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Why do Good Employees Leave?



Some of the hardest conversations I have with non-profit CEOs are just after a valued employee has decided to leave.

Employees become your most valuable asset after they have been with you for a while.  They know your systems, they understand your business and goals.  They do their work and inherently create value for you.

It is heartbreaking, disruptive, time-consuming, and very expensive when they leave.

It’s hard not to take such losses personally, but taking it personally serves no purpose.

How does your organization systematically attract or repel top talent?

It may be time to take a good look at your entire system for hiring, developing and retaining your best employees.

John Bersin, a partner at the international consulting firm Deloitte, urges a number of considerations:

  • Compensation (less important overall than you might guess)
  • Job fit (this is multi-layered!)
  • Career opportunities
  • Work environment
  • Organizational culture

The really great thing is that you can affect four out of five of these by being much more intentional and strategic in how you structure your recruiting and retention activities – in ways that cost very little or no additional money.

A well-written job description addresses all five of these critical areas.  Check out this recent blog post, to discover what you may be missing.

It is important to go deeper in determining job fit.  An individual’s conative orientation is especially important.  Check out this blog post to learn an easy way to determine this.

Creating a work environment and an organizational culture people are eager to join.

Company culture emanates from you as the leader.

Good intentions are never enough.

  • Does your team clearly understanding the organization‘s goals?
  • Do they understand the goals for their positions?
  • Do they have the freedom to assess what they need to achieve these goals?

Take a few moments to assess this for your organization.  If you answered no, or not sure to most of these questions, you may have a place to focus your attention that could bring your organization huge dividends.

Clear, honest and consistent communication is key.

“Before we can communicate clearly with others, however, we need to be able to communicate well with ourselves.  Communication is more than simply passing information from one person to another through spoken or written messages; it is also a matter of emotions, attitudes and gestures, actions and decisions.  If we ignore this larger context, our efforts to communicate are likely to be unsuccessful.”  From Mastering Successful Work  

The bottom line is that as a leader, we must  think beyond ourselves.

Creating a healthy culture requires intention and focused time.

Time to communicate effectively, time to establish a structure for healthy meetings.

Improved communication leads to a more efficient organization that does not waste other people’s time.  And this leads to a healthy culture, as well.

Are you a CEO with revenues over $5 million Interested in exploring a more thoughtful and sane way to get and keep the right people on board at your organization? 

Join us for an Executive Roundtable on Friday, April 13th from 9:00 am to 11:30 am in Durham to further explore the ingredients of successful hiring and retention practices.  Click here to register.  Hurry, as this Roundtable only has a few available spots remaining.

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