6 Ways To Hold On To Talent

27 Jun 6 Ways To Hold On To Talent

During a recent meeting with a good client we were a bit taken aback when the client made several derogatory comments about a recently departed employee.

We had just worked on a project with person in question. He had done a great job and produced outstanding results for his boss. We wondered what caused the falling out.

Not much is sure in the local media business today, but one thing we notice every day is that local media has become a “musical chairs” business. One day our contact is there, the next she or he is gone.

That’s not good. Let’s face it: Newspapers, radio and television stations used to be able to attract the best and the brightest talent with ease. That’s not so much true today.

Faced with the choice of working for Newspaper X or Station Y and, say Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Yelp… most journalists, engineers, newly minted MBAs, etc., will be mightily tempted by the latter.

That makes retaining the good talent we have all the more important. I came across the following six reasons your best employees quit you from Louis Efron a couple days ago. They rang true to me for our organization, and I share them here in hopes that they may help you retain your best talent:

  1. No Vision. — People work for a paycheck, but they will jump out of bed and look forward to work in the morning if that work is meaningful.
  2. No Connection To The Big Picture. — When asked about his job at NASA, a janitor famously responded that his job is to safely get astronauts into space and back! That is a worker connected with the big picture. How many of your employees can so clearly tell you how their job relates to the big picture of your company?
  3. No Empathy. — Gee, show your team you care about them. What a concept! Yet it rarely happens at most companies today.
  4. No (Effective) Motivation. — Hint, doing good work on successful products is a better motivator than cash bonuses or  threats of retribution.
  5. No Future. — This is a tough one for local media companies, especially newspapers when even some CEOs are saying the business is going to die. As leaders, we must create positive stories for our businesses — stories that plausibly buck industry trends.
  6. No Fun. — The lines between work and play have blurred. The more you make work fun, the better workers like it!

We caught up with the departed employee mentioned above recently at another media company in a different state. Interestingly the only comment he would make about parting with his former employer was that it was time to move on. He’s a class act, this guy, and he’s sure to generate outsized results for his new boss.