Talent retention myths
Better ways to retain your valued employees
Actually, they don’t leave mainly for money. An unpublished Saratoga Institute study of 19,500 former employees of 18 organizations, conducted from 1996 to 2003, revealed that 88% of employees say they leave for reasons other than money. By contrast, another survey in that same time period showed that 89% of managers believe that employees mainly stay or leave because of money. (The full Saratoga study is summarized in Leigh Branham’s book The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave).
According to a Business Week (online) article from Feb.2, 2005, one of the biggest reasons people leave their employers is because of poor relations with their supervisors. Florida-based TalentKeepers has built their retention work on the premise that the most significant reason why employees leave is dissatisfaction with their direct supervisors. While it may not be the reason across all jobs and all job levels, other experts confirm that dissatisfaction with either supervisors or upper management plays a significant role in turnover. Despite this knowledge, managers and supervisors in most companies are still not held accountable for the departure of productive employees.
The reason is simple: Those employees with the foresight not to burn their bridges with your company or jeopardize future positive references will make sure notto mention their problems with the boss on the way out the door. Not surprisingly, exit interviews that take place months later, when the employees are secure in their new jobs, elicit more candid admissions that the boss was an important, if not the most important, reason for leaving.
4. When people leave your company, the best tactic to stop the trend is to badmouth the people who left.
Fred Mael (www.maelconsulting.com) is an organizational psychologist who does consulting in areas such as talent retention, organizational culture, and performance management, as well as executive and work/life coaching. This article appeared in the August 2006 issues of Baltimore SmartCEO and Washington SmartCEO magazines.