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25 Percent To Jump Ship In New Year December 6, 2011

Posted by Kevin Burns in build a better workplace.


As you gather for your Christmas parties, (sorry, Holiday Parties – my PC vocab is underutilized), be aware that this is likely the last party for many of your staff. If the numbers are right, and they usually are pretty close, almost every survey indicates that up to 25% of employees are willing to jump ship in the New Year as soon as a better offer comes along.

Y’see, as a manager, you’ve been doing a terrible job of building employee loyalty. In fact, while you are in your all-too-often management meetings or locked away in your office with the door closed, your staff are whining about their jobs and how they’re ready to jump ship at the first opportunity. It’s probably because you don’t say enough to them about how much you value their contribution.

Oh sure, you talk to them about how you fought for a raise and how your hands are tied by senior managment, but other than that, you really don’t say much do you?

The truth is, although more money is always nice, it isn’t the reason your people are secretly planning to leave. No, they’re planning their exit strategy because they don’t feel fulfilled in their work because no one tells them that their contribution is important, that the work matters or that their talent is recognized.

But you’re not comfortable with that are you? That’s too touchy-feely (Eew). Better to just keep it simple and throw out a few basic but non-commital platitudes in the “annual” performance review. That way, your ass is covered if they ever raise a stink about something you said that may have been heartfelt.

At this time of the year, people have gift-giving on their minds. Eyes and faceslight up when they get a gift. Think of how much your people would light up and light a fire under themselves if they got a regular gift: someone who articulates that they are appreciated.

But there will be no gift come the New Year. No, your lump of coal will be to train their replacement in the New Year. And when that person leaves, then you will do it again, and again and blame it all on a lack of employee engagement. It’s always easier to blame turnover on “problem” or “issue” employees.

But Employee Engagement isn’t the problem. Management enagagement is the problem. Employees will engage in direct proportion to their direct manager’s engagement of them. Without engagement, their is no employee loyalty.

Stop looking for tips and tricks to fix your people. They don’t work long-term. What works is honesty. Talk to them. Appreciate them. Be grateful for their work. That’s how you keep them. All it takes is a little humility. But that seems to be the problem doesn’t it? You think being humble equates to weakness. Not much wonder they’re leaving you.

For more information on how Kevin can help your managers get better at communicating with employees and building engagement, value and culture, check here: http://kevburns.com/speaking/tweak-a-new-management-strategy



1. John - December 12, 2011

Is the projected turnover rate (25%) a typical year-over-year stat or does it reflect an increased number?

Kevin Burns - December 12, 2011

John, in recent years the turnover rate has been higher (recession caused most of it – downsizing) but normally the voluntary turnover rate is around 11%. A voluntary turnover rate of 25% is gigantic and should be noted.

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