Long gone are the days of staying with a company for 30 years before collecting that prized gold watch. Today competition in the job market is fierce — but it’s not just the job seekers problem anymore.

When a valued team member quits his or her job, it can set off a chain of difficult events for the company — and the co-workers they leave behind.

First — bosses and teams often find themselves scrambling to divvy out the workload. Most (if not all) of the resigning individuals intellectual property is destroyed — and this can cause great frustration for all parties involved.

Second — depending on the talent that left — many of the remaining team members may feel shaken up over the loss — especially if they were a close friend or colleague. They may feel demotivated to continue working for a short time, and this can be disastrous for company productivity.

And third — hiring a replacement isn’t easy. Resumes flood in for unqualified candidates — tons of interviews — who has time for that?

Yet people managers everywhere still don’t get why their employees leave. Or more importantly how they can get them to stay.

Here are some simple tips to help you keep your team members on board (and keep them happy).

Make sure the job is what they expected

It’s shocking to know that upwards of 30–40% of all American workers quit their jobs within the first year. And one of the main reasons reported is that they simply didn’t have a realistic view of their new role.

Hiring managers are famous for writing 10,000 word job descriptions that say absolutely nothing about the real job.

So next time you are looking to post a position, make sure the job description candid and real. Save the fluff for your peanut butter sandwich.

Pay them what they’re worth

Here’s the deal — we all want to make a million dollars (some of us strive to make 1 B B B billion…). But most of the smart ones at minimum simply want to be paid what they are worth. If they are contributing value to the organization, make sure that you are paying them fairly in return.

A trick to making this work is to be open and transparent with current external market salary ranges — and where their salary fits within that range. The next step is to help team members who want to grow their salaries understand how they can get to the next level.

Be open with pay — be fair with pay — and reward those that drive the greatest value.

Give them constructive feedback

As human beings we all want to learn and grow. But it takes a village to raise a warrior — and the same holds true when working to help a team member to be successful.

Frequent and actionable feedback is critical to helping someone achieve their career dreams. If you do this — in most cases your team members will turn right back around and help you build a stronger business.

Rally your troops around their strengths and help them figure out how to overcome their weaknesses and you’ve won half the battle.

Find hidden opportunities for them to grow

Actions speak louder than words. And as a manager you can talk until your blue in the face about how great a team member is — but if you don’t show them a real path to advancement they will leave you in a heartbeat.

Do your best to try and find hidden opportunities for team members to develop. They can be as simple as taking on the lead role for an important project or lending them to help another department while in times of crisis.

Simply providing them with additional assignments that challenge them to grow will help your team members understand you value their skills and expertise. Just make sure they actually want the assignment first — as there is nothing worse than being handed a task you will dread completing.

Give a bit of freedom

I’m an avid proponent of flexible work schedules and a firm believer that if you want the most out of your team members — you have to give them the freedom to give it to you — on their terms.

Instead of driving a “butts in seats” approach, drive a results-focused work environment. Hold team members accountable for delivering results, rather than just punching a clock.

Team members who have freedom to excel will be happier at work and will help drive business growth faster than anything else.

Don’t be a jerk

Good leaders don’t create followers — they create more leaders. Gallup, Glass Door and surveys alike typically find that most people, an average of 50%, leave their jobs to get away from their manager.

In my experience this can be for a number of reasons including challenges related to personality, respect, communication, manager support, performance feedback or most commonly the lack of confidence team members have in their manager.

The fix is simple here though. Treat others the way you expect to be treated.

We all have challenges, but the role of a manager is not to tell your people what to do — but rather give them the support they need to be successful and then get the hell out of their way!

What strategies do you use to keep your team members happy?