What Keeps You Around?

Several months ago I was talking to a really smart Vice-President of a company. She wanted to put a career development program in place at her company. She and I discussed what that could look like, how to bring it on board in a phased manner and created the business case to demonstrate its value to the organization’s CEO. The feedback she received after her presentation was that the company did not see this as a priority and that as long as the economy was struggling, the company was not going to worry about retaining employees at this time. I told her that her boss was right…that “from 2003 to 2008, it was an employee marketplace and from 2008 to today its been an employer’s market. However that will change and the companies that are not ready for the change will pay a price by losing valuable staff.”

I just finished reading a  Deloitte Consulting survey that showed that over a third of employees plan to stay with their current employer which amazingly means that over 2/3 of employees are actively or passively looking for new employment. This is a staggering report and indicates that people are ready to jump as soon as they get the chance

There are  four primary factors  cited in the Deloitte report as to why people plan to leave their current employer:

  • Lack of career progress
  • Lack of compensation increase
  • Lack of job security
  • Lack of trust in leadership

While the second and third items may be difficult for companies to address in today’s economic climate, there is room for action on items 1 & 4. In fact by addressing career options with employees and anticipating what may happen to opportunities as the economy strengthens companies may be able to take care of 2 birds with 1 stone in that employees will feel better about their leaders if they communicate honestly about career options and provide development experiences to help them achieve their work goals.

There is a lot of things that leaders must do in their organization to keep things running smoothly but nothing is more important than insuring that you have the best people working for you who are engaged in what they are doing. Paying attention to small things like communicating frequently, telling the truth and helping people achieve their career goals can go a long way to helping employees feel good about their career and work

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