If you recruit, hire, train and manage people, you are engaged in fighting the war of talent every day. You are tired- tired of resignations on short notice, tired of new hires leaving after only a few days on the job, tired of spending so much of your time and money on recruitment and on getting new hires up to speed, tired of the disruptions in customer service created when a key person quits, tired of asking your other workers to pick up the slack, and tire of the way it feels to be “fired” by one of your employees. Think for a moment about the jobs you’ve held and why you left them. Also consider any good performer who has left your current or previous employers. In how many of these situations did the reason for leaving originate from dissatisfaction with the job or work environment?
In exit interviews, departing employees most often say they left for “a better opportunity” which is usually taken to mean “more money”. Actually, it often does mean they received a salary offer greater than what they were previously making, but there are usually deeper motivations involved. Many top performers get calls from recruiters enticing them to pursue more lucrative positions with other companies. Yet they often decline to pursue these opportunities. Why? Because they are satisfied where they are. The top performers who do pursue these invitations are usually dissatisfied in one or more key areas- growth prospects, lack of challenge or a poor relationship with the boss. We refer these as “push-factors” because they push the employee in the direction of leaving the company.
One of the key “push-factors” is the employee’s inability to see any link between performance and pay. It is demotivating to most top performers when they work harder and smarter and get better results than their peers, yet receive the same percentage pay increase, bonus or promotion. If an employee perceives no growth or advancement opportunities, even when they exist, then for all practical purposes, they do not exist. In a common scenario, an employee announces his resignation to his manager, who responds, “I’m surprised and disappointed, I had plans for you.” This often happens because neither the manager nor the employee has taken time to schedule a meeting where career options and opportunities can be discussed.
All workers need to believe that their work is centrally important to the success of the enterprise, whether the job is restaurant server, housekeep, data processor, factory worker or bank teller. This means that the employee’s manager needs to convey with strong belief, exactly how the worker’s job is central to the company’s mission. Manager must be willing to back up his statement of belief by offering viable rewards of some kind based on the employees’ actual performance. Sometimes, when employees resign, they have the reason of not being able to tolerate abusive manager. Waves of downsizings and proliferation of toxic and abusive companies have killed loyalty. It’s no wonder that younger workers than ever aspire to the dream of self-employment rather than their parents dream of working for a large corporation.