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How To Retain Employees When They Have A World Of Job Choice Available To Them...

Mike Jones Better Happy Founder

Enabling organisations and employees to achieve optimal engagement levels so they can make the world a better place

We're currently witnessing an unprecedented change in the employer/employee relationship. As a society, we're becoming increasingly focussed on the rights of the individual. Just less than 100 years ago in the UK, we were sending people down into coal mines to work in horrendous conditions for menial pay, something which seems unfathomable to most of us today. The BBC has just reported that for the first time since records began, there are more job vacancies than unemployed people. There have also been countless studies done highlighting that the majority of Millenials would seriously consider taking a pay cut to take a job more aligned to their values.

What this tells us in summary is:

1) Employees have the choice and freedom of work

2) Employees place a higher emphasis on the quality of work than the wage attached to the work

It's important to highlight another factor for serious consideration here too. Although the quality of our lives has increased exponentially over the last 50 years, being physically and mentally well has become more of a challenge. We spend more time alone, things are always changing, we have to adapt quickly in our businesses, and we're surrounded by processed foods, advertising and social media. The list goes on.

All of these factors are what contribute to an entirely new playing field for employers. Employers can no longer rely on advertising well-paid jobs with benefits and clearly defined roles to maintain their workforces.

Employers must now be able to stand out as an employer of choice by providing meaningful work, keeping their employees engaged and supporting their people to be healthy and happy.

This is a new challenge that employers becoming aware of and trying to address. When businesses choose to ignore this, or try and find the perfect solution it quickly becomes a stress. However, when businesses accept this new landscape for what it is, accept that they don't have all the answers, accept that they and their employees are in this together and choose to adapt, they thrive. As Charles Darwin said:

"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. --Charles Darwin

Employers need to understand and accept the new landscape they are in. To thrive in this new environment, we need to put the same emphasis on our employee journey as we do our customer journey. We need to invest in the whole person, lead with empathy and show our people that we are genuinely invested in their development. When we do this we not only attract and hold onto great staff, but we increase engagement, productivity and profits as a by-product.

Businesses of today need to have processes in place to ensure the employee journey is a positive one and that we are creating 'coaching cultures' vs 'management cultures'. For this, a combination of the right people with the right technology is the most powerful approach.

Employers need to make sure their managers are focussed on and equipped to develop their people. There should also be systems in place to hold them accountable for this. As the famous saying goes:

"Employee quit their managers, not their jobs"

It's importan that both your leadership and management teams are fully bought into the importance of shifting to a coaching health focussed culture.

This can be achieved through training that covers both the how and the why, including solid statistics that show the clear benefits at individual, team and business levels of making this shift.


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