painter $30/hour! All you have to do is show me $30 an hour work.

Here’s how you can do that….”

In the end, you want to know what would make YOUR employees leave and then address that before it happens.

Easy peasy? Well, simple to do, simple not to do. (Jim Rohn)

You can do this!

*If you want more accountability and ideas, join the DYB Café Membership, where we talk about these and so much more, daily.

About the Author

Steve and I built up, streamlined, and sold Burnett 1-800-PAINTING--- quintupling it in under 3 years during what some called a "bad economy" before selling. We are now helping other painting contractors and entrepreneurs to Double Their Business while reducing their hours. We've been the struggling painters until we figured out what works and now love to share that info with you, to help you do the same! Whether you are building up to sell or pass on to your children, we are here to help you make it a reality.