5 ways to prevent employees from giving the Big Goodbye

Nah, nah, nah, nah. Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye!

Employees are realizing they have the power. It’s a job seeker’s market, and recruiters are eager to snatch them up. There are plenty of reasons they’ll be choosing from, but it all ends the same way. They’re saying the Big Goodbye. Here is how to prevent the most common goodbyes of 2021:

5 Ways to prevent employees from going goodbye“I’m Leaving For More Money.” This is why you absolutely must be sure your compensation is competitive. That doesn’t mean giving everyone a raise to beg them to stay. Check those salary bands. Do they match the job description? What do those with similar duties make in your industry? In the region? If you haven’t examined your compensation structure in a while, it may be a good time to do that.

“I Want To Work From Home.” Last year, we discovered that huge chunks of the workforce can actually get their jobs done effectively from home. Plenty of workers enjoyed the freedom, lack of frustrating commutes, and a quieter setting. With companies opening back up, many bosses are pushing everyone to come back. But why? It makes more sense to institute an individual policy based on merit. One size fits all policies can often feel punitive to those that have been doing their job well. Really want those employees in the office? Consider a hybrid model, with some days in office and some days working from home, for those who have earned it.

“I Need More Flexibility.” Not all jobs can accommodate flexible schedules. However, if it’s possible, there’s no harm in considering it. Just like work from home, this is an offering that should be earned and given individual consideration. Assign them focus areas, track goal completion, ask them to communicate their needs, and be honest with them.

“My Career Isn’t Going Anywhere Here.” Some people have discovered new talents or aspirations. Ask them “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Yes, it’s a bit cheeky, but it’s a great way to start a conversation. Find out where they want to be, both short and long term. It’s possible that it won’t match up with the company’s needs, and that’s OK. That allows for time to plan around the eventual departure. Alternatively, it also gives insight into that employee’s ambitions. Then you can build a detailed development plan, making them more invested in your organization.

“I’m Tired Of Being Here.” A pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure on this one. Build trust with that employee by asking them to share their accomplishments, disappointments, needs, and goals. Don’t dismiss or demean anything they share, but be honest about it. Let them know if anything can and will change from their feedback, and follow through on promises. Use their input and add in the needs of the organization to create focus areas you can agree on. Empower them to develop and own that plan with regular check-ins to ensure progress is made.

Gary Markle, chief catalyst of Catalytic Coaching Inc, is a speaker, consultant, author, and a business partner of Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s survey partner for Top Workplaces.

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