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Why are your best people quitting?

January 17, 2011

As the economy recovers there’s been a significant increase in the mobility of smart people wanting to progress their careers.

Leadership Meter

The right leadership is crucial, a disillusioned manager will be unable to inspire their team.

Research recently published by Blessing White based on a global survey of 11,000 employees found that in 2008, 7% of respondents planned to leave their employer within the next 12 months. In 2010 that figure had almost doubled to 13%. Yet in engaged organisations the percentage of employees planning to leave was just 1%.

With recruiters searching out talented employees it’s more important than ever to create an engaged workplace. Blessing White’s study found that employee satisfaction was largely determined by:

  • Opportunities to do what they do best (27%)
  • Opportunities to advance their career (20%)
  • Flexible working conditions (15%)

It’s important to remember that satisfaction in itself is only good for the organisation if it is matched by the employee making a significant contribution, the primary factors determining this, fall almost equally into thirds, with people claiming they would make a greater contribution if they had:

  • RESOURCE – More tools and resources to do the job
  • MANAGEMENT – Greater clarity of role and more feedback from their line manager
  • DEVELOPMENT – Ongoing coaching and training from others

The right leadership is crucial. In the same way that a dead car battery can’t jump start another battery, a disillusioned manager will be unable to inspire their team – leaders must choose to commit or quit. Staying in post and miserable is incredibly harmful to the immediate team and ultimately the wider organisation.

On the positive side, engagement levels are not static and just because someone is disengaged today it doesn’t mean that they won’t be engaged tomorrow. As for what single factor most influences engagement levels, the survey found that 80% of engaged respondents trusted senior leaders whereas only 16% of disengaged employees said they trusted senior leaders.

For more on this crucial subject read Trust Unwrapped, A story of Ethics, Integrity and Chocolate and for a great example of an engaged workplace, with some practical tips take a look at our latest training film.

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