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Why People Quit Their Jobs  

With the cost of losing good workers is rising when you factor in finding, onboarding, and training a replacement – plus the inherent “holding your breath” phase while you hope they pan out over the first while – companies simply cannot afford to push top talent out the door.

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them
as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive,
more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied
customers, which leads to profitability.” 
- Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox

Retention statistics that will make you pay attention

ERE Media compiled some alarming statistics that don’t exactly paint a pretty picture about the state of employee retention.

  • 73 percent of organizations revamp their onboarding to improve their employee retention.
  • One third of new hires quit their job after about six (6) months
  • Referred employees have a 45 percent retention rate after two years.
  • Nearly four out of five (78 percent) of business leaders rank employee retention as important or urgent.
  • Remote workers are 50 percent less likely to quit
  • One third (33 percent) of employees knew whether they would stay with their company long-term after their first week.
  • Some 35 percent of employees will start looking for a job if they don’t receive a pay raise in the next 12 months.
  • One third (33 percent) of leaders at companies with 100 plus employees are currently looking for jobs.
  • 32 percent of employers say they expect employees to job-hop.

Here are the top reasons why top talent quit.

Lack of growth

“People don’t want to think they’re locked into a groove and will come to the same place and do the same thing every day for the next 20 or 40 years.”

There’s a lack of organizational trust

‘People crave transparency, openness, and honesty from their leaders – unfortunately, business leaders continue to face issues of trust.’ There’s a reason why it’s important to trust your intuition – because usually that little ethical meter inside knows what’s going on. If there’s a string of miscommunication from top to bottom, or even unethical behaviour with vendors, dealing with stakeholders or failing to stay true with clients – these issues will continue to build and are a good way of kicking quality team members out the door.

A failure to invest in the workforce

“What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us? What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”

Everyone has heard this famous saying, but there’s something to be said about employee development programs – or lack thereof. Leadership won’t get much of a return of investment if they fail to provide resources for personal and professional development.

Being overworked and lack of recognition  

‘Overworking good employees is perplexing; it makes them feel as if they’re being punished for great performance.We’ve become obsessed with the numbers of hours worked instead of focusing on the amount of value delivered – there’s a big difference. On the flipside, a major driver of top talent out the door is the lack of recognition for good work. It’s important for managers to communicate a job well done to their team – it can go a long way. 

No clear company vision

As an individual, have a clear set of values and goals serve as your beacon in life that pulls you towards your vision. Without this, one risks floating through life aimlessly, accepting whatever comes their way. Feeling connected to the organization’s goals is one way to keep employees mentally and emotionally tied to a company. The way they attract and retain talent is by having a concise mission statement and concrete quarterly and yearly goals to work towards. There has to be company-wide trust with everyone bought into the program – otherwise you risk the top players testing the free agency waters.

There’s no room for creativity 

People by and large seek to constantly improve themselves. And monotonous tasks can wear the creative edge off, especially if you feel your aren’t contributing on a creative and original level. This new workforce wants to be able to have the ability to work from wherever, whenever with the responsibility to infuse their creative insight into projects.

They want more money

People who stay with a company and build long-term growth and success typically make the most money in the long run because they’ve given themselves time to develop instead of job-hopping and nickel and diming how much adds to their salary. Understanding your worth, and being well compensated for the value you contribute to a company is important with your overall harmony of life – but it shouldn’t necessarily serve as the be-all-end-all of decisions to quickly jump ship.

Bad blood with their boss   

Dr. Travis Bradberry once said, “people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.” There might be a cumulative effect on what pushes good employees out the door, but if there isn’t a good working relationship with the higher ups, there will always be a sort of disconnect.

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It’s All About the Chase for the Best Talent

I read an article recently in ERE Media that spoke about why 90% of early-stage startups die. Everyone seems to touch on the big three reasons of poor product, bad marketing performance and weak leadership, but they often neglect speaking on how important the talent is – which stems from a crippling inability to hire high-quality candidates.

When we’re out speaking to technology companies, one of the key challenges they are facing, which is validated across the board is finding top talent. They can’t get the right talent on board to execute and get what they need done. They have their seed of VC money, plans are in place to expand and now it’s a race to bring on board the best players. And today, with the competitive landscape for candidates, it means that the best, most desirable candidates are receiving multiple offers.

Now it starts to open the floodgates of questions when thinking of the leading challenges facing early-stage tech companies. Are they too concerned about price? There’s only so much money for talent acquisition, so what’s their burn rate look like? Are they already draining too much of their financial resources? Was it a lack of talent or just a bad decision?

