Your best employees are thinking of leaving your company – Why, and what to do about it
Employees have a variety of reasons for choosing to leave your company including:
- No career advancement opportunities
- Weak or unclear company vision
- Lack of incentives for individual employees to excel
- Lack of appreciation or disrespect
Clearly laid out career progression routes, and implementing ESOP schemes can help motivate employees and retain talent.
The Great Resignation – in 2021, 47 million people in America voluntarily quit their jobs, resulting in one of the largest job-related exoduses of the 21st century. One possible reason for this is because of the pandemic, but another is because – they simply have the choice.
With the increased normalcy of remote work and the ease of job seeking via the internet, switching careers or just quitting the workforce entirely isn’t as costly as it once was. The Great Resignation isn’t only native to America; research by Mindfi across numerous Asian countries such as Singapore and India revealed that it is already happening in these countries.
If you are a founder, ask yourselves – what’s stopping the most talented employees from leaving your company to join the competition? In this article, we’ll go into 4 possible factors which may spur your employees to consider leaving, as well as what to do about it.
Reason #1: No room for growth and development
Nobody wants to be stuck in a dead-end job day in and day out till retirement age. An attractive salary alone used to suffice, but nowadays people know that having a career means more than just living from paycheck to paycheck. Your employees are people with ambitions, emotions and drive – and these people want to get a sense of fulfilment in their work.
A boring job is a compelling way for anyone to quit their job. High performers don’t want to repeat the same menial tasks year after year – there’s no challenge in that. As often as possible, the company should provide ample opportunities for every individual to upskill and learn from others in their field. This means encouraging them to attend workshops, seminars or even establish a mentorship programme, which may even help foster synergy between coworkers and that’s rarely a bad thing.
There should be a clear route for progression with enticing benefits that goes beyond just monetary compensation, and ideally this should be laid out as early as the onboarding stage. Engagement can come pretty quickly if employees don’t foresee a career progression route early on.
Reason #2: Poor communication of the company vision
The sharing of vision between the employee and the founders is crucial. Every worker of the company has to be able to foresee a viable future regarding the company’s growth. It is hard to imagine an employee who enjoys putting in hours of gruelling hard work for and remaining loyal to a company which they cannot even see surviving in the near future. Same goes for one who does not understand the company’s mission and where they are headed towards – what’s stopping them from leaving this position which they find no meaning in?
Internal brand promotion should not be overlooked. Usually during an employee’s onboarding, there will be some vague mention about the company’s mission but it is soon forgotten. Hence it is imperative for the organisation’s leaders to inspire their employees and remind them what they are collectively working towards. Without reminding your workers what they are working towards, they lose a sense of purpose and direction. Following that, they’d question themselves: wouldn’t it be more purposeful to contribute their talents to another employer with a clearer sense of direction?
The takeaway: avoid letting your employees lose sight of the big picture of what they are working toward, or they may simply lose interest.
Reason #3: Lack of incentives and performance motivation
Following Reason #2, even if your team knows exactly what they are working toward, how can you ensure that they consistently strive for the best or have the best interests of the company at heart?
An effective way to get your employees invested in the performance of the company is through ESOP allocation. The usage of Employee Stock Options Plan (ESOP) cultivates a sense of belonging among employees because now they directly have a stake in the company they are working for. Essentially how ESOPs work is that employees are given options to exercise their company shares, and the longer they stay with the company, the more of these options they can exercise. Of course, they would want to maximise the profitability of these shares and to achieve that the company has to grow optimally over time. This is what tenures them to the company and drives them to do their utmost best for the organisation. As such, it puts them in the driver's seat of progress and makes them feel so much more than just a cog in a machine.
When your employees care about the progress of the company as much as the founders do, they are less likely to leave your company on a whim. They will understand that how much they reap from working in this company is directly proportional to what they sow over time. Implementing ESOP may sound like an intimidating and tedious process, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Check out this quick guide on how straightforward it can be.
Reason #4: They aren’t being appreciated
A highly task-oriented management team can often prioritise productivity rather than interpersonal workplace relations. Shouldn’t that be the case? After all, most people get a job to receive a hefty paycheck right? Findings by a Pew Research Centre survey may suggest otherwise: up to 57% of employees who quit during the Great Resignation did so because they felt disrespected at work.
You may think that as long as your organisation has no instances of disrespectful behaviour things should be fine, but it doesn’t stop there. Treating employees with respect is a given, but what’s even more crucial is that your employees feel heard and appreciated. As people, sometimes it’s not just about the paycheck – knowing that your bosses treat you with respect, concern and appreciation goes a long way. This can be attained by having more open dialogue sessions and occasionally organising recreational activities for team members. This would also make them feel more like a team member rather than just a work machine. If these aren’t feasible, at the very least, a simple but genuine “thank you” can really make their day.
it comes down to being able to communicate the future of the company to your employees – letting them know what’s in store for them by working here, and at the same time appreciating their efforts along the way. By incentivising them to give their best to the company through ESOP allocation, you can put your organisation ahead of its competitors by ensuring you retain the very best employees who are dedicated to sharing your vision.