Stop Your Revolving Door

Jeff McLanahan
Contributing Writer
Direct Energy

I read an article a while ago on www.Forbes.com written by Mike Myatt titled 10 Reasons Your Top Talent Will Leave You.  In the article, Mike points out the 10 reasons why talent will leave your organization as well as thoughts on how to stop this from happening.  The 10 reasons had a huge impact on how I lead and how I train, and they are still relevant today.  The 10 reasons are:

1.     You failed to unleash their passions.

2.     You failed to challenge their intellect.

3.     You failed to engage their creativity.

4.     You failed to develop their skills.

5.     You failed to give them a voice.

6.     You failed to care.

7.     You failed to lead.

8.     You failed to recognize their contributions.

9.     You failed to increase their responsibility.

10.  You failed to keep your commitments.

Ask yourself, “How does training ensure my people stay?”  We all know that there is no guaranteed way to get people to stay with your organization, but that should not stop us from trying.

I believe that each of the failures listed can be resolved with training, three of them really stand out.

Increase Their Responsibility – Not everyone will be a Director, Vice President, or CEO.  However, people still need to be challenged to expand.  If you cannot provide vertical growth opportunities, help your people grow horizontally.  What does this mean?  Provide opportunities to take on additional tasks outside of their specific duties.  By expanding the responsibilities of your people, you demonstrate that you value them.

Develop Their Skills – People will leave organizations within the first 90 days if they do not have the support and resources to do their jobs successfully.  But that does not mean that if you make it past the first 90 days that everything will be okay.  We must continue to look for ways to further develop employee skills with a focus on developing existing strengths.  This may include cross-training in other functions, sending them to seminars/conferences, or simply observing them and providing feedback.

Engage Their Creativity – Look for ways to think outside the box in regards to training.  Recently, I tasked one of my team with creating an online training event that would be delivered as a series over a period of time and required participation in a discussion forum.  This had not been done before within my organization so I was a little nervous, but I quickly became excited as I saw the creativity start flowing and the program began with over 200 participants.  It also won a LEAD Award from HR.com.

Training may not always be the answer to retention issues, but it can always be part of the solution.

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