As per Gallup’s State of American Workforce report, 51% of employees are actively looking for a new job and that is a pretty disturbing statement! What could be the reason for it? Is your organization prepared for it?  Check out the detail report here. But how would you keep those employees from leaving?

For the most part, employees quit their managers! We have heard that a lot. But what if your employees are leaving because the job wasn’t the right fit for them. A study done by Facebook's HR and People Growth team discovered their employees are quitting not because of a bad manager but instead, it was the job that made them quit. How could you as a manager fix this issue?


1. Give Employees the Opportunity to do What They do Best Every Day

Gallup listed the performance development needs of your employees and the first five are:

  1. I know what is expected of me at work.
  2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.

I am pretty sure, most of the organizations would meet the first two needs because those are the essential factors for the performance of any job and for any employee. But the rest of the points are the most overlooked needs yet fixing it can positively impact your organization's culture.

At Facebook, they created the job around their talent's skills, strengths, interests, and passions; customized the work experiences to motivating and enjoyable. That way employees will get to do what they do best and their job resonated their strengths and passion. This helped their employees to grow and progress in their career path.


2. Build Engaging Roles from Day One

We all have the standardized job descriptions and job titles that work for your HRIS systems and compensation structure. You cannot change the structure within a fortnight. But there are things a manager could do to customize the role based on the strengths and passion of the employees.  

Sit with your employees and conduct an ‘entry interview’. In the first few weeks of the job, have a discussion with your new hires to understand their favorite projects, passion, what they enjoy to do, what makes them involved and mostly what the new hire wants to achieve in the role. Based on this conversation, tweak the job duties accordingly in a way that give the new hires an exposure to do what they want to do and make the role an engaging one from day one.

At Facebook, they craft the jobs in a way that their employees enjoy. Managers play a major role in designing motivating, meaningful jobs. Even if it means rotating your employees out of roles where they’re excelling. Help employees to reinvent their passion and interests by moving out from their current role to something they want to do laterally as well.


3. Fix it with Internal Mobility

Successful organizations have already identified the rising issue of the skills gap and started developing talent from within their organization to meet future business needs. This way they are prepared for future talent needs. When the next position becomes open there is a successor already ready to take over that next position.

While moving your talent from one role to another, be it lateral move or be to the next level in the ladder, you are not only filling a position but in reality, you are retaining your great talent. Considering an employee internally would make him believe that the organization cares about him and invests in what he wants to achieve in his career. Employee values career advancement opportunities the most when they plan to change employers. So why not let them have that career opportunity while they work with you and let them grow within the organization. This way as an organization you will gain the trust and loyalty of your employees.


4. Conduct Stay Interviews

Exit interviews are just for a formality. It is not effective when they are seldom used to improve the organization. It doesn’t help when you have a conversation with an employee when he/she is emotionally disconnected to the organization. Exit interviews surveys are vague when you don’t know how your employee interpreted that question and you don’t know what did they mean in their comments. That doesn’t give you direct insight into how you can fix the problem.

Rather, connect with your valued employee before they make a decision to leave and conduct a ‘Stay Interview’. Sit with them to have a conversation to get a feel for what’s working and what’s not working for them. It builds trust in leaders!

Have a one-on-one conversation with your direct report and ask some emotionally transparent questions to make them feel like as a manager you are there to help. Here are a few questions to start with:

  • Things that they like about their job
  • Ask about the positive experience at work that they enjoyed recently?
  • Ask if their skills and strengths are being utilized in its full potential at work or not?
  • Do they feel properly recognized for their work and for their contributions?
  • Do they feel trusted and respected at the workplace?

Listen to what they have to say, prob with follow-up questions to understand and refrain from making any assumptions. Figure out the root cause of the problem and understand actionable items that you can do as a manager to make things better for them. Be sure to follow up and implement the change quickly because you may not have weeks or months for this. If you can’t do anything to keep that employee in your team then try keeping them within the company by helping them to find an opportunity in another department.


What are you doing to retain your employees and keep them from quitting?

For more recruiting and interview insights, join us in San Francisco this January 30 - February 1, 2019, at #SRSC where talent acquisition leaders connect to leverage emerging recruiting practices.

Nisha Raghavan is the Talent Attraction and Employer Branding Specialist at the American Heart Association. Prior to this, she worked in the telecommunications and media industry to help attract, engage and retain talent. She writes about her Global HR experiences at her blog Your HR Buddy!! Connect with her on LinkedIn and on Twitter at @TheHrbuddy