I speak to some companies and I’ll look at whom they hired and I’ll question if that was the person I would personally present. And I start to think what happened here? Why did it not work? Did they settle for a candidate? Did the board force an employee on them? Did they choose one of their friends instead of someone more qualified?

So now there’s a litany of reasons why someone didn’t work out, but regardless of the introspective questions being asked – a bad hire could set a company back a year. And now what shape does it leave them in? Are they still viable?

And it also means going back and unpacking every single situation and asking, “what happened here – why did that not work? And what does it mean by “not working?” Are they bringing on a candidate that’s not a right fit for what stage they’re at? Are they too focused on brand recognition instead of hiring someone that was successful in a company at a similar stage?

In many cases we see companies dead set on thinking they’ve hired a rockstar, and after paying out a lot of money, it ends in disaster. So when you take into account all of these reasons swirling a candidate’s downfall and couple it with the statistic that snowballed this train of thought, it magnifies how crucial the hiring process is for these early-stage startups that are pitted against much bigger businesses in the chase for the best talent.

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How to Create Your Own Professional Development Plan

Whether you’re mid-career, just graduating from school, or nearing retirement, you absolutely should have your own professional development plan (PDP).

Many companies require their employees to create a PDP during the performance review process and while these can be useful for short-term development, they often don’t get you to think about your long-term career goals. Creating a PDP at work can also be constraining as you are often directed to align your goals with the current vision of the company you are working for instead of the values and opportunities that are a priority to you. Your PDP is one of the most important career tools for achieving success, and shouldn’t be left up to anyone but yourself to create, manage and own.

Below are six steps to help you create your own professional development plan.

Create a compelling goal that you are driven to achieve. While it may be difficult to know exactly where you want your career to go, it’s important to pick an exciting end-point to direct your PDP towards. Creating an exciting or big goal doesn’t mean it needs to be concrete, but it gives you the drive and motivation to think big and plan strategically. Work back from your goal and create specific milestones to achieve. Know what success looks like to you and start heading in that direction.

Don’t leave your professional development up to your current boss. Many people mistakenly rely on their current boss to drive the outcomes of their PDP. It’s a oversight to tie your career goals and development to your current manager not only due to the risk of them leaving before your goals are realized but also because they likely do not have the time or resources needed to invest in the next steps you need to take. While you should consult with your current boss on future opportunities and areas for development, don’t rely on them to decide your future for you. Remember that you are responsible for your own career.

Do an audit of your current skill-set to identify gaps in your experience and where your strengths lie. Next, do an environmental scan to determine what skills are trending in your field, or a field you would like to move into. Begin to chart out which skills you are looking to improve upon or learn and the best next steps to do so. You might want to begin by listening to a podcast or signing up for a course, or practice your skills by creating content and material of your own. To successfully move to the next level it’s important to improve yourself beyond your current expertise.

Don’t forget to enhance your relationships and broaden your network. Developing clear connecting or networking goals is vital to create a solid strategy for your career. Dorie Clark, Marketing Strategist at Duke University, recommends drawing out a power map that outlines your current network and identifies areas for improvement. Outside of your network begin to identify influential people – both those who have power and indirect power. Think about the thought leaders and organizations that matter to your field or industry and begin to map out how you can make these connections. Make your connections matter.

Set specific dates and target timelines. When are you going to expand your network and attend a conference? Is the course you want to take offered in the fall, winter or spring? Who are you networking with next week? If you don’t have specific target dates set, you risk losing momentum and accountability to your plan. Your development is an invaluable investment and deserves the time and careful planning needed to maximize the returns.

Keep your PDP up-to-date. A PDP should be looked at as a living document that will change overtime. As you move through your career, your values and priorities may change, or you may gain an interest in a specific specialization. Different factors will influence your goals and changing access to resources and time can also impact your ability to achieve your goals. Make a review of your PDP a yearly routine. 

While creating a useful and thorough PDP takes time and careful planning, it’s important that you don’t leave success and your future salary up to chance. Creating your own PDP ensures that you aren’t wasting time or resources as you develop your skills and take the next step in your career. If you are looking for more direction on what opportunities are available in your field, contact us to learn how our recruiters can help you.

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Martyn’s ability to bring talent to you is a benefit in and of itself, but what truly impressed me is his understanding of what you need and what you don’t need and having the conversation about it.

I looked at Martyn as more than the guy bringing talent to me – I looked to him for advice throughout the process.

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