Who from my team / company is looking to leave? A few telltale signs…..

Who from my team / company is looking to leave?  A few telltale signs…..

I must admit that these numbers were somewhat startling to me as we see that 90% responded with at least some interest in hearing about potential opportunities, and ~50% anticipate making that change within the next year.  In the interest of full disclosure, these numbers might be slightly skewed as more mid-senior / senior level people filled out the survey rather than senior executives / owners, but I think they are too stark to ignore.  Especially if you are a manager / owner of a company! 


The single greatest mistake that leadership makes when looking at these types of numbers is that they think they are immune to employee turnover, and that this only applies to everyone else. I can assure you with great certainty that no matter how well you think you treat your team members, no matter how highly compensated they are, no matter now much you love them (and are loved back), that there are members of your team / organization that are at the very least, opportunistically seeking a greener pasture.  Very few of us are actually at the exact same company that we started our careers with, so why should we assume any different of our employees…….. 


Being attentive to some clues might help to recognize when you are vulnerable.  Listen closely, to see if you hear more complaints than usual.  While there are no magic potions to stop this, (and I am not sure that we really want to anyway), we counsel our clients to at least be more attentive to some signs that they are somewhat vulnerable to losing critical talent.  Here are 5 quick areas to keep at the forefront or your mind. 


Lack of Growth Opportunities – One of the most common reasons employees start looking for new jobs is because they feel like they have hit a ceiling in terms of career growth within their current organization. They may feel like they are stuck in their current role or that there are limited opportunities for advancement within the company. Far too often we fail to offer opportunities for professional development and career advancement, even laterally.  This is becoming a growing concern each and every year! 


Compensation, Compensation, Compensation – This age-old problem is never going away.  Everyone has a colleague or friend doing less work for more money……   Overwhelmingly, leadership compensates employees based on what they perceive market value to be rather than actual value to the company or team, leaving many employees feeling underpaid.  We have addressed compensation in depth in several newsletters and will do so again in the near future, but a quick takeaway for today is to remember the importance of ensuring that employees are being paid what they are worth to you, regardless of what the market perceptions may say, and that their contributions to the company are recognized and rewarded in totality. 


Work-Life Balance – Healthy work-life balance has been slowly gaining traction for the past 20 years but the past 5 years have accelerated this demand by employees. Employees often feel like they are constantly overworked and burnt out, with little time to pursue their personal interests and hobbies, even though with most organizations offering at least some hybrid schedule, time has never been more controllable by employees.  Listen for key phrases like, “no time for” socialization, exercise or caring for their family.  We need to really evaluate how much we are pushing our employees to work “for time rather than deliverables”.  We have also seen a huge disconnect in the employer / employee relationship as to “Who owns all the time that employees no longer use for commuting”. 


Toxic Work Culture – Nothing drives employees away faster than a toxic work environment.  When employees feel like they are constantly dealing with drama, office politics, or colleague and managerial conflicts, first thing they do is polish up the resume seeking a more positive and supportive work environment elsewhere. Promoting a positive and inclusive company culture can help address this issue.


Lack of Purpose or Meaning  -Finally, some employees may start looking for new jobs if they feel like their work lacks purpose or meaning. They may feel like they are not making a real difference in the world or that their work is not aligned with their personal values and beliefs. During the height of the  pandemic, each and every one of us did at least some soul searching as to where our careers fit into our lives.  


If you notice your employees aren’t as enthusiastic about working for your company as they used to be, ask them directly if something has changed in their lives that might explain why they’re acting differently at work. You may find that there isn’t anything wrong with the job itself; rather than spending time trying to figure out what’s going wrong internally when there could be external factors causing these behaviors (such as financial issues, family complications or health problems), try asking questions about what could be causing these shifts in attitude or behavior instead.”

Feel free to reach out directly to discuss this topic further as well as any other questions or concerns regarding the current hiring climate. I guarantee that in our call together you will leave with 2 or 3 ideas that will greatly impact your ability to find, attract, and procure the top 10-15% of the candidate pool on a consistent basis.


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