Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's not good when one of your best employee quits. The productivity takes a hit, morality goes down and the hardest part is to find an equal or a better replacement. With more statistics coming to light recently, they all point to reduced average tenure of an employee in an organizaton and not to mention about the reduced loyalty factors.

There is also a saying that Employees don't leave the company, they leave the managers. This would mean that Employees don't leave if you keep them happy. But is that so simple and straight forward in the current demanding world?

With my experience and knowledge in IT Industry and also having seen many people quit for what they perceive as better opportunities, I would definitely not drop the onus on the Managers alone. Here's is my take on the subject from both Manager's and Employee's perspective:

All said and done, an organization only thrives on its profitability and growth. Non-profitability outwits morality or loyalty at any given time with very minimal threshold. The onus on profitability definitely lies on the manager.
So what could the Manager have done better to hold on to one of his best employees? Or what would the employee need to find to achieve their needs?

Straighten out the career path, purpose and goals:

GALLUP business Journal came up with an employee engagement survey asking the below question:
The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.

The study reveals that the employee's deeply felt sense of purpose is highly relevant to organization's employee retention. Let's be honest with the fact that most of the employees do not have any short term goal or a long term goal. Simply putting it as they do not lose any sleep over it. Only handful of employees understand what it is to have a career vision. One of the manager's responsibilities would be to get the purpose and goals set with his team members and also follow up with them regularly with their progress and feedback.

Employees' lack of understanding about what they have achieved and what is still out there to achieve in an organization would be a major factor when they think to part ways with your organization.

Reality check:

There is a fine line of reality between what employee expects to be paid or rewarded and what could be done by the manager for the employee. A manager's responsibility is to keep the reality check in minds of the employee and reason with him by being both straight forward and realistic based on his objectives and achievements.

This is helpful when the manager and the employee can settle down and find a better middle ground or find an alternate beneficial way when it comes to hikes and rewards,

Over committing to the employee with something that is not realistic and not delivering the same to the employee is one of the major reasons for the employee to part ways with the organization.

Be a sponsor/ Find a sponsor:

A sponsor is someone who is capable enough to spot the right talent and recommend that talent to various new prospects and opportunities in an organization. A sponsor also serves as a development coach who can help the employee to envision the next career role or to achieve better results in the current role. One of the major assets of a manager would be playing the role of a sponsor whenever needed.

Most employees quit the organization due to lack of sponsorship. The onus is also on the employee to find and connect with the right sponsor.


The advent and evolution of film, television, the internet, social media and handheld devices means that everything is on demand all the time and wherever we may be. As a result, putting in straight 8-9 hours of work at the same desk is becoming less and less attractive to the employees. This doesn't mean that people have become lazier but only means that defining work in such traditional manner does no longer make sense in such fast-paced world.

The manager should embrace a culture of increased autonomy and innovation. One of such innovative programs is ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment) that relies on increasing employee engagement by reducing work to a baseline: productivity. That's all.!

Such initiatives result in employees achieving instant gratification and hence may after all decide to stay.

These are of course my personal views and viewers' comments are welcomed!
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Girish Mahadevan said...

Spot on!

That's exactly why accountability should be properly defined and coupling of employees to the results/profits should be encouraged.

Sathiya Balan M said...

Thank you for post and your blog. My friend showed me your blog and I have been reading it ever since.
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