When Good People Leave

Now that the economy is starting to look up more people are changing jobs.  Those that thought they had to stay put because it was a job are now willing to make a move.  So what’s going on when good people leave your organization?  Is it just the economy or is it something more?

To answer that question you need to look at how many people are leaving?  Is it just one person, or is it several?  Are all the people leaving from one part of the organization?  If it’s just one or maybe two people from different areas of the company it’s probably just a symptom of the economy.  They may have been discontented for a while and stayed just to keep a paycheck.  You’re probably better off without them.

If there seems to be a concentration of people leaving from one branch of your organization, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s happening.  There could be several things going on which could be very problematic for your company. 

  1.  What’s happening at the top?  What’s going on at the top of the division that is losing people?  Has there been a change there?  What is the management style of the leaders?  Does it match the overall organization?  The leadership style could be driving people away.
  2. Is the group struggling?  Is this a part of the organization that has gone through a particularly tough time, due to the economy or other reasons?  It could be that the road has been too rough for too long and people are tired of the uphill battle.
  3. Too many changes?  Have there been a significant number of changes to the overall organization, or that particular division?  If so there may be a loss of engagement and connection between the team and the organization.

If you are seeing a disturbing number of people leaving the company it’s time to take inventory.  What’s going on that’s causing this to happen at this time.  There may be no reason to panic or make changes depending on who is leaving and why.  However, if there are too many really good people leaving it’s a signal that something needs to change.  Possibly the company is moving in a new direction and these folks didn’t fit with that plan, or the survival strategies needed to survive the recession have created a culture that will not sustain itself as times get better.  The answers to the three questions above will help you identify the root cause of the exodus.  Good leaders want to know why good people leave.  It can be a sign of the overall health of the organization.

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5 Comments

Filed under Change Management, Leadership

5 responses to “When Good People Leave

  1. This is an interesting topic. Over the past few years quite a few companies made changes to compensation and benefits in order to survive. Some made changes in order to drive more profit to the bottom line and believed that their employees had no choice but to accept reduced compensation/benefits because of the tough job market. For the most part, they were right. Now though as the tide begins to turn it will be important for companies to evaluate if what they offer their employees is competitive, if not good people who took less than they believed they were worth may begin to look for alternatives.

    • Frank,

      So true that compensation packages have changed over the last few years. Understandably in many cases. The trick now is to change again as the market moves towards better days. If people feel that they are not being appreciated, which can be tied to compensation, they will move on.

      Have a great day!

      Carol

  2. Great post Tina! Those are three fantastic questions to really get to the root of the problem. In my experience, too many changes cause many people to “look for the door!. Thanks again..

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