The dark winter months are upon us and whether you’re a business owner or a people manager you’d be foolish to think that at least some of your team aren’t thinking about their next career move. The start of the year is prime time for job applications, time to reflect over the Christmas break and the sharp return to reality means the first couple of months of the year is a critical time for retaining staff and as such it’s a good time to address some of the reasons why your employees may be looking elsewhere.
- They want to be led effectively
It can often be difficult to look close to home for problems but it’s important to realise that effective leadership is essential to keep your staff motivated and driven. The way teams are managed, how messages are communicated, how included your teams feel in what the business is trying to achieve are all critical factors in how your employees feel and how they perform, if they’re feeling demotivated it stands to reason that performance will never be as good and it’s one of the reasons they may have one eye on the door.
2. They’re looking for flexibility
Various studies have proved that we all want flexibility from Baby Boomers to Millennials and everyone in between, flexibility enhances working and personal lives and leads to better performance and happier workforces, if you’re not offering it then you’d better believe that your competitors are. Flexible working is fast becoming standard practice and not a nice to have, and it’s almost certainly something your employees are looking elsewhere for – if you can offer it then you should.
3. They’re looking for growth in their career
Whilst not everyone wants to take the route to CEO, most people do want to have clear career objectives and it’s up to you as their employer to support that, dependant on your business there may not be room for promotion but this doesn’t mean that you can’t help your teams develop through training and developing new skills – and yes of course there’s the danger that they may leave anyway with their new set of skills – but guess what?! if you don’t provide the opportunities to grow, they’ll find them somewhere else anyway, no staff member stays forever but with this approach you get the benefit of their new skills and a happy employee to boot.
4. They’re lacking motivation
It can be easy particularly with an established team to keep piling the work on and most employees who enjoy their role will continue to adapt to absorb additional work and responsibilities however there comes a point where expectations and demands can simply become too much and in this scenario it’s easy to become stressed and unmotivated, likewise not enough work can be demotivating and mean an employee can quickly lose interest. Either scenario is a danger zone in terms of retaining staff and one which should be avoided if you want to retain your teams.
5. They don’t feel cared for
Whilst all the other points in this article are important, we’d argue this one is the big one. If your employees feel under-appreciated or that what they do isn’t being recognised it won’t mean they’re automatically heading for the door but it won’t help either, in time they’ll lack motivation and commitment to their role because although they’ll be taking home a pay check every month for most people it’s not just about that, it’s simple enough to say ‘well done, that was great’ it costs your business nothing and yet in terms of retaining your staff it is invaluable.