Let’s take a poll. What was the average amount of years that your father stayed in his positions? What has been the average amount of years that you have stayed in yours? If you’re anything like me, your dad spent a lifetime in his position while you’re lucky to stay for over three years! Why is this? Why this dramatic change? I remember the days when I would look at a resume and if they had moved from company to company every other year I would put the resume aside and label them a “job hopper.” Nowadays, well let’s just say I would give them a call. The Internet has exacerbated the situation even further so that it is almost expected that an individual won’t stay more than two years at an Internet company. “Where yesterday’s long-term employee stuck around for decades, Internet employers are happy to get a three-year turn out of an employee. Then there’s the money. Yesterday’s company man worked for a large corporation, and if he stayed there long enough, he was rewarded with a generous pension plan. Today’s company man puts in long hours at a startup and is compensated in stock options, not through a pension fund….In the past, ‘people didn’t talk about company loyalty because it was assumed,’ says Robert Reich, former Department of Labor secretary.. ‘Now, loyalty is dead. There is no loyalty.'” (http://www.thestandard.com/articles/display/0,1449, 6996,00.html) The Industry Standard, 10/18/99 Now let me ask you this. How much money and energy did you spend recruiting employees this year? How much money and energy did you spend retaining employees this year? If you’re the norm, you probably spent less than 1/10 the dollars and energy on retaining your current employees vs. recruiting new ones. Is this starting to look like a vicious cycle? Are you starting to feel like a hamster on a wheel with your recruiting efforts? First, it helps to examine the problem. What makes an employee leave? Money as stated above is always an issue but I believe it goes beyond that. I searched and searched for data that would tell me why employees leave and unfortunately the only thing I could find was data from HR as to why THEY thought their employees left. Sadly, there is a big difference as to why employees really leave vs. why HR thinks they left or what they told HR in an exit interview. In this data the primary reason was “better opportunity,” the second reason was “money,” and third was “relocation” opportunities elsewhere. How many of us have drilled down to the real reasons our employees are leaving and implemented retaining systems and techniques to address these issues? What tried and true methods have you used to retain your current employees? What measurable results have you seen and recorded? Email me at Audra.firstname.lastname@example.org, with your thoughts and discoveries on this important topic and I will feature the results in my upcoming articles.