One of the things that I learned over the years is many employers think that we should do anything we can to retain those employees who perform by identifying talent as early as possible and also rewarding accordingly through benefits, acknowledgements, additional responsibilities, promotions, etc. This one is being practiced by many and proven successful to have a productive and successful company full of bright and talented employees on the organization. Many also drag this idea of retaining such employee even after retirement age, which still is proven beneficial as some may still love to contribute to the company despite the age limit. However, the issue arises when such an employee resigns and decided to move on for some or another reason, but being retained by the employer as they believe the same idea of retaining good ones and never let go.
My question, do you think employers should retain such employee ?
My thoughts, those employees who have decided to resign have a reason to move on and if not a good one then they would not leave. Some of them stay in the same company when being retained or counter offered or for any other method convinced to stay back, however the results of their work and the length would not take much longer. The reason is simple, those employees decide to stay because they feel empathy or attracted by the new offer or simply change of mind, but that is not a guarantee of another attempt to leave. They had one reason to leave and they decided so, when employers manage to change their view some how, there will be sooner or later another reason to leave. Now, the issue it that during those time of the first attempt to the second attempt, are they as productive as when they were still committed to the company, mostly not. Human nature tend to put a lot of feelings into the things they do, which means if you feel good then you do good, but somewhere on your subconscious mind if you feel uneasy then it definitely affects your work. So then it turns back to the employer, where the first idea of retention was to retain the productivity and the talent, while what is retained is actually the physical body not necessarily the complete mind or the good work. This happens mostly because employees don’t leave a company without a strong reason and this reason being communicated or not, will keep bothering them through their days and otherwise will find new reasons to enforce the commitment to leave instead of to stay.
Second question, should employers just then let them leave ?
If the employees are held back and it does not help them to improve their quality of life or work then instead of the effort, resources and time spent in making them stay, why don’t employers use it to generate more or other talents and quickly replace them. In this era of millennials, you would see a lot of cases where employees leave in less than 2 years whether or not being productive or talented. So the challenge for employers are not supposed to be retaining as they are not going to stay anyway, the challenge is not to convince them how good you are so you wont leave the employer, because their life and mindset is more to freedom and exploring new things all the time. The real challenge is to make employees productive and contribute well during their length of stay whether its 6 months or 24 months. The challenge is to attract good contributors and identify non contributors as soon as possible and maximize the quality during a shorter time.