Keeping Good People
The competition for experienced, qualified and well connected people in the industry is intense. How do you improve the odds of keeping good people and why do they leave?
Employer time and money is invested in the training of staff, the development of managers and the improvement of sales staff skills. One of the major frustrations of any hiring manager is finding that a good employee is leaving for greener pastures. There are ways to stop the exodus of good people from your organization.
As recruiters, we often see the results of broken relationships, misplaced trust and the realization that conditions aren't going to improve.
The areas of concern to the majority of employees fall into one of four main categories:
Recognition Challenge Relationships Compensation/Rewards
Recognition is the human need for acknowledgement and approval. It is also one of the intangible reasons why people choose to move on in their careers. The lack of recognition from superiors for a job well done is one of the most avoidable reasons to lose a good employee. The desire to contribute and to create value is a basic motivation at any level of responsibility. To feel that your efforts are recognized and appreciated strengthens the bond of loyalty to the employer. Simple expressions of respect or verbal approval will be enough for some staff members to continue making efforts for the employer's benefit. Other people require more tangible expressions of the employer's recognition of their efforts. Regular performance reviews are an inexpensive opportunity to provide that recognition. When people feel as though their contribution is meaningless or being taken for granted, they begin to consider their options. People want to think that their work makes a difference. A simple gesture such as taking staff to lunch occasionally or individually having coffee to acknowledge a person's contribution can do much to build trust and loyalty.
Challenge is a powerful motivator to stay or to go. Employees who find their jobs becoming routine tend to lose interest in their work and by extension in their employer. The desire to learn and grow, to push into uncharted waters and be excited about one's work again is a positive force for an employer to harness. When people feel that they have reached the limits of career growth and there is no more challenge, it is natural to seek change and the excitement of new experiences. The most successful companies identify the potential of their people and cultivate that potential to reach corporate goals. Employers often leave good people in static positions because they have shown themselves to be effective in those roles. Meanwhile, other talents and skills may be untapped and these people seek to stretch themselves and their abilities to see what they can handle.
Relationships and a sense of shared vision and commitment are the glue that keeps a team pulling in the same direction. The best managers are inclusive and create a stimulating and positive working environment. Office politics, disrespect, favoritism and the unequal sharing of the workload have a negative effect on the relationship between a manager and an employee. When staff members are promoted into positions of authority and aren't given adequate training in management and communications skills interpersonal problems can develop that affect department unity. The result can be the departure of people who once were productive and happy peers of the person promoted. Internal mentors are a powerful resource for developing people for the company's future growth.
Compensation provides a benchmark by which the value of work is measured. Employers often maintain salaries lower than industry averages in order to have more flexibility when the need to negotiate arises. Some employees will compromise for a time and accept negative conditions in exchange for greater compensation. Eventually, most people need to feel that they are being treated fairly and that they are not being taken advantage of. There are options that an employer can offer aside from money such as time off which to some employees is more important than salary.
Simply put, in order to keep good people it is important to recognize their work, provide ongoing challenges to grow by, build relationships founded on trust and mutual respect and compensate them fairly. The employers who operate on those principles will, in the long run have happier employees, a talent pool for future growth and more satisfied customers.
by Kevin Buckley, CPC
Buckley Search Inc.
Reprinted with Permission