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Employers/Leaders: To Keep Your Staff, Be Prepared to Let Them Go.

Employers/Leaders: To Keep Your Staff, Be Prepared to Let Them Go.

The statistics relating to today’s employee paint a clear picture for employers and business leaders. This picture illustrates the reality that a good percentage of your current staff will leave you.

  • The facts about your workforce:

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According to a study by Gallup, 60% of your millenial workers are currently open to moving jobs. Research by the Labor Statistics in the US suggests that every staff member of yours will have upwards of 10 different jobs in their adult life.

  • Work with the statistics, not against. 

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These statistics provide a simple message. If you really want to get the best out of your people, create openness in your organisation around career direction – that embraces options inside and outside the organisation.

  • Is this happening today?

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In my experience, career conversations are infrequent in nature and inconsistent in quality. If they’re happening, they tend to be bound by the parameters of the career opportunities the organisation can offer. Or they’re happening too late, i.e. when the employee has made their mind up to leave. Conversations solely focussed on organisation specific career ambitions have limited value. The value diminishes significantly when the employee is actively considering outside options. That ‘too late’ conversation when a key employee tells you they’re leaving ranges in emotion from saddening to heart-breaking.

  • The consequences of not embracing the statistics:

Psychologist Karl Jung once said, “what you resist not only persists, but will grow in size”. In a lot of cases, the greatest asset of your employee is their knowledge and experience. Which is stored in their mind. If your employee’s mind is distracted by career doubts, you have a problem. If you have a culture that promotes keeping a lid on those doubts, you have a bigger problem.

  • Be progressive, embrace the stats: 

To unlock the true potential of your staff, create a positive relationship with the concept of letting staff go. A progressive business leader and their HR lead asked me to run a ‘career choices’ session for their staff recently. The session guided staff on how to identify and assess all viable career options and make informed choices around these options. The feedback they received from staff was incredibly positive. Staff commented on how sessions, such as the ‘career choices’ session, was what differentiated their workplace from others.

  • What is the prize for embracing the stats: 

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By creating a culture that embraces ‘letting go’ you will create two groups. You will create a workforce of the right people working in the right roles for the right amount of time. You will create an alumni who depart the company for the right reasons and to the right role. This culture fosters a feeling of gratitude amongst staff and leavers. It generates a desire to work hard for the company. And to be referrers, recruiters, and possibly even rejoiners, as leavers.

I believe employers and leaders recognise the need to view careers differently. However, the rate of change in approach is mixed. There is an opportunity to create a leading niche in your market on the people front. The question is, who is going to be the employer/business leader to step forward to create that niche for themselves and their business?

If this topic is of interest to you and your business, or if you have any feedback on the post, please do send an e-mail to john@inspo.ie.