Resignations happen all the time. People find better opportunities, life happens, and people move on for all sorts of reasons. Good talent leaving isn’t something to be alarmed about, but when multiple resignations occur in close proximity to each other it is time for alarm. A mass exodus of talent can happen for a number of reasons: loyal employees following a good leader, an ethical scandal that has shaken the moral compass of employees, a bad financial report that tests the confidence in the future of the company. Whatever the reason, the top priority for top executives and HR should be to limit the number of employees who jump ship to avoid losing good talent. De-escalate the conflict quickly and most times the company will come out stronger on the other side.
1) Don’t Counter. Listen and Ask
When you see your best employees leaving, your instinctual move is to create a counter-offer to make them stay. It makes sense, give them an offer that you think they can’t refuse. However, don’t be so hasty. At the end of the day, a counter-offer is a power play and an unwise one at that. Most counter-offers are like throwing a dart in a dark room. Most will offer a raise or promotion, but few will hit the reason the employee is actually leaving. The reality is your employee is the one in power, and you shouldn’t exert your power to sway their decision until you know what it is they need. Instead of designing a counter that you think would sway them, listen to the reasons they are leaving and ask if there is anything that could influence their decision.
2) Call your Recruiter Immediately
Whenever you battle a crisis there is always a risk for casualties. You cannot be so naïve to think that everyone will stay with you. Identify loose links and call your recruiter immediately so they can start a search for replacements. This minimizes the loss to the company and to the morale of your employees if you do lose some talent. Hiring a replacement quickly after you lose talent keeps your employees from feeling overworked for extended periods of time, fills the empty desk feeling of the office place, and brings new ideas to a stagnant workplace that can actually serve to improve the business.
3) Secure Top Talent
People follow people, and there are some people you simply can’t afford to lose. You have to act quickly to make sure top talent has no inclination of leaving the company or taking other talent with them. Talk to them personally out of the office to eliminate any intimidation or pressure they may feel when talking about such issues with their boss. Make them feel comfortable and ensure them about the future of the company and the future of their career. Sometimes it may even be necessary to offer them incentives to stay such as more vacation time or a raise to sweeten the deal, but it’s worth it if it means they’ll stay.
4) Promote Worthy Employees
No one is going to leave a job they just started. If you are nervous about employees following a leader then make them a leader, but only if they are ready. On average, an employee will wait at least one to two years after starting a new job to even consider leaving their position. Promoting worthy employees will inspire loyalty to the company, and even keep lower-level employees from jumping ship because they see their colleagues staying and thriving.
5) Create a Challenge
The saying goes that an idle mind is the devil’s playground. From a career standpoint that rings even more true. Ambitious employees don’t like to feel stagnant, and no overachiever wants to leave loose ends. Therefore, by constantly challenging your employees to find new solutions, reach further, and follow unique ideas you are inspiring them to remain with their jobs regardless of company politics, changing leadership, or newsroom events. Keeping your employees engaged and invested in their work gives them a reason to stay on even through turmoil that may have demotivated them in slow seasons.
An exodus of top talent can have far-reaching effects within the company, but quick action can easily stop a crisis if you take the right steps. However, the fact is at some point or another you will lose good talent. Keep DCAProSearch in the loop to minimize the effects of losing good employees and find talent that may even exceed what you thought possible before. Any crisis can be averted with good planning. Do you have a plan?