Employee engagement has been at an all-time low for a few years now, which has resulted in a figure I saw published that shocked me – 85% of staff want to leave their current role and/or employer. Included in this figure are employees actively looking for a new job and those that are if they saw another opportunity would jump ship.
The research was carried out by Talent Trends from over 18,000 full time workers who responded to a global survey found that only 15% of the workforce are satisfied with their current employer. This 15% would not consider alternative employment and this figure has reduced from 20%.
So what is going on?
A follow up survey in Australia, showed the top three reasons why employees leave their job are as follows:
- 22% because of a lack of advancement
- 19% unsatisfactory leadership or senior management
- 13% lack of challenge in their job
Very interesting that “seeking more money” doesn’t feature in the top three reasons. In fact the top three reasons pretty much boil down to one thing – people don’t leave companies they leave their managers.
I know in some companies it’s challenging to be able to promote someone to a higher position as the management structure is quite flat, however there is a way to help with this. All the research on what motivates millennials points to the fact that they want to learn new skills that will make them more employable. So you may not have a role to promote them to, but offer them training so they can learn new skills. Now you are probably thinking – but if I do that they will just up and leave – well they are going to anyway. So why not train them up and reap the benefits while they stay with you of their extra skills and motivation.
Tom O’Toole, owner of the Beechworth Bakery always responds to this question “What if you train them and they leave?” with “What if you don’t train them and they stay”. To me this is exactly the issue. Your staff are your biggest asset and if you want motivated and passionate people it has to come from the top and we have to train them to grow. Millennials state they want a manager who they admire, look up to and who they can learn from – a mentor. How many managers are good at doing this, only a few unfortunately.
Here are some tips to help with this:
- Managers must be role models – they have to lead by example
- Managers need to provide regular feedback – with the accent on positive feedback
- Managers need to be open to feedback themselves – listen to your staff, get their ideas on how to improve various processes
- Managers need to empower their staff – delegate and follow up
- Hold yourself and your team accountable to performance goals – provide consequences for good and poor performance – this is how you earn respect
- Work as a team and keep it fun – people love to work in an environment where it’s fun