Imagine the following scenario at your organization.  You have a great employee. We’ll call her Diane.  Everything tells you that she is happy with her job and the company. You expect that she’ll be around for a long time. Then one morning she steps into your office and submits her resignation. You are dumbfounded!  What on earth went wrong?

It’s now obviously too late to save Diane but you start wondering. Diane was the last person you thought would leave, and if she is leaving, are George or Gary or Lynne cooking up something similar? What can you do to keep them? You always believed that you had a good working environment. But if that were the case, what went wrong? And how do you fix it?

Does this scenario sound eerily familiar?  Not to worry. Help is on the way – no need to panic just yet!  First, head over to an excellent article on this topic that is sure to provide some insights –Why Great Employees Leave “Great Cultures”.

It will show you that, in order for an organization to have a great culture, three elements of its culture – its behaviours, practices and systems – all need to be aligned with its values. When these become misaligned, a variety of problems are created, culminating in employees leaving the company.

Are you still squirming at the thought of George or Lynne leaving?  This squirming may not be bad, if it prompts you to actually do something. So much has been written about how to retain good employees that we could wallpaper the Empire State Building with it.  But here is the takeaway for you to consider.  Engagement is not something you do to the employees, like surveys or perks.  Your best starting point is to start talking with the employees, and through these conversations, clarify your organization’s behaviours, practices and systems.  You need to:

  • make sure you understand your employees’ needs, interests and goals
  • help managers use conversations and people skills to cultivate desired behaviours
  • ensure your employees understand your organization’s various practices
  • clarify the systems that are currently in use

If this seems like an approach worth pursuing but you still aren’t sure where or how to begin, call us for ideas.  We can help. It’s what we do.