How to retain skilled employees and cope with attrition of valuable employees in your team?
Every organization has hundreds of employees but there are select valuable employees in every team who comprise the elite class called skilled technical staff. What’s important for every thriving business is to retain these skilled staff. Perhaps large companies have the budgetary provisions to quickly fill in vital vacant positions; however, it is still a big headache for recruitment teams to find the right substitute for a highly skilled employee.
Regular attrition surveys indicate that there is an extremely negative effect over a team’s performance and morale, when a valuable resource quits their job. What could be worse is a spiraling attrition in the team/organization by others as well.
Studies reveal that companies have to undergo heavy expenses on recruitment and training of employees who replace valuable technical staff. Not to forget, how difficult it really is to find the perfect replacement though.
A bird in hand is worth two in the bush, yeah literally!
As important as it might be to retain valuable team members, it is also vital to understand why they might want to leave the workplace, firstly. Employees look for another job typically when:
Millenials and Digital generation employees want constant attention and immediate resolution. If they feel their senior’s decision making is paralyzed, they don’t want to stick around.
They are unhappy with mediocre work environment like immediate team, manager, salary, etc.
Their appraisal hasn’t yielded satisfactory promotions or job roles
They haven’t been compensated for their extra efforts
No visibility when it comes to senior management
Frequent change in job roles and too many expectations leaving them disappointed
Too much of boredom, processes and rules that hamper their creativity, productivity and ability to express
When a sense of trust, freedom and purpose are not in place
To avoid getting into such a fix, organizations should do constant engagement proactively. Most importantly, employers should provide Re-skilling (multi skill training), upskilling ( upward training) and cross-functional trainings. Identify performers and reward them with special benefits/perks, facilities such as health insurance or lunch coupons should be extended if possible, flexi working hours and flexible work style should be extended to the employee if there is any special need for this, and finally no company should assume that all of its employees are always happy to be working on their rolls.
Sometimes, it is just a matter of time before the bubble bursts and lets out an unpleasant situation.
Counselling for personal issues:
Surprisingly, high skilled staff don’t leave always for money or position. There are many instances when employees leave a workplace because they are personally too frustrated and depressed and all they want is change. They don’t know if they have even taken the right decision. To tackle such cases, companies should and can go to the extent of having counselling sessions with the employee, and if necessary, with the family, to go to the root of the problem and solve it. Such resolutions bring in lot of relief to both parties and a mutual consent is arrived at, resulting in a win-win situation for the company.
Dealing with THE resignation:
Rather than sit and fret about it, you should be prepared to face this sooner or later. High skilled tech staff is usually in demand and get many offers from other suitable companies in lure of better salary or position or an onsite placement. Sometimes, the employee just choses to leave over a nasty tiff with the team members or senior management, and rarely due to company policies hindering his/her career in the organization.
Usually an exit interview is the best way to analyse why the person wants to leave the place. If it was about something which could have easily been rectified, the company needs to seriously analyse its workplace policies and team building practices. If it is something to do with the company policies or other work locations, the company needs to keep a policy in place to deal with such situations or alter it to suit the current environment.
Sometimes, women tend to quit over discrepancies and disagreements over maternity policy or a long leave for health issues. Such points should be noted when a company policy is drafted or altered, so that other employees can be retained for good.
Now that the employee is gone for good, the company should sit and analyse more important things like replacement for this position. If it sounds difficult in the near future, it should be decided as to which other employees can take a portion of the responsibilities in order to smoothen the workflow in the team. Transition plans should be adequate and knowledge transfer should be to the satisfaction of the successors.
The success of an organization entirely depends on how successfully it blends the results of an exit interview into their recovery plan / retention plans and implements it realistically.