Last week two different leaders described to me how they’re concerned about losing one or more of their most experienced and very, very valuable team members…
One leader runs an organisation that has a full-order-book for months to come. The second runs an organisation that’s currently struggling to lift sales and cash flow.
Regardless of whether your organisation’s buoyant or battling, you absolutely can’t afford to lose your talented people.
What Does It Cost When A Team Member Leaves?
Most human resource professionals agree that the direct cost of replacing an employee is between 60% and 100% of their annual salary, usually more for more senior people.
And there are also copious non-monetary costs too, for example:
- You loose precious knowledge and experience.
- The hidden price you pay for disrupting your team can be whopping.
- How about the cost of your time finding a replacement and settling them in?
- And often the most costly cost—you might struggle to find a replacement who’s as good as your existing team member.
But, but, but, regardless of how you add them up…
Consistently, the costs of retaining a talented team member are microscopic in comparison to the tens of thousands it costs you when someone quits!
Why Do Most People Move On?
Sure, every so often it’s money that has a team member depart—but that’s rare.
Most employees leave an organisation because they don’t feel valued!
I find it disconcerting that so many leaders struggle to think of the last time they verbally appreciated a team member—that they find it hard to remember when they last overtly demonstrated that they were grateful for their team member’s efforts.
It’s especially disconcerting when we consider that a recent piece of research asserted that 70% resign because they don’t feel valued.
Whenever you do or say something (or don’t do or say something) that has your team member feeling undervalued, you’re putting their tenure at risk.
This is actually great news —because it’s not actually difficult to take preventative action to ensure each of your team members feel important and appreciated.
It’s normal for a team member (even senior team members) to be really chuffed because their boss mentioned that they did a good job.
Unfortunately, most leaders miss so many opportunities to easily lift discretionary effort and team member retention…
Your Leadership Call to Action
Because loosing talented team members is a weighty setback for an organisation, will you scrutinise your leadership practices and behaviours?
What could you do to prevent your talented team members from looking for “a new opportunity” elsewhere because they don’t think they’re highly regarded by you?
Don’t deviate. Make sure you regularly:
- Have meaningful, dedicated one-on-one time with each person—time in which you have your phone calls go to voicemail, close your door and give 100% of your attention to your team member.
- Acknowledge them for their efforts and achievements. You can always find something positive to acknowledge. Let them know specifically which bits of their efforts you appreciate—even if it’s only their first-rate intention.
- Care about them enough to tell them the truth about where you think they’re most well on track, and where you think they could be even more on track. Listen to their views about your views.
- Be eager as you discuss the fields in which they want to develop and where you think they’d benefit from adding tools to their toolbox—and follow through.
- Ask them what you do that has them feeling supported, and what you could do to help them feel even more supported.
- Ask them what they love about their job, and what they’d change if they could.
In short, concern yourself about how they feel, how you can work together to enhance their experience at work, and support them in a heartfelt way.
Keep me posted on your thoughts and progress. And, as always, let me know if you’d find my support useful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.