Retaining an employee who’s considering leaving


p 1 5 strategies for retaining a valued employee whos thinking about leaving

It’s no shock that employee retention is a vital aggressive differentiator. An organization’s potential to carry on to its expertise—particularly in tight hiring markets—has profound ramifications for its potential to function at a excessive degree, with out the disruptions that employee turnover brings. What can leaders do when confronted with the prospect that considered one of their high performers could also be pondering of leaving?


In keeping with govt coach Gena Cox, if the employee has informed you they’re considering a change, ask them if they might be keen to speak so you possibly can be taught extra about what they want. “Most workers are transferring away from one thing, and your aim is to uncover what it’ll take to retain them, and if it’s reasonable.” For those who’ve by no means constructed a relationship with the employee, says Cox, “you’re toast.” Colleen Tucker, CHRO of biotech firm Entasis Therapeutics, says that speaking to the employee “about what’s subsequent is essential.”


In keeping with progress strategist Amanda Gibson, if an organization has a sample of overburdening workers, not listening, and never preserving earlier guarantees, which will erase among the energy you’ve gotten as a supervisor. It definitely will if the individual has skilled it immediately, but in addition if the individual usually sees different individuals being handled in methods they don’t need to be handled. If a supervisor can’t say with certainty that an employee is actively engaged, there are most likely conversations they aren’t having and must be to stop the dreaded “I stop.”

Ask what would make them excited to remain

“It’s not solely about figuring out what’s incorrect,” says govt coach, Rebecca Zucker, “it’s about portray an image of what’s potential sooner or later.” There are many the reason why individuals depart and typically it’s additionally necessary to contemplate the explanations individuals be part of within the first place and their motivations on the subject of retaining them. 

Tucker performed employee engagement and Great Place to Work surveys to get a deal with on what attracted individuals to the corporate and to get a baseline of tradition elements, benchmark her firm towards the Greatest Workplaces, and rapidly establish actionable points workers from lab-workers to C-suite executives. Gibson suggests asking your on-the-fence employee, “Is something you’ve gotten your eye on within the firm that might suit your objectives? For those who can’t give it to them now, maybe you may give them assignments that might get them nearer.” If an employee is unclear of their objectives, can the corporate work with them to assist them discover time and area to experiment inside?

Take a holistic view

Reacting within the second to an employee who plans to go away an group is usually too little too late. Taking a 360-degree view of employee wants and proactively addressing them is the simplest method to keep away from defections. In Tucker’s case, she evaluated the competitiveness of her firm’s compensation plan, placing into impact accelerated inventory vesting and outright grants, in addition to performance-based incentives for the manager crew. She knew that there’s a excessive demand for expertise within the biotech trade, and workers can stroll down the road and command a richer package deal. Tucker additionally facilitates a childcare dialogue group for workers with childcare issues. Just lately one employee took a month of FMLA depart to take care of an in poor health baby. Had she not run this group, she won’t have been conscious of this employee’s acute want.

Embrace flexibility

A current Harvard Enterprise College study confirmed that almost all professionals have flourished of their jobs whereas working from house, and 81% both don’t need to return to the workplace or would select a hybrid schedule post-pandemic. Company leaders have to beat their fear of what might be lost if they permit workers versatile work preparations.

At Entasis, the place lab staff often work onsite full-time, Tucker organized for them to go house when their experiments had been full or run their experiments on weekends when it was simpler for some to rearrange childcare. Hybrid schedules are the norm for the remainder of the employees, who coordinate with their managers which days groups plan to be within the workplace. “So long as groups working a versatile schedule decide to common conferences and constant communication, then collaboration won’t be compromised,” says Tucker. All crew members want to take care of contact, maintain tabs on tasks, and reply to messages and cellphone calls.


Watch out the way you deal with workers on the best way out

Not each valued employee who has determined to go away may be saved, says Tucker. “Certainly one of our workers had simply accomplished a Part- 3 medical trial, and her aim was to run one other one within the subsequent six months. That was not a part of our firm’s plan, and I let her know that. Being trustworthy was in her finest pursuits though figuring out that we had been going to lose her was arduous.”

“The way you deal with an employee on the best way out can have a major influence and affect on the crew nonetheless there,” says M&A strategist Jennifer Fondrevay. “If the individual leaving was poisonous and by no means glad, there will probably be reduction. If the individual was a key participant, it may possibly elevate questions on why they would depart. What did they know? And in the event you deal with an individual who was a key participant poorly or dismissively on their manner out, it may possibly backfire, because the crew remaining wonders how good a frontrunner you might be.”