There is an old saying that employees quit their bosses not their jobs. There is some truth to this and there are many reasons this saying is popular. Certainly the retention of top talent is mission critical in today’s competitive job market and there is a tightening of the skilled labour pool for certain sectors. However, it would be unfair to blame departures completely on the bosses as there are many other factors that play into why staff elect to leave a company.
Some of the most common reasons employees leave are: poor communication, lack of respect, poorly defined job roles, lack of empowerment, bullying, lack of recognition, confusing expectations, compensation matters (both pay and benefits), input and feedback, listening, follow up, confusion over key business objectives and uncertainty of the mission.
Another hazard facing business today is the notion of doing more for less. This is great in theory but does it really work in the end? Restructuring is a reality today and, if done strategically, can work for all concerned. However, pushing people beyond their limits because of a restructuring will reduce quality and drive top talent away.
One of the key strategies that companies can implement to retain and attract top talent relates to a genuine and focused effort to drive employee engagement. Engagement throughout the organization is a centerpiece for performance, productivity and innovation. An excellent approach to engagement is to foster a “coaching culture” where managers become more then bosses, they embrace conversations with their staff that leads to better communication, relationship building and trust. This concept will become increasingly more important as we begin to blend the generations together in our working environment. Generation X and Y are going to respond much different than Boomers to management style. For example, a manager who says, “how can I help you,” will get a lot further then someone who says, “what is the problem here?”
People need to feel valued and part of a team and this is true for any size company. Human Capital is the most important asset in any organization. Think of it this way….you can have the most advanced and modern airliner in the world but without top talent flying and taking care of your customers what do you really have?