When top talent leaves an organization, the immediate impacts on the department can feel tragic. Since employee engagement has barely budged in the last few years, many organizations are focused on developing better attraction and retention strategies.
Gallup recently asked employees what they consider most when deciding to take a job with a different organization. Here are three factors that matter most in their decision to stay or go.
Ability to do what they do best. Do you know anyone who wants to spend time on tasks in which they lack interest or expertise? Me neither. Members of today’s workforce seek much more than a paycheck—they want purpose and the opportunity to participate in coaching conversations that promote their professional development. This is proven by Gallup’s study in which the top factor stated among 60% of employees was the ability to do what they do best.
Dale Carnegie’s 3rd Human Relations principle, ‘Arouse in the other person an eager want,’ presents an opportunity for organizations to create recruitment and retention strategies which uncover professionals’ strengths, aspirations and most salient attributes. By understanding employees’ strengths and where they hope to grow, employers can help increase employee engagement and overall retention levels.
Greater work-life balance. According to the same Gallup study, 53% of employees say a role that allows them to have greater work-life balance and better personal well-being is “very important” to them. While the interpretation of work-life balance varies based on everyone’s unique tactics and philosophies, the desire to adjust hours or work remotely without compromising productivity or quality of work is common. Another Gallup study on benefits and perks found that 51% of employees say they would switch to a job that allows them flextime, and 37% would switch to a job that allows them to work off-site at least part of the time.
Organizations that do not currently offer employees flex-time and working remotely opportunities should consider applying Dale Carnegie’s 21st principle, ‘Throw down a challenge,’ internally. Initiating such programs within specific departments is a great way to capture a baseline before rolling it out to the entire organization. For example, the department with the least amount of face-time would be an ideal group to begin with, e.g. a technical team working from predefined requirements with minimal co-worker interaction while coding.
Stronger stability and job security. In the Gallup study, 51% of employees rated greater stability as “very” important” in a new role. For hiring purposes, the more stability a candidate sees within an organization, the more likely she is to envision her future with it. This is why it’s important for long-standing, successful companies to share their history of steady growth. In the case of retention, it’s also important for candidates to understand how their organization is poised for growth over the short- and long-term. Both current and potential employees need to believe in the organization’s future and envision themselves as a part of it—or existing top talent may just jump ship.