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Waiting for a Girl Like You: Is Your Talent About to Leave?

Humareso Blog Posts-9-Waiting for a girl like you (1)In the movie Life Itself, Oscar Issac’s character, Will, has a great line about waiting for the right moment to ask out Abby (Olivia Wilde). He is waiting for the right moment because when he starts this relationship with her, he is all in. There won’t be any turning back. He wants to ask her out at the right moment to set that tone from the onset. He’s waiting with a purpose.

And we might be working with some of those “waiters” as well. Over 90% of Gen Z and Millennial employees would like to change jobs this year. The percentage, however, falls dramatically when pushed as to whether they really will.

The economic environment is affecting the confidence that our employees have about moving on. Most feel that it’s necessary to move on as it will likely open doors for higher pay and greater responsibility. There are varying studies showing different results regarding compensation differentiation based on staying or leaving. For instance, a recent analysis done by Sentinel Pay Analytics for an organization with about 23,000 employees showed no difference in pay levels between those who’ve stayed and those who boomeranged back to the company. That’s not the case in all organizations, but banking on it in the current economic state appears too risky.

“The number one thing people are craving right now is stability—especially in their workplaces,” said Ella F. Washington, PhD, an organizational psychologist and professor of practice at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. This jives with what many of you are facing. And while employees may have interest in leaving as soon as they feel confident to do so, we don’t have to accept that fate. Organizations can take steps to change that trajectory.

Own dialogue – Look to engage with people…on purpose. For managers and human resources practitioners, the no news is good news philosophy has affected our intentionality with our staff. We stay distant and we chat only about work process or product. These heavily transactional conversations cause a utilitarian vibe to be felt by our employees. Engage with work-related conversations, of course, but also recognize that performance-based dialogue includes skill development in relationally areas, too. Work with your team by talking to your team.

Encourage innovation – Too often we’re too busy. We cannot take the time to foster creativity because we have deadlines or quotas to meet. We keep our eyes on only the finish line, and we fail to meet people in innovative advancements. Your teams have ideas. They want processes to be better. They see the value in what they are doing, but they also want to influence what they are doing. They want to make a change for the good of the whole, truly. We may be tempted to minimize creativity because of that one time it didn’t work out. Innovation leaves room for failure so don’t be surprised that you will have to try again. It is not a reason to stop pushing forward.

Offer transparency in moderation – Organizations that function fully in transparency – sharing every data point possible – may unintentionally foster fear. When sales fall slightly, or when expenses increase over one month, we might have to handle worries from the team. This is not to say that transparency is bad; actually, quite the opposite. Employees feel more tied to the organization when they have a level of understanding as well as the opportunity to ask deeper questions. Allow for that while keeping considerate of how much data is going out.

It's not too late to keep some people who may be thinking about a move, delayed as it may be. The current economy might give organizations a false sense of security. You may not be doing as well as you think just because turnover is down. The economic stagnation, presidential election, high inflation, and other considerations could be affecting the status quo nature of employee retention.

And to be clear, there are still employees leaving their roles now. We can’t look at data so hard and fast in all categories. The trend is not universal, nor should it be. Either way, taking a look at how you might influence a change in direction is worth your time.


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