Having trouble retaining good people these days? Ever wonder why it is that just as you get someone up-to-speed on a project or position, suddenly they’re winging off to brighter horizons elsewhere?
Maybe you think you’re not offering enough money, or your healthcare benefits aren’t very competitive? Perhaps available parking spaces are too far from the front door.
Sorry, Bunkie: According to surveys, it’s not likely any of those things. Instead, the problem may be a lot closer to home, that is to say, you, the departing soul’s manager. It seems that the most prevalent reasons given by professionals for leaving one job for another fall entirely within the accountability of… drum roll… the ex-boss!
Here’s what I mean, as evidenced by this list of employees’ “leading reasons” for changing a job from a survey by the Society of Human Resource Management:
Get the picture? Notice that, as a manager, you possess control over practically EVERYTHING on the list. Only the first may be out of your control, though you have either authority or influence on that one too. You may not, however, see your own job quite that way. And therein lies your basic rub.
Managers who do define themselves as something more than just 5-star generals may in fact view this list as an apt description of what they currently do. Nurturers, coaches, orchestrators, career counselors—bosses who incorporate all these roles into their mandate probably experience the sting of employees leaving much less often than blood-and-guts command-and-controllers.
Studies over the years have shown repeatedly that the best-run companies, i. e. , most profitable, routinely pay attention to employee wants, needs and feelings. The annual Fortune “Best –Companies” lists are rife with firms that behave this way. Given this reality, your firm (and you) should too.
So to increase retention and reverse employee emigration, regardless of your company’s actual policies, try one or more of the following, incorporating new actions into your managerial day:
Though only a few suggestions, you should be getting the idea. Expressions of support and caring, and the will to back it up, go a long way, especially in our work world bereft of such notions. It ain’t only about salaries, stock options and health benefits; in the end it’s about showing real, live people that you care.
Ken Lizotte CMC is Chief Imaginative Officer (CIO) of emerson consulting group inc. (Concord, MA), which transforms consultants, law firms, executives and companies into “thoughtleaders. ” This article is an excerpt from his newest book “Beyond Reason: Questioning Assumptions of Everyday Life".
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