If you are any way responsible for employees at your organization, I have a truth you may not want to hear: either you take care of your employees now or I’ll be taking care of them soon.
I am a Professional Resume Writer and Career Coach, I help people find the jobs they want rather than the ones they have. Your employees may be talking to me now and you do not know it; you probably will not know until it is too late.
According to Gallup Workforce Panel study 51% of employees are considering a new job, 2015.
There are severe consequences to losing an employee including major costs. According to a Catalyst.org, employee departures total costs can reach as high as 90% – 200% of their annual salary. This includes time, money and resources. A departure can also significantly impact engagement within remaining employees.
They are not all leaving for promotions; many are leaving for a lateral move.
It is not just about money. It is about personal satisfaction.
You could be losing your staff and it can be avoided. Employees leave for a variety of reasons; however, they can generally be categorized within five areas, which may overlap:
According to the Gallup study, 58-60% of individuals said the new job allowed them to do what they do best, as opposed to 41-49% that left due to a significantly increasing their income.
This is a sentiment that is becoming more and more common. A client perfectly illustrated this point by saying, “I can go anywhere and make good money. Where I am, I am bored. I need to be challenged. I can do what I do where I am with my eyes closed. I hate it.”
This can come in many different forms:
A promise of advancement or pay increase after a probationary or specific time period.
A misalignment of what they were told they were going to do and what is being asked of them.
The company culture is not at all what was represented in the interview.
Employees know they bring value to the table; it is nice to be recognized for it. They do not want to feel like a nameless face. One of the worst feelings for an employee is to know that their leadership not only does not know anything about them, they do not care.
An employee may go the extra mile to make something happen for a client and never hear a word from their leadership. It is worse to hear that that is their job, they should go the extra mile.
They have strengths and ambitions that they have tried to discuss with their leadership only to be responded to with brush off comments. Now is not the time, we really can’t spare you right now or I don’t know why you would want to do that, it’s not your job.
Pay that does not meet industry or market standards is another form of lack of appreciation. Income is a motivator, it may not be every employee’s primary motivator; however, it is a significant factor.
Leadership diminishes the value of their employees when an employee volunteers or requests to take on additional responsibilities or learn new tasks and is met with, “I know you could do more, but we really need you to just do what you are doing right now.”
Another form of under-utilization is not listening to employees. They know. They know about the clients, failings in the processes or opportunities to improve service or products. By failing to ask and worse – listen – to employees leadership is under-utilizing its most valuable asset.
The gamut of bad environments include being unclear of what is expected of them (and worse, getting bad reviews because of it), favoritism, bullying, strong-arming them to stay, increased responsibility without increased pay and sabotage.
What You Can Do Now
- Talk to them – make it a two way conversation. Do not assume that everyone is just fine because they do not complain. Not complaining does not mean they are happy.
- Make sure their compensation is right. Throwing money at them when they are on the way out is not the time.
- Find out what excites or motivates them: opportunity, income, growth, personal fulfillment, empowerment or stability.
- Find out what frustrates them and what can be changed. Have an honest conversation about this.
- Discover their strengths, find out their ambitions and help them align the two areas.
- Help them grow: develop a plan that meets their personal learning style and strengths – one size does not fit all.
- Treat them as a treasured, valuable employee that you are grooming to leave for a higher position. They may get recruited for another position, but if they feel valued where they are and the rest of their needs are met, they will stay with you, because you value them and allow them to grow.
- Have continual conversations, set benchmarks, establish deadlines, follow up and ask them for their feedback.
There is a theory that for a successful long term personal relationship, you should treat your partner the way you did when you were dating; the same could be applied to your employee work relationship. You should view them as a valuable investment worthy of your time, attention and mentorship.
We have all heard the saying, “Nobody is irreplaceable”, that holds true for employers, as well. If a company does not create an environment that fulfills them, they will replace that company.