It’s Not Me, It’s You

Kylie Quetell Kylie Quetell, Retention

People are going to leave your organization. Sure, you can say that they left because they found a new industry, they found their passion, or they just got bored. You can brush it off and refuse to take a look at the ins and outs of your business and benefits. While there will be a certain amount of folks who leave for these reasons, they aren’t the only reasons people leave. So instead of looking backwards, let’s look forward. Take a peek at what your current and future workforce cares about and make adjustments to your business now – before they leave.

So, what do people want? Let’s, for once, not group people into age brackets, and instead just say “the future.” There is always a future. Let’s take a look at what your current and future employees want and consider some solutions:

They want experiences

  • The company Qualtrics just made headlines when it broke that they offer $1500 per employee to go towards experiences. A very interesting idea.
  • Don’t put PTO into a vacation plan, then give your employees shit for taking time off. That’s not how it works. Encourage vacations.
  • Bring experiences into the office. Dunk tanks, money machines, ice cream sundae bars, cooking lessons, language classes, etc. Some of these can be low-cost options that help employees have a really cool answer when someone asks them, “How was your day?”

They want feedback

  • Tell people that they did a good job. Is that so hard?
  • No one can read your mind. If you wish something was done differently, perhaps you should open your mouth and tell them that.
  • Don’t be an asshole. Lead with your heart and care about your people. Don’t try to make them better because it will make you more money. Make them better because you want them to be the best that they can be.
  • Put your people first. They should be your top priority. People who feel appreciated will do more than what is expected. That equals dollar bills, yo!

They want trust and empowerment

  • Want something done? Let them do it the way that they want. If you paint a clear picture of your intended outcome, who cares how they get there?
  • Encourage and hear their ideas. If you can’t think of a way to solve a problem right away, toss it to your employees.
  • Give them projects that stretch them. Don’t snap them, just a nice healthy stretch. Then follow up once complete. If you give someone a project to complete then never check on it again, they think that it’s probably because you didn’t really care about the project.

They want to grow

  • Train them so they can be successful in their role.
  • And train them so they can grow into their next role.
  • Then train them so they can grow into the next one after that. Etc.
  • Grow them in other ways that aren’t necessarily related to their tasks. A well-rounded team member will bring sustainable solutions, creative solutions, and will feel a heck of a lot more valued.
  • Want more talented people, but don’t know where to find them? In your office. They are in your office right now, but you just aren’t developing them.

They want money

  • Equality and fairness matter here. I know, life’s not fair. Just try. Pay your women less than your men? They should leave.
  • 401k, tuition reimbursement, student loan forgiveness, bonuses for a job well done, FSA, HSA, insurance. Yup, money comes in different forms.
  • People want to feel valued. If they’re busting their asses for you, consider paying them what that role is worth. Start with a market analysis.
  • Money is tied to security – consider a strong parental leave program and tenure bonuses.

They want to make the world better

  • Rework your mission statement so you can tell a tale of the value you bring to society.
  • Give back to your community. Offer folks a way to volunteer, either alone or as a larger group. Do it during typical work hours and you get a nice little PR boost… Just sayin’…
  • Weave social welfare language throughout your day-to-day communications.

This is not a list that must be followed; every company has different budgets, so choose wisely. Focus on taking care of your people first. After that, do something cool. And guess what? The coolest benefit is the one that we haven’t thought of yet.

If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

-Bob Dylan