Employee Retention: Tips for Exploring their Strengths

How career management and open communication can impact employee satisfaction

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Thanks to platforms like LinkedIn, recruiting practices have changed dramatically over the past several years. Gone are the days of looking for a job, and for many people, the job now looks for them. Companies hire and develop high achieving professionals, so it is no surprise that their employees are attractive to recruiters.

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

This may sound nonsensical – but in this scenario, as an employer, your best defense against employee poaching is to implement a good offense.

Groom your employees properly and they will stay loyal more often than not. Your people need guidance on how to respond to inquiries from recruiters and how to explore career opportunities inside and outside of your company, so they become conscious that they are living their distinct abilities and meeting the professional needs they have based on their goals.

3 Tips for Stronger Employee-Employer Trust

  1. Exploration. As an employer, it’s important for you to help your employees understand what to do if and when they are contacted by a recruiter and how to explore opportunities inside and outside of your company.
  2. Career management. By encouraging and coaching your employees to better manage their careers, you empower them to look for career opportunities on a regular basis, not just when they are feeling frustrated with their role or after they learn about a job opportunity.  Everyone is responsible for managing their own career and it’s normal to regularly examine it to ensure they are on the right path.
    • By encouraging career management at your company, you create an open culture of exploration, collaboration and conversation that leads to happier and more productive employees.
  3. Open communication. It can feel uncomfortable for someone to share with their supervisor that they are considering another job opportunity, but most people who engage in the “think through process” are glad they made the decision to do so.
    • As the employer, be sure you create a safe environment, so employees feel that they’ll never get in trouble for engaging in conversations with you about job opportunities. When employees feel safe and connected, company culture is at its best.

How to Adopt a Career-focused Mindset with Employees

 Here are some points of consideration to share with employees and encourage them to share with you:

  • When an opportunity comes along, start by understanding why it interests you. Are you just happy to be contacted or are you unhappy with your job? If you are unhappy with your current job, examine why that is.
  • If you are feeling frustrated or unfulfilled at your job, examine what the cause of that is. Is it the team you are working with? Is it the clients you are working with? Is it a misalignment of your talent in your organization?
  • Based on where you are in your career, what matters most to you in your relationship with work? Be sure to consider your compensation, job flexibility, advancement opportunities and abilities to learn new skills to name a few.
  • When a recruiter calls you for an opportunity, be sure to examine the differences between your current role and the role the recruiter is calling you about. You can never ask a recruiter enough questions, so be sure to ask about the organization they represent, their annual turnover, performance expectations needed for potential bonuses and advancement and other benefits being offered.

Supervisor-Employee Conversation Starters

If you as a supervisor recognize that an employee seems ready for a change, be willing to approach them and normalize the conversation so they feel comfortable talking about their needs.

Help your employees discover what they are interested in doing more or less of in their current roles and point them toward other opportunities in your company if they are available. If the employee has been offered another job, discuss the job and its compensation so you can determine if your company can put together an attractive counteroffer.

Career management should be part of and encouraged in every good company culture. Create a culture of open communication and your employees will always look to “water their own grass” before looking to see if the grass is greener somewhere else.

Bart Nichols is a Talent Advisor for KCoe Isom and brings more than 15 years of experience in human resources, coaching and training leadership in technology, healthcare, financial and retail industries. As an ICF certified coach, his leadership coaching skills help develop emerging and experienced leaders. Bart understands and seeks to bring into balance the qualitative and quantitative sides of people at work.

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