We’ve written a number of times previously about how hiring in this current market requires an intensive effort. However, what is also true is that retaining your very best employees in this current market also requires an intensive effort.
Once again, that’s because we are in the midst of a candidates’ market. That means candidates have more options. They have more employment opportunities available to them. In fact, the rule is this:
The better the candidate, the more high-caliber they are, the more options they have.
Now take that same sentence and replace the word “candidate” with the word “employee.” Then you have the following:
The better the employee, the more high-caliber they are, the more options they have.
While you might not want to hear this, your best employees have options. One of those options is to pursue other opportunities within the industry, and there’s nothing more your competition would want than to hire away your best employees.
They won’t stay “just because”
The first step in the intensive process of retaining your top employees is knowing the reasons why they might leave. The second step, of course, is then addressing those reasons before they actually leave. Because if you wait too long, it will be too late.
You can’t assume that your best employees are going to stay with the organization “just because.” That is a dangerous assumption and one that many company officials have regretted in this current employment marketplace. While there is an assortment of reasons why somebody might leave, there are some that are more common than others. These are the ones upon which you should focus your efforts.
With that in mind, below are five reasons why your best employees will leave your company:
#1—Too much work/too much stress
Within this context, “too much work/too much” stress means over an extended period of time. Top employees are usually hard workers who don’t mind doing a lot. However, it’s when they’re asked to do a LOT more and they’re consistently asked to do it for a long time that it becomes a problem. If their workload starts to negatively affect their work-life balance, then the employee is particular at risk of looking elsewhere and then leaving.
The irony is that the best employees are typically the ones who are saddled with the most work when the organization is stretched too thin. That’s because management trusts them. However, if that trust turns into an unbearable workload, then the employee automatically becomes a “flight risk.”
#2—No evident career path
Top employees want to know that they’re “going somewhere” with the organization. They want to feel as though they can grow with the company in some capacity or another. What they do not want to do is the same thing every day, day in and day out, no matter how good they are at what they do. These employees have goals for growth in both their job and their career. Most of all, they want to build a career that is satisfying to them. If they don’t feel satisfied with your organization or feel as though they could be satisfied in the future, then they might decide that they don’t want a future with you.
#3—Lack of recognition
We’ve touched upon this before in newsletter articles and blog posts. Even though top employees are most likely intrinsically motivated, at least in large part, they still crave recognition. They don’t even have to be rewarded, per se, with extra pay or fringe benefits, but they do want to know that their work is appreciated.
People leave their job when they don’t care about the work they do or their employer. That’s why you must show them that you care—about them, their work, and the value that they provide for the organization. If you don’t care, then why should they?
#4—Weak leadership with no vision
Strong employees want to follow strong leaders. Specifically, they want to follow somebody is going to inspire them. They want somebody to inspire them to achieve great things, both for the organization and also for their career. What they definitely do NOT want is somebody who “talks a big game,” but is unable to back it up with a plan of action.
Once again, they want to know and feel that they’re working toward something. If they don’t feel that way, they’re going to ask themselves why they’re staying employed at your organization. And if they have to ask themselves that question in the first place, they already know the answer.
#5—Lack of trust
Trust is a huge factor in the workplace, and it’s tied directly to the first four items on this list. That’s because your employees have to trust your company in each of those four areas:
- They must trust you not to overwork them and/or overstress them.
- They must trust that there is an evident career path at the organization.
- They must trust that they will be recognized for their accomplishments.
- They must trust that the organization has strong leadership with a strong vision for the future.
Trust is crucial for top employees. If they don’t trust the organization for which they work with not only their job, but also with their career, then they won’t stay.
A recruiter can help with retention
An experienced recruiting firm can not only help to identify the best candidates in the marketplace and help you to hire them, but they can also help you retain your best employees. They know what kind of intensive effort is needed to increase retention. After all, if you’re going to all the trouble of hiring the best candidates, what good is that unless you’re all able to keep those candidates as employees for the long haul?
When you align yourself with a search consultant with a track record of success, that recruiter can serve as a consultant for your organization. They can provide knowledge and expertise about a wide range of employment issues, thus ensuring that your workforce operates at increasingly optimal levels. (Please note that I own the Certified Employee Retention Specialist designation within the recruiting and staffing profession. This certification makes me uniquely qualified to provide guidance regarding issues related to retention.)
It’s a candidates’ market. Candidates (and employees) have more options. Make sure that the best option for both of them is to work for your organization.
We help support careers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession in one of two ways: 1. By helping to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of organizations. If this is something you would like to explore further, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.