One of the greatest concerns of a business is retaining their top talent. Changing economic conditions mean that employees are seeking opportunities that will pay them more or present them with more opportunities. Many times, the top talent at small businesses use their current position as a steppingstone to move to a larger company. These are some of the basic realities of business.
Giving It Your All
In many cases, companies do everything within reason to keep their top talent happy. This is particularly true in high-demand areas such as IT. One of the bigger concerns for management is not just replacing the employee, but that a fair amount of internal experience and knowledge has just walked out the door. At best, it will take time for the new hire to get up to speed even if they are a top talent themselves.
A Pebble in the Pond
When a key employee leaves the company, it will have employees wondering – and talking. Rumor control will have to start since the effect on morale will spread throughout the company. What needs to be avoided is other employees beginning to consider following suit and looking for greener pastures.
This is where management can take a positive step forward. Being transparent about the general situation concerning employee satisfaction and company opportunities can be accomplished through information seminars that will help make everyone aware of the company perspective. This can be done proactively instead of waiting for a key person to start cleaning out their desk.
The Unsettling Reality
The unsettling reality is that, according to studies, the possibility that every employee will pack up and leave for future opportunities is high, regardless of how well paid or compensated the employee may be. The top-tier talent can be expected pursue a career path that includes not staying at one company for too long. In many situations, an employee may be perceived as being stagnant if they are not concentrating on being mobile – pursuing the best opportunities for career growth. Again, this is particularly difficult for small and startup businesses.
What businesses need to recognize is that the current state of affairs has the best talent constantly searching for better opportunities because there is no guarantee their present company will not be acquired or sold and their current position eliminated because of consolidation. In a sense, it is the hunter becoming the hunted as corporations have chosen to lay off thousands of employees for the sake of the bottom line. Now employees are very hesitant to show long-term loyalty to any company because they can never know with certainty what their value to the company is at any given point in time. Today’s hero can be tomorrow’s sacrificial lamb for the sake of shareholder profit.
Fifty or more years have passed since the time when an employee could bring a skill set to a company and be assured of a commitment from the company that they will prefer employee retention over profit, loyalty over satisfying shareholder interests. Those days are gone, and employees recognize this change in the corporate culture. If greed is good for the company, then there is no reason for any employee to think they should not adopt the same business philosophy. After all, it is working for them.