I was sharing with a colleague the amount of turnover my team has experienced in a 13 month period. Of course, I internalized these things because no one desires to see their team members disappearing. I explained the training and knowledge transfer is costly, and honestly draining. She gave me a lashing on taking it personally and directed me to take a step back and view this situation from a leadership perspective.
- What are the opportunities for growth on your team?
- Have you received any feedback on your leadership style?
- What development strategies are in place for them to learn?
- Have you done a market survey to compare roles and responsibilities an aligned their salaries accordingly?
- Do you find joy in the work you are doing and the team you are leading?
After running down these points and questions, I made a statement, and she responded, “That explains it all.” At age 46 years old, I shared with her that I’ve only had four jobs in my life. She was floored. She paused…for a long time, and said, “How fortunate you are to have that type of longevity.” She’s right, I’ve always been a loyalist. Maybe blindly but I love people, but a love of people doesn’t keep people on your team. Ironically, money doesn’t either. In meeting with a senior executive recruiter and retention specialist, she came in to overview the entire layout of my team structure. We whiteboarded for a full hour on different concepts and ideas. She was floored by my ingrained knowledge and intentionality. “Tony, this (company name withheld) is the perfect training ground, but your expectation in an IT support role is unrealistic. You have two years max for people in a support role. Anyone that extends beyond that is primarily due to three reasons.”
- They have a life issue, and it’s convenient for them to stay
- They have room for growth and will take advantage of what they are learning
- They haven’t put in the work and have no transferable skills, and they are merely stuck
- They like what they do
Learning this gave perspective; employment attrition is cyclical. Everyone isn’t fortunate enough, desires to, or is designed to remain at specific jobs for long and if you’re dealing with millennials, they are thirsty for knowledge, and they often move at the speed of light through various employers until they find what’s right for them. I guess I pose all this to clear my thoughts, get your thoughts, and gather your experience as leaders, as millennials, as employment seekers. What makes you stay?
“I’ve always been an opportunist over money. Money grants access, opportunity grants expansion.” ~ ALB