Analysing their reasons
Employees leave organisations for many reasons and these reasons are unknown to employers; mainly because at this point relationships have broken down, or because of apathy.
Not knowing why people are leaving — even the ones you don't want to stay - can hinder a company's progress.
Popular reasons why staff leave
While pay is always a motivational factor, there are a number of reasons that could make employees seek work elsewhere:
- The job or workplace is not what they expected.
- There is a mismatch between the job and person.
- Too little coaching and feedback.
- Too few growth and advancement opportunities.
- The employee feels undervalued.
- Overwork or loss of work/life balance.
- Lack of trust and confidence in management
- It's simply time to move on.
Listening and learning
Any good employer needs to listen to employees' needs and preferably implement retention strategies to make employees feel valued and engaged in order to keep them.
All employers know how expensive and time consuming recruitment can be, not to mention the disruption to output due to training the new recruit.
Policies to help employees stay happy and involved instead of looking for employment opportunities elsewhere include:
Training — this reinforces an employee's sense of value, helps them achieve goals and ensures they have a solid understanding of their job requirements.
Mentoring — this provides a structured mechanism for developing strong relationships within an organisation — especially when linked to some form of goal orientation.
Positive culture — your company should aim to establish a positive culture such as honesty, excellence, attitude, respect, and teamwork.
Creating an open dialogue in the working environment will have an advantage when it comes to attracting and keeping good employees.
What if your employee has given notice?
If the employee who wants to leave has certain skills or knowledge that is relevant — even vital — to your industry or sector you need to know why they want to leave.
Their departure will certainly cause disruption and cost of recruitment, but they could also be going to a direct rival — in which case your loss will be all the greater.
There are few worse feelings for a manager than when a valued employee announces he or she is leaving for a better opportunity.
When is it best to let go?
The first step is to determine specifically why the employee is leaving. If you understand the reason, then you may be able to address the problem and convince him or her to stay.
However, while a resignation may lead you to think that it will cause immediate problems, in fact it maybe that the departure really is best for both parties.
An unhappy employee is difficult to manage, tends to disrupt the effectiveness of his or her team, and will most likely leave eventually anyway. There is a case for saying that once someone wants to leave that the damage is done, and that no amount of cajoling will make things better.
When the employee is leaving, conduct an exit interview indentifying any problem areas, and be honest — was it a natural progression? It is also worth analysing trends and repeat patterns in employee resignations for future references.
What's more, making a ‘counteroffer' is probably too little, too late. Once an employee has made the decision to leave once, they will probably make it again. Your new improved offer may only convince them to stay in the short term and you would have been better off letting them go and seeking a new replacement right away.