Saying all the right things into the mic, in front of the lights, to members of the press works sometimes. It still works when that first rockstar employee walks. It still works the first time you step on someone’s back to hoist yourself up the ladder. If you’re good it still works when the handful of employees have success elsewhere. If you can prove profit and success consistently it might sustain throughout the duration.
Just beware of that tipping point. Sometimes pulling a small thread unravels the whole ball of yarn.
Reputation earns you the benefit of the doubt until it doesn’t. — Behind Closed Doors – Oct ’09
SIT DOWN. STOP TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF FOR FIVE MINUTES AND LISTEN TO ME.
Your employee turnover has LITTLE (probably nothing) to do with the fact that your organization is successful.
Maybe what THE EMPLOYEE is doing right, but I suspect YOUR company still doesn’t get it.
Your employees ARE NOT getting poached. (Unless you’re Google…)
Chances are there are multiple reasons employees are running for the door.
Maybe they don’t believe in giving every potential customer the hard sell.
Maybe you’re manipulating your workforce.
Maybe your employees work harder than you. Or at least they perceive that they do. In which case you need to ask yourself, “Why?”
Maybe you should read my, “Just Because You’re the Boss,” post.
Poaching happens, there’s no denying that. But if over 75% of your workforce has departed in two years time then please WAKE UP. It’s not because you’re doing everything right. It’s not because your innovative, and it’s certainly not because you’re an awesome company.
People don’t stay or leave a company because of their skills. They stay or leave because of working conditions, (Berrin Erdogan, a professor of management at Portland State University, Harvard Business Review)
The BEST companies often retain their employees despite offers from other companies. It’s not often people leave inspiring work environments, autonomy, great co-workers, a vision they believe in, and a solid paycheck.
Here’s another tidbit for you. In my (albeit limited) experience there’s only a handful of people that are actively getting offers from other companies while currently employed and not actively seeking. These people are few and far between, and they’re typically older. If young people are leaving, it’s probably because they were LOOKING TO LEAVE.
If for five seconds you could take a step back and acquire some perspective it might enable you to plug the drain, to save your company. Stop lying to yourself. Your monumental ego is part of what got you here in the first place.
I’m serious. Stop. Think. Ask yourself, “Why are all these people leaving?”
- Is it because I don’t pay anywhere close to what they’re worth?
- Is it because the organization isn’t going anywhere?
- Is it because of you and the way you manage people? Or your ‘leaders’ manage people?
Until you turn that lens on yourself and really WANT to get to the bottom of why everyone is leaving (they’re not going to tell you honestly in an exit interview for fear of you trying to hurt their career) you’ll never really know. They’ll keep leaving, and you’ll keep telling yourself they’re getting poached because you’re doing something right.
And you’ll be dead wrong.