Regardless of how long someone has been in your company or how important or menial their position is, there comes a time when each one of your employees is ready to move on. Employees who start looking for a new job while still on your staff can be reengaged and retained if you approach the topic properly. Yes, you heard me right: you can stop them leaving.
According to HR Technologist, only 42% of US employees look forward to coming to work, with 43% ready to leave for a 10% salary raise. Despite the current circumstances linked to the COVID19, turnover in companies reamains prevelant and employees are leaving positions for new opportunities and sometimes, even without a new job lined up.
Based on Forbes, proper employee engagement can lower turnover by 59%, with 96% of employees who believe that empathy is important in staff retention. If anything has shed light on a lack of empathy from certain bosses, it’s the sanitary crisis. It’s not always about money, as mental and physical burnout can easily cause a top-performing employee to pack up and look for less stressful employment. With that said, let’s dive deeper into how you can retain employees even after they’ve decided to look for a new job going into 2021.
Consider Why Employees Want to Leave in the First Place
In order to better understand why employees are looking for work, let’s look at the data. According to Small Biz Genius, only 19% of employees feel engaged in 2020, with 64% ready to leave their jobs as a result. So, is the magical word we’re looking for “engagement”?
Employee engagement extends to a variety of top-down activities ranging from coaching, mentoring, onboarding, tracking, as well as personal development planning. In short, whether you employ 3D modelers, writers, or sales personnel, everyone wants to develop in some way. It’s no longer enough to simply hire an individual and have them perform the same task day in and day out without any agile dynamic.
Employees who feel engaged by their managers are very likely to talk to you before making any decision on their future career prospects. It’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that your senior software developer might want to leave, but it’s probably for good reasons. With that, we can summarize several good reasons why employees might want to look for a new job despite being employed in your company, including:
- Lack of equality among staff members
- Non-compensated extra working hours/weekends
- Poor top-down and no bottom-up communication
- Ill-defined vertical advancement pipeline
- Constant micromanagement and distrust from managers
- Poor employee health, fitness, and mental wellbeing plans
- No HR contact person to discuss work-related problems with
Ways to Stop Employees from Looking for a New Job
- Engage them on a Personal Level
First and foremost, it’s important to stay within legal and moral lines when it comes to stopping your employees from leaving the company. Do not resort to pulling the rug from under them by taking away their severance bonus or other perks for leaving. Remember the one saying: you attract more bees with honey than vinegar. Instead, approach them on a more personal and human level to determine what’s wrong and see if you can offer them anything to stay. According to Tech Jury, nearly 66% of employees feel completely disengaged, with only 15% of the global workforce feeling engaged by their employers.
Your employees deserve your time and patience, whether they perform well or are about to leave the company. Instruct your HR department and team leaders to individually speak to each employee in their teams about personal development plans and feedback about the company. Doing so will help you achieve the first step in employee engagement and discourage staff from leaving for a better job opportunity.
- Keep Contract Reevaluation in Mind
Depending on the industry in which you operate, the trends and expectations might shift drastically in just a few years. This can cause concern for employees who may feel used or unappreciated given the growing list of obligations in their job description. Contemporary industries such as AI development, data science, UX design, and similar still-in-development fields fall into this category.
Thus, you should do your best to offer competitive payment and benefits to your employees, as is standard in your industry and territory. Keep an eye out on what your competitors are doing in regards to employee salary and benefits in order to stay in touch with times. Consult team leaders and managers on what you can do to continuously improve the working conditions and benefits of your staff as time goes by. This will put major positive points in your favor as an employer and drastically lower the turnover in your company going forward.
- Create Transparent, Long-Term LLL Plans
Professional development is shaping up to be one of the most important employment perks of the 2020s. It’s not enough to simply provide your employees with a platform to perform their duties without facilitating their development. As such, you should make it a priority to define a professional development pipeline for your staff as soon as possible to nurture their retention.
For example, if you work with software developers, why not negotiate for seminars and training with your B2B network? This logic can be applied to any number of industries and niches as long as you closely connect the training to day-to-day staff duties. Not only will employees be discouraged from leaving the company, but they will also learn new ways in which to contribute to it going into 2021.
- Recognize & Reward Performers
Employee recognition is a field too complex to break down in a single paragraph. What you need to know is this – employees like it when you recognize their hard work. Creating a reward program for performing employees can do wonders for your long-term retention and morale within the company. Rewards such as bonus pay, remote work days, vacation time, or free seminars or trips can be great motivators for employees to work harder. Just remember: reward your employee before frustration sets you. Don’t wait for those first signs of unhappiness.
Likewise, you can create an internal email system to promote hard-working employees in scheduled intervals for the entire company to see. Writing platforms such as Evernote, Grammarly, or those which specialize in dissertation discussion chapter writing can help you write appealing email content for employee recognition. While a “pat on the back” may not seem like much to you as a manager, office floor employees will greatly appreciate your proactivity.
- Constantly Ask for Employee Opinions
Lastly, employee engagement extends to facilitating a bottom-up culture within your company. This means asking for opinions, criticism, feedback, and comments on your company from employees on a regular basis. A practical way to implement such a system is to create polls and surveys or an idea box.
Going a step further, you can reach out to individuals and ask for additional clarification or suggestions on how to implement their proposals. Business development and company culture nurturing are two-way streets, and you can benefit greatly from cooperating with your employees on these matters. Most importantly, such a step would create a sense of ownership and agency with employees who will then be more inclined to remain in the company for longer.
While everyone needs to move on at some point or other, there are things you can do to keep employees on the payroll for longer. First and foremost: take care of your employees as you would like someone else to take care of you in their place. Create a welcoming, collaborative community of likeminded individuals who share a passion for the industry in your company. Overworking, stress, or over-ambitious goals will not retain employees long-term. Take a step back and approach the topic from a human perspective – we’re all looking for a bit of kindness, espcially in these hard times. Support your workers and they’ll support you in return.
We woud like to thank Helene Cue for this contribution. Helen is a professional Content Writer, Editor, and Business Development Advisor at Essay Supply writing service. She is a dedicated content creator who enjoys working in a plethora of writing niches, including article writing, academic papers, and case studies. Helene spends her free time reading up on industry news, listening to podcasts, as well as walking her two dogs to relax from work.
Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/MYbhN8KaaEc
Author: Ali Neill
As the job board tester and blog editor for the Jobboard Finder, Ali works on job boards from all around the world and keeps a close eye on the recruitment trends thanks to a number of sources, including the website’s social media pages.
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