Employee Retention in the Age of Job Shopping

Why Companies Lose Great Talent, and How to Retain Your Best People

 We all know that good and skilled employees are rare to find and expensive to replace – particularly in the tech industry. Nowadays, over 50% of the expenses of a company go into people, and a new study by Future Workplace and Kronos found that 87% of employers think that retention is a critical priority for their organization. So it’s obviously important for a company to keep the employee turnover low and retain their great people.

In addition, many employees don’t stay very long in a company. These days, people seem to change jobs almost like they change their socks – and the digitalization of the job market accelerates this trend. Just look at the statistics: according to Glassdoor, over half of employees believe if they lost their job they would be likely to find a new job matched to their experience and current compensation levels in the following six months.

With such confident candidates, a fast growing online job market, and competitors that are standing on the battle line to get the best people to their side, it is crucial for companies to understand how they might lose great talent and how to retain great people. And one thing we should mention from the start: this isn’t just about money.

Employees Don’t Leave Companies, They Leave Managers

A study from Gallup confirmed this headline with statics: around 50% of employees who quit cited their manager as the reason for it. Even more interesting is that, according to the same study, managers account for at least 70% of variance in the employee engagement scores, which means that with a bad manager an employee feels unmotivated and the results decrease.

So it’s important to create environments where employees feel motivated and comfortable. And now comes the big question: how? According to the same study from Gallup, consistent communication is connected to higher engagement, and necessary for employees to feel that their manager is invested in them as people. As such, great managers have the talent to motivate employees and understand that each person they manage is different.

Great Employees Focus on Career Development

Another factor that moves employees into the nets of competing talent pools is the lack of growth opportunities. According to a Gallup study on millennials, a crucial factor for employees to feel motivated is career development – of all the job attributes young people value, “opportunities to learn and grow” come in at number one. 87% of millennials say development is important to them, and of that group, two thirds say it’s extremely important. Therefore, a company that doesn’t focus on making their best people even better, pushes them away.

Promote career mobility and encourage flexibility

In a world in which you’re always connected, mobility and flexibility become fundamental components of life – especially for millennials that grow up with these concepts. Therefore, it’s not surprising, that a global study by EY reports that 74% of workers want “the ability to work flexibly,” which could include flexible hours, telecommuting and other types of work arrangements. A study by Cisco and Future Workplace found out that mobility helps increase engagement, productivity and teamwork.

Work-Life Balance

Last but far from least, great employees don’t only want to work hard – they also want to play hard. For this, they need a healthy work life balance. Remember: a burned out employee can’t help you to bring forward your business. Take care of your employees, and they will take care of your business!

And the most important lesson: fix these problems early. Be the best you can be for your employee from the start, and they’ll be more likely to be there for the business.