As with many things in the world of employment, the subject of retention is often over-analyzed. Of course, every organization wants to retain its best employees. However, how many of them are able to do that with 100% effectiveness? Not many, if any.
The fact of the matter, though, is that retention is not as difficult as it might seem.
We touched upon this briefly in a previous blog post. The title of that post was “The ‘Before and After Effect’ and How It Affects Retention.” In that post, we discussed how what a new employee experiences at your organization after they’ve been hired should match the expectations they had before they were hired. More specifically, what they experience should match the expectations they had when they made the decision to accept your offer of employment and join your company.
Everything in life, including within the employment marketplace, boils down to motivation. People do what they are motivated to do. So if they do something, it means there was an underlying, motivating reason for what they did.
(On the flip side of that, there is often an underlying, motivating reason that people do NOT do things. However, the premise is the same. Action or inaction, there is something that constitutes the motivation for both.)
Taking all of that into consideration, when a candidate accepts your offer of employment, they’re doing so because they’re motivated to do so. There is a reason (or reasons) motivating them to accept your offer and leave their current employer. In other words, there is a reason (or reasons) that they want to work for your organization.
Makes sense, right? So then why do employees leave your organization?
The answer to that question is simple: they leave because the reason (or reasons) that were motivating them to join your organization in the first place no longer exist.
Now, since every person and every employee is different, that means they had different reasons for wanting to work for your organization. What often happens is that, over time, those reasons begin to erode until one day, they evaporate completely. When that occurs, there is nothing remaining to motivate the employee to stay with you. In fact, they are motivated to go somewhere else.
It’s a rather simple equation. However, it’s not an easy one with which to grapple. That’s because it requires an intensive effort on the part of management. Senior-level company officials and team leaders must discern the following:
- What motivates each of their employees on a daily basis
- What motivates each of their employees to stay at the organization
- Whether or not what has motivated their employees in the past still motivates them now
- Whether or not something other than what motivates their employees now might entice them
- Whether or not the organization can ultimately provide what motivates their employees
Then each employee must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, so they can be classified as a “flight risk” or not. Not only is this an intensive endeavor, but it might also seem to some company officials to be unnecessary. After all, if the employee no longer wants to work here, let them go! Who needs them?
If that employee is one of your top performers, the answer to that question is YOU. You need them.
So find out why your top performers joined your organization. Find out what motivates them. And use that to keep them right where they are.
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