Keeping employees: it’s more important now than you might think
There is a Gallagher Organization statistic which reports that more than 60 percent of current employees are planning to leave their positions as soon as another opportunity presents itself. That is startling! In a healthy economy, there is always some churning of the workforce, but more than 60 percent of all employees report enough dissatisfaction with their current employer that they plan to leave at the first chance to do so. That is really remarkable.
The implication is that only the best will be hired away, so every effort must be made now (prior to the opportunity to leave presenting itself) to retain these employees. The Gallagher report also states that employers know that there is no place for their employees to go, given the weak economy, so they don’t worry about defections to other employers. Abuse of one type or another seems to be rampant. Because of layoffs, those retained employees get the privilege of working their current job plus some of the workload of those laid off. Everyone understands the axiom of “doing more with less.” That has been the new normal for 15 plus years. But interpersonal competence will “win the day” here.
In a previous blog, I commented that by sharing management’s most valuable commodity, its time and attention, a connection can be made. That connection can be turned into a bond between employer and employee. When that bond is made, engagement occurs and turnover diminishes.
If employers continue to treat employees as mere functionaries, they will see larger numbers of disengaged and apathetic employees. The good ones will be recruited away, and only the mediocre will be left. The economy is bound to recover, and the pace of hiring will improve. Unfortunately for those currently unemployed, the first jobs out of the improved economy will go to the currently employed—the best of them. Some of those folks work for you, and they are seriously considering leaving your employment.
Don’t let that happen. How? Connect with your employees. Communicate with them. Listen to them. Act on some of their suggestions. They are good at reading you. Don’t make a shallow attempt at this. Open up to their questions. By evolving to an inclusive and interpersonally competent organization, the numbers of engaged employees will grow, and they will be inclined to stay too.