“Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?” It’s a common interview question but is it past its sell-by date? Most employers would admit to being a little offended if the answer was, “Working somewhere else, probably.” But, according to research by LV, the average UK worker swaps jobs every 5 years. So is losing staff really something to be afraid of?
We don’t think so.
Losing Staff: What to Consider
These days, people simply don’t stay in one job for life like they used to. But worries over the “Great Resignation” are leading businesses to pay over the odds just to hang on to an employee that may no longer be a great fit for the team. Sometimes, letting people go and moving on is the right thing to do.
Here are the dos and don’ts of losing staff.
…Let Anyone Become Irreplaceable
No team should be completely dependent on one employee. If you accept that even the best staff move on after a few years, it gives you room to prepare. Ensure that more than one team member has working knowledge of any vital processes or technologies, to avoid being left high and dry. (If you do find yourself in this situation, you can also check out our handy guide to managing leavers and mitigating the impact on your team.)
…Fear Losing Staff After Training
Lots of companies are fearful of installing good training programs in case employees move on straight afterward. But the truth is that a lack of training and progression opportunities actually causes staff to resign. In fact, “no room to progress” was among the top 10 reasons for quitting given by respondents to Edenred’s Employee Trends survey. If training empowers your employees to move on, then at least they’re moving on fulfilled — and therefore more likely to boost your company’s reputation and recommend you to other top talents.
…Force Good People to Stay
News of a resignation can send a management team into panic mode. Very often, a hastily assembled buy-back package is thrown on the table. But forcing good people to stay with a financial incentive is only a short-term solution. That employee wanted to leave for a reason, and an increased salary will only delay their resignation — not prevent it. Plus, the subsequent situation is usually awkward for both the employer and the employee.
…Let Bad Employees Go
In the same vein, fear of losing staff can cause companies to give pay rises to employees who don’t really deserve them. Buying back a bad employee sends out a bad message on all fronts. The employee in question assumes that they’re doing a good job, and doesn’t feel the need to improve. Meanwhile, the rest of your team sees poor work rewarded. It may be costly to find and train a new team member, but it’s much worse to retain a bad one.
…Learn From Leavers
When someone quits, treat it as a learning opportunity for your business. Ask them their reasons for leaving and ensure that any valid concerns are addressed. This will also have a positive impact on your future staff retention, as your team will feel like you’re open to listening and change.
…Realise That Losing Staff Can Be a Good Thing
Embrace the “talent-flow strategy”. The brainchild of management professor Sydney Finkelstein, this strategy refers to the method of encouraging employees to grow and move on — in order to make space for newer, and possibly better workers. According to Finkelstein, “You’re better off having the best people for a short time than average people forever.”
DB Charles Can Help
Whether you’re on the lookout for the new best people for your business, or it’s time for you to move on to another company, we can help. Let’s talk.