Want To Keep Your Really Good People? It May Be Time To Let Them Know.

Last week, I wrote Planning To Look For A Better Job? Understand All Your Currencies, as part one (employee perspective) at what many predict will be a major shift in the workforce as employees who are sensing economic recovery plan to seek greener pastures.   This week, we’ll look at it from the employer’s point of view.  Now if you’re an employer and you’re skeptical about this issue or believe it might happen to other organizations, but “not at my company,” think again.

On March 28th, Laura Petrecca of USA Today wrote Employee Loyalty Is At A Three-Year Low.   Here are some of the key points and quotes from the article:

  • Four in ten employees say a heavy workload, unrealistic job expectations and long hours have been significant sources of stress, according to the American Psychological Association.
  • Fed up, workers are seeking greener professional pastures: Slightly more than one in three hope to find a new job in the next 12 months (Met Life).
  • Four in ten workers believe it’s “likely” they’ll find a job that matches their experience and salary in the next six months, according to a survey by career website Glassdoor.com, to be released Tuesday.
  • “Businesses are understandably focused on expenses,” says Ronald Leopold, vice president of MetLife’s U.S. Business. “But they’re taking their eye off the ball with human capital issues, notably what drives employee satisfaction and loyalty.”
  • That impending exodus could wallop employers who have to pay for recruiting and training replacements, as well as deal with lost productivity as they recruit new personnel. More than half of employers say they’ve had difficulty attracting employees with critical skills, according to a recent survey by employer consultancy Towers Watson.

So if you believe the data and don’t want all of the problems that could come with losing your very best people, it may be a good time to do the following:

  • Make a list of your best people – the ones you’d really hate to lose.
  • Ask yourself if they are well compensated compared to what they could earn elsewhere.  Are they appropriately included in important decisions?  Do you sense they enjoy their co-workers?  Do you believe they like and respect their immediate supervisor?  (Even if it happens to be you).   Are they given opportunities to grow in their jobs?
  • Do you really understand what comprises job satisfaction for each of your top employees?  What do they care about most?  Keeping your top people may have nothing to do with money.

Last week, I suggested that unsatisfied employees talk to their employers first.  If a great employee is not happy, employers have a right to know and be given an opportunity to address the issue(s) of concern in the same manner most employers do for their employees.  But since not every employee, even the great ones, may be inclined to do so, this is where you come in.  Reach out to your best people.  Let them know what they mean to you personally and to the company, and have a real conversation about the future.  Most of them will appreciate it beyond measure.  Lack of communication is a really bad reason for people to change jobs or for your company to lose a valuable employee.  Invest in this process now, or be sure to pay for it later.

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Avatar About the Author: Leo Bottary

Leo J. Bottary is an adjunct professor for two of Seton Hall University's graduate level programs in strategic communication and leadership.  Leo has enjoyed a 25-year career counseling leaders in the areas of strategic comm…

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