As an employer there's a good chance that you offer good employment opportunities for all your staff – and in particular for those employees who you want to retain. And yet, one of your best staff members has just decided to move on to pastures new. It is certainly confusing when this happens – especially if the usual culprits of unfair pay, poor working conditions or poor relationships is ruled out as reasons for leaving. What's left? Why did they leave?
A lack of future direction
A poll carried out in the US recently discovered that 93% of those people who wanted a new job role had to leave their employer to achieve it. Just 7% said that they were able to find a new position within their own company. This change often took place within three years of employment starting – about the time when an employee might expect to see future development in their role.
The ability to grow and develop within your job is what keeps it exciting and fulfilling. All employees expect that their job will move forward as they develop new skills. If this doesn't happen, all the employment perks in the world will not be enough to make them stay. All employees deserve a plan of action from their very first day of employment – a career path that will keep them in the role beyond that crucial three-year mark.
Clearly this need to move roles to achieve enhanced job potential poses huge problems for you as an employer. You have lost a member of staff who has given three years or more to your company, built up relationships with your clients and established themselves as a great employee. Add to that the costs involved with getting a new staff member up to that level and the attendant costs of employing someone new and it can become an expensive oversight to have ignored their future.
A study carried out by Linkedin in the UK has found that just 12% of employers thought that internal promotion was a priority for them, while 32% agreed that they wanted to retain their staff. This lack of connection between these two figures is indicative of a lack of understanding of what an employee needs.
For improved transition times, lowered costs and higher retention rates, the answer is very clear – promote internally whenever possible. Hire new candidates for those roles that have been vacated at lower levels and then ensure that they see promotion potential too.
Lack of reward
Some employees will leave their role because they cannot see how their work is related to the overall growth of the company or that they are not compensated adequately for their hard work that leads to that success. This can lead to a break down in relationships – especially if bonuses are handed out to upper tier workers and not to all staff.
Small things like offering shares or bonuses linked to profits can enthuse all staff when it comes to making their work seem worthwhile. This issue is very separate to salary and needs to be offered as an option that goes over and above their take-home pay and therefore feels more special and reflective of their contribution.
The way forward is clear
As you can see from the above – your role as an employer is to keep your staff happy by allowing them to see their future with you. Employee engagement relies on a mixture of prospects and reward and by offering both you can keep your company ahead of the competition when it comes to finding and keeping the best talent.