A part of your employee retention strategies should be to be prepared to intervene when you hear an employee is dissatisfied and thinking about leaving the organization. This employee retention speaker and employee retention author was working with an organization and, as we got looking at their employee turnover statistics, it was brought up that they had seven people who had indicated to a department manager that they were not happy in their role and were thinking about leaving. This was a high-tech firm where all the employees would have to do was put their resume on a job board and in a matter of hours they would be bombarded with opportunities. My reaction was that these “at risk” employees should be talked to immediately about what their concerns were.
This situation may sound crazy but, all too often, employers simply do nothing when they hear things. These people have not given notice but have expressed concerns. They haven’t tried to “hold up” the employer for more money; they have expressed concerns. When this happens, be proactive and have a conversation with them. Be honest. Tell them you want to do a deeper dive and learn more. Then, sit back, shut up and listen to them. Hear them out. Depending on what they say, you can decide if there is anything you can do to address their concerns and then take action to address them if you can. This is simple stuff but it’s as if companies are afraid to ask people or are in denial that the situation is taking place. Instead, they wait until a person gives notice and then they react or simply sit back and watch the person leave.
This employee recruitment expert has one piece of advice…ACT! In the case mentioned, the department manager did an intervention. Then, the department manager had a discussion with HR and the next level of leadership. After that, they made some changes that not only addressed the concerns but actually strengthened the organization. The bottom line is that of the seven employees, five are still with the company nine months after the “intervention” and are happy in their roles.
Why wait until someone leaves, learn things in an exit interview and then make changes? Again, be proactive and hold an “intervention” meeting when you hear concerns. The results will amaze you. This is simple stuff…but at times it’s just not easy for organizations to take the step and hold an “intervention” meeting. And, as always, Give Your Employees C.R.A.P.® (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise). Why? Because C.R.A.P. Works!