Why Do You Lose Employees?
The competition for tech talent has never been as strong. With a vibrant indigenous tech scene, coupled with the continued rise of large multinationals setting roots in Ireland, employers need to find creative ways to attract, but also retain staff.
Staff retention has become a national problem due to the rising demand for talent and also the easy access to team members from potential competition. . A recruiter from your competitor can snap up your talented employees with a more promising offer with a quick message through social media platforms.
The process of hiring new staff to replace someone who left is an expensive affair. With the 2019 Barometer finding that staff turnover costs over €14,000, staff retention is key to the success of any company.
There is also a strong counter-offer culture within the industry at the moment. But a strategy for staff retention that revolves around counter-offers when an employee hands in their notice is problematic, on many levels. For example, what message are you sending to your employees if the best strategy to get a pay rise is to hand in your notice? They will feel even less valued. Also, most employee’s who accept a counteroffer will still leave within 6 months anyway. The managers of these employees will see them as a flight risk and then, consciously or unconsciously, not make long term plans with that employee in mind.
Today I wanted to explore why do employees flirt with the idea of leaving in the first place? What are the reasons behind them responding to messages from their competitors?
Top 7 reasons why employees seek new job opportunities:
Someone’s salary can be a contentious issue. Salary expectations across the tech market, in Ireland, have been on a rollercoaster ride but the general trend is moving upwards. . This turbulence in candidate expectations is partly a supply and demand issue, but also, with US companies stepping into the Irish market might value the position more than current market trends leading to inflated salaries to potential employees.
Many smaller sized companies can't afford to match these huge numbers, and as a result, staff leave as they feel like they are inadequately paid in their current position.
It’s a tricky situation as there is a market level for salaries in Ireland, but then this anomaly exists that muddies the waters significantly..
For those employers who are looking to find ways of keeping or attracting candidates when they cannot simply throw money at it, then there are other ways to be attractive.For example, what nonfinancial incentives (more below) can you provide? Are there benefits that you can offer that will compensate for a slightly lower salary? One very topical question right now is the 4 day week. This would be highly valued and would mean that employees would be less likely to leave for more salary elsewhere.
Stress and lack of support
Feeling overwhelmed and overworked is a huge factor in why staff leave their current roles. The days of the hustle and neverending working hours are slowly fizzling out. People are starting to prioritise their mental health and sense of peace. This can be seen around every corner with wellness workshops, meditation apps and online therapy becoming more popular over the last few years.
If an employee is feeling drained in work and there is no support structure to help them through, the employee is more likely to move on to somewhere where they are looked after.
Limited opportunities for career advancement
There's nothing worse than feeling stuck in your job. I have spoken to one too many individuals open to discussing a role with me due to them feeling like there are no advancements for them in their current position.
For employers, it's critical to have mapped out career paths for every single person in your organisation. This should be in place before the hire is even made. Individuals, by and large, want to feel that they have the opportunity to grow within their role and gain new skills, fresh challenges and expanded responsibilities.
Employee’s need to know what the plan is. A leader’s role is to set out the vision for the business, division or team. This gives everyone a sense of the direction that you are working towards, together.
This is easier said than done and is very often a reason why employees become disengaged and potentially start looking for a new role. If you don't set out a vision and direction, then the work each person does becomes less significant and more task-focused. What is the larger purpose of the work each person is contributing to? Sometimes this can be a hard question to answer.
People leave jobs because of their manager, more than most other causes. This could be from a lack of support, not being valued or heard, the manager's work style, personality clashes etc.
There are many contributing factors. This is hard to combat but can be addressed through training and mentoring of the managers in your organisation. Trying to give the managers the skills and tools to better manage their team members and drive better performance can give you a huge return on investment over time through improved retention levels.
As the saying goes ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. Your culture will have a huge impact on your retention levels. A toxic culture drives up attrition rates quickly. People do not want to stay working somewhere that they feel is negative for their careers or general happiness.
For leadership, it's important to survey your staff on their employee engagement and experience and really try to understand how the culture impacts these things.
Lack of recognition
Humans crave recognition from a very young age. This doesn't change when we become adults in the workplace. If people are not recognised for the work that they do, they lose interest and won’t try as hard, and ultimately, they will leave.
This topic feeds into a few of the points made above as recognition means a lot of different things. For example, the salary you pay is a recognition of the value that you put in the work that your employees do. But recognition doesn't need to be financial, or even individual. Verbal recognition for work done is equally important. You can also buy your team lunch, bring the company away for a night, send them a hamper in the post etc.
People can be recognised by giving them more responsibility and influence within the business also. Leaders should take the time to understand if their reward systems, and approach to recognition are having the desired effect.
At GemPool, we spend all day talking to candidates out in the market. When we speak to them, we always ask them why they are looking. What are the push factors and reasons for wanting to leave? Today I have outlined the main things we hear, over and over. These are not always easy fixes, and sometimes not even possible to fix, but they exist all the same.
Companies need to develop self-awareness to understand what are the key reasons they are losing staff so that they can start to look at what changes they can make in order to address these and improve retention levels. Now, more than ever, those companies that can attract and retain staff are going to thrive, ahead of those that don't.
If you want to speak to us about your own companies retention initiatives, challenges or the market in general around this topic, please get in touch. You can find us on firstname.lastname@example.org or check out more of our IT market insights.