The continued low employment rate means that even some of your talented team members who are not looking to leave, could get recruited away. This is the topic of a recent article* in The Wall Street Journal with some suggestions on how to make sure you have given them reasons to stay. Here are some of the author’s ideas:
*Improve Their Space. So many organizations have gone to the “open office” philosophy and many are realizing it is a mistake. If you can improve the physical space where each of your team members spends more time each day than they do at home – then this may give them second thoughts if they are being lured away. Try to make your space a competitive advantage.
*Be Family Friendly. Create activities at your office for families to participate in and make them kid friendly. Be sure to support people when they want to participate in family activities during office hours. Role model this yourself.
*Proactively Round Out Their Resume. While it sounds counter-intuitive, if you can sincerely assist your team members by providing them with experiences to develop the skills and abilities they need to get to the next level, then you may keep them around longer. Maybe they move up in your organization to a new role or maybe they leave. But either way, it is a positive message to them and others that you care about their development.
All of this is consistent with the Q-12, a workplace engagement instrument developed by The Gallup Organization. If you are unfamiliar with it, you can learn more about how you can apply in your organization in their book, First, Break All the Rules.
A couple of other thoughts on this general topic from my perspective:
Tell your team that if any of them cannot identify a role at your organization as their next step, that you will help them find that next job somewhere else. Don’t be selfishly short-sighted. Actively support them.
Sooner or later, people leave – for a wide variety of reasons. When they do, honor them and show them genuine appreciation. Cheer them on. It’s the right thing to do. And, remind them that they are always welcome back in other roles. Who knows, maybe they could be your boss some day.
*Gregerson, H., “The Key to Retaining Your Best Employees,” The Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2019, p. R4.