"I realize that staying here is unwise for
me in the long run."
Leavers feel they have little opportunity for
promotions, personal growth, or pay increases at their current organization.
They therefore decide that they would be better off starting anew somewhere
"I feel 'apart from' rather than 'part of'
Supervisors should engage in frank, open discussions with employees about
their long-term future with the organization. In some cases, employees may
discover that they have more potential with the organization than they had
thought. Telling an employee that he or she is personally valued by the
organization can have a powerful, positive, long-term impact. It is often
exactly what employees are starving to hear.
Generally, leavers become psychologically
disconnected from the internal grapevine, spirit, and mission of the
"I no longer enjoy the work."
The strongest bond that ties employees to
their organizations is "the people." To retain these disconnected employees,
organizations must develop approaches for keeping them connected to their
coworkers. For example, consider assigning employees to a new work team or
sponsoring more social events. Also, encourage more meetings and face-to-face
communications rather then relying exclusively on email, which often hopelessly
Leavers are typically unhappy with the actual work
they are performing. Most often, this is because they feel their skills and
abilities are not fully utilized.
"I walk the hallways in fear."
Continually challenge employees to use more of their skills and
abilities. Rotate them through different jobs or work assignments. Provide
additional training. Also, enrich their jobs by providing them with more
Many otherwise competent, self-assured employees
live in perpetual fear of making a mistake, saying the wrong thing to the wrong
person, and losing their jobs. They spend a great deal of their workdays in a
constant state of paranoia.
"I no longer trust management."
Organizations that foster a fearful work environment are destined to
have a non-committed and paralyzed work force with little ability to act
decisively, take prudent risks, or contribute fully. Management must step back
and take an objective look at what they are doing to intimidate and stifle
employees. A confidential employee survey can also help management better
understand these employee concerns.
Many leavers feel that management does not treat
them with respect and dignity. They therefore view all management actions and
communications with cynicism and distrust.
Once lost, an employee's lack of trust in management is very difficult
to restore. To do so requires persistent, continuous openness, and honesty.
Increased face-to-face communication is key.