Not sure if you noticed but you’re not the only game in town.  In fact, there are millions of businesses everywhere and probably many just like yours—offering the same services, same products and same solution—within a 50 mile radius.

But, I’m sure you know this and you’re probably wondering why I’m stating the obvious.  Well, listen up.

You see, a new lead (or, even a new client) is worth less to you than your employees are; therefore, they should be treated at such. But when you poorly manage your employees and basically treat them like indentured slaves, they will leave you.

And, the first thing they’ll do is go next door to your competition.  Because they feel like they’ve been wronged (and rightfully so), they will do everything in their power to crush your business.  The competition will notice and will do everything (which actually isn’t a whole lot) to empower your runaways.  With just a little encouragement and the right amount of constructive criticism, they will sell better, work harder and steal every last one of your clients, leads and prospective markets.

So, if you’d like to keep your employees around a little longer, make sure you’re not doing these 4 things.

Are you never at fault?

Even if it’s just a little, you are also to blame for mistakes, failures and wrongdoings.  It’s your job to teach, train, inspire, motivate…you get the idea.   If a staff member fails at something, where did it go wrong?  How could you have prevented it?  Could you have explained things in a different, better way?

When they fail, they know it; they’re not dumb.  Instead of making that person feel even worse than they already do, explain where things went wrong and what you’re going to do to make sure it never happens again.  Own the failure and take part in it.  Not only will your employees respect you, but both of you will grow in the process.

Do you fight in public?

When you fight with an employee in front of other staff members, everyone will lose any inkling of respect they once had for you, not just the person you’re arguing with.  They’ll think you’re immature, rude and unappreciative.

Whoever it is that receives the brunt of this argument will feel embarrassed and belittled.  Who wants to work in that type of environment?  I know I don’t and I’m sure you don’t either… which is why you own your own business

This doesn’t mean you can’t have an argument with an employee.  It just means you need to take it behind closed doors (and then leave it there).

Have you threatened their job lately?

Looking for the fastest way to get your employees to leave you?  Threaten their job.

The sad part about this one is that, usually, when someone’s job is threatened, it isn’t actually being threatened.  Many people in managerial positions feel this tactic is a great way to get an employee to start producing again, or more, or better… or whatever the issue may be.  This would be all wrong, though.

It is a great way, however, to make someone feel uncomfortable about your business and their place in it.  They’ll start looking for a new job before the conversation even as a full minute to sink in.

Are they allowed to speak?

When you speak to your employees, are they allowed to speak back?  Can they defend their position, their idea and their thoughts?  Can they openly critique you?  Can they explain the why and the reasoning behind it?

If not, they’ll go somewhere where they will be listened to… somewhere they won’t feel like a two-year old being talked down to by an angry parent.