Looking to leave? A lesson for employers

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Autumn – a time for change, when the leaves start to fall off the trees and new colours arrive.

And it’s not just in nature where things alter, as workforces across the country can see a shift in their staff.

A recent study from Recruitment Buzz has shown that half of British workers in the UK are looking for pastures new in the next 12 months.

Their reason? Well, that depends on your age range but men are most likely to go than women, looking for bigger salaries and better working conditions, more exciting opportunities and management styles.

Whatever the reason, this time of the year seems to be the most popular for people looking to move on.

This leaves businesses with a problem; on the one hand they have to find someone to replace the void and how do you stop them from leaving in the first place?

Keeping employees engaged is tough, in fact a recent Harvard Business Review claims employee engagement is in the top three success factors for any company. It’s not just a case of paying them a handsome wage (though this helps) and offering the usual benefits, employees these days are more complicated and require more from their work:

Career development

Employees are often asked where they see themselves in five or 10 years’ time, a question which sometimes throws the interviewee. Now this is being reversed as many employees wish to develop their skills and are looking to their employers to provide the options.

Communication

The late great George Bernard Shaw said “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Unfortunately, this is too true in many organisations. The communication employees need is simply not there. Maybe if it was, people wouldn’t think about leaving.

Use them or lose them

Companies like Google give their employees “white space”, a paid time off where they are allowed to pursue other passions and interests. While we don’t suggest SMEs do this – as they don’t have the capacity – it’s important for these employers to work harder to understand an individual’s personalities as you never know when you might need them.

Trust among equals

If you are going to earn the respect of your team, then you are going to have to trust them. Empower them by offering them motivating incentives, celebrate small victories and encourage them in their work. By doing this you might just keep hold of them for longer.

For output, ask for input

Never assume you know what your employees are thinking, because you don’t and you can’t unless you ask them. Maybe they have a great idea which can help the company achieve its objectives and something you haven’t thought about. Asking for their input will keep them engaged by knowing they are helping the business to thrive.

There is no right or wrong way of keep your employees happy and you can’t go too overboard on incentives and investment but there are ways to keep them from looking elsewhere.