“Hey, how did your company take your resignation? I’m sure there was a shock wave that went through the system?”
I raised this question recently to a dear friend who told me that after a lengthy, successful career with her company she was leaving for a new opportunity.
Now, my friend is amazing. It’s no surprise she was being pursued by other organizations. What surprised me, though, was that she’d leave. She was idolized at her former company.
After she shared that the business was taken aback by her announcement, I had to ask a follow-on question.
“As you reflect upon the past few years, what missed opportunities did they have to retain you?”
An interesting dialogue ensued, which is why I’m putting down How to Lose Your Leaders in 10 Ways – a tongue-in-cheek list of poor assumptions and bad ideas when it comes to talent retention.
Here goes: You’ll lose your leaders in 10 days if you …
- Believe a paycheck is a retention tool. A paycheck, alone, won’t make someone stay.
- Acting like retention is only HR’s job. People don’t quit their company, they quit their managers and colleagues. Retention is everyone’s job.
- Think that you know what’s best for your employees’ careers. Employees, too, should have a say.
- Ignore the importance of culture. If organization values only exist on a fancy wall poster, culture isn’t being minded.
- Not offer professional development. Learning doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. It just needs to happen.
- Fail to develop career paths. Career growth doesn’t mean climbing the corporate ladder. It means helping people feel like they’re progressing in their profession.
- Don’t tell people they matter. Employees need to be told (and shown) that they count. Small things add up.
- Ignore the little things. Every employer should know your birthday, start date, and other odds and ends about you. If they don’t use this information to make you feel valued, then they’re missing out on easy opportunities to engage you.
- Fail to keep pace with workforce trends. If the software is outdated, the dress code doesn’t make sense, and there’s too much focus on archaic policies, it’s time to get in touch with reality.
- Treat your top talent like everyone else. If you’ve got superstars, they deserve superstar treatment. (Not diva treatment, they just need special attention.)
Here’s the deal. This list is relevant if you’re a manager, but also great insight if you’re an individual contributor and feel like your employer isn’t doing enough to engage you.
At Lead Star, we know that work is a relationship between an employer and an employee. For any relationship to work, both must be committed.