Hint: It’s about more than money
GUEST POST from Shep Hyken
What if every great employee you (or your company) hired never left? Of course, that’s unrealistic … or is it? Joey Coleman is one of the brightest authors and speakers on the planet. His first book, Never Lose a Customer Again, is one of the very best books I’ve read on how to keep your customers coming back. He’s now taken some of the same ideas that worked for customer retention and written a second book, just as brilliant, Never Lose an Employee Again.
Coleman studied and researched organizations worldwide, and he found that 50% of hourly employees quit before their 100-day anniversary. For non-hourly or salaried employees, it’s 20%. I interviewed Coleman on Amazing Business Radio to learn how we can keep good employees.
“How we onboard employees and make them feel part of our community can differentiate whether they will be long-time employees or leave almost as fast as they came,” Coleman said. “The first 100 days are the most important time in the entire relationship with an employee because this is where the foundation is laid.”
So, why do employees leave? Contrary to popular belief, the No. 1 reason an employee leaves to work elsewhere is not money. In the traditional exit interview, where an employee talks to their employer face-to-face, money is the easiest and safest excuse for an exit. The true reasons for leaving are more telling—and can help prevent an employee from going, even if offered more money somewhere else. Coleman cites the Work Institute employee retention study, sharing the top five reasons employees leave:
- No clear career path — This is the top reason employees leave. Nearly one-quarter (24%) don’t see future opportunities in the organization. Most employees want to advance their careers and learn new skills. Laying out a potential path for an employee from the very beginning of their employment with you can have long-term benefits.
- Stress or lack of resources — Not providing employees with the tools they need or giving them too heavy of a workload can impact their emotional health, which could lead them to find work at another company.
- Health and family matters — As much as an employee may love working with your organization, personal health, a sick child or an aging parent can interfere with their ability to work. Regarding the latter, Coleman says, “Just as some employers provide daycare for young children, some employers in the future will also provide an eldercare program.”
- Work/life balance — The job has to fit the employee’s lifestyle. Something as seemingly insignificant as a long commute can negatively impact the employee’s personal life so much that they leave.
- Money — Almost one in 10 (9%) leave because of money. That means nine out of 10 leave for other reasons, often within our control.
After reading the reasons listed above, here is Coleman’s top advice:
- Affirm the employee made the right decision to come to work at your organization — The concept of affirm is one of the eight phases of the first 100 days Coleman covers in his book. There is a scientifically proven emotional reaction in which a new employee begins to doubt their decision to accept your job offer. It is called “new hire’s remorse,” which happens between when they accept the job offer and their first day. Reaffirm your new employee’s decision to accept your job offer. Establish a personal and emotional connection even before their first day.
- On-boarding must be practiced at a higher level — Don’t just onboard the first day or two (or even a week or two). Coleman says, “If you’re not painting a clear path for your people but expecting them to manage and figure out their careers on their own, then you deserve to lose them.” The amount of time you spend with employees over the first 100 days directly correlates to how long they will stay.
- The employee’s personal life is important — Notice that three of the five reasons people leave the organization are personal. Coleman says, “You need to know what’s going on between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. as much as you are interested in what’s happening between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. What are your people doing and dealing with when they are not at work?”
I’ve often said that you won’t have a business without customers. Coleman makes the case that the same applies to employees. Much of what gets customers to come back is a great customer experience. You can’t deliver a great CX without a great employee experience on the inside of your organization. Coleman says, “People think that customer experience and employee experience are two different silos. The better way to look at this is that they are two sides of the same coin. We must work on both!”
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com
Image Credits: Shep Hyken
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