resignation of specialist: how to prevent it
January 2, 2020

Team Management

How to hold a good specialist if he wants to resign?

By Alexander Sergeev

The experienced HR-managers characterize the most of present-day applicants as “insufficiently prepared” and “too ambitious”. Find a worthy employee in this market worth much effort. And when you’ve managed to grow a good specialist from a perspective applicant, it is doubly unpleasant if one day on your table lies a Resignation Notice.

To begin with, invite the specialist, who wants to resign for a conversation. During the conversation, find out the reason of the employee’s desire to leave the company, if he has already found a new job that attracts him more. Try to stick to a smooth, interested and friendly style of conversation, then instead of formal responses the employee will sincerely tell you what he dislikes in the present work and likes in the new one. Thus you will get a comprehensive picture of motivators and demotivators of this particular person and will be able to choose the most appropriate and often less expensive than the salary increase, if not free at all, way to motivate the employee.

The reasons of the employee’s desire to resign may be diverse, but in general they can be divided into four groups.

1. Problem of dissatisfaction with the reward system

Dissatisfaction with the wages and the means of material incentives (bonus system, Social Service) is expressed in such phrases as “My salary is too small”, “I can’t make both ends meet”, “The same position in other companies is better paid”.

Ways of solving the problem

If your company provides employees with a good social package, offer the employee to calculate how much the organization spends on his training, catering, delivery and conveying, gifts, corporate parties, voluntary medical insurance (and on the other points of the social package) per year. Divide the resulting amount by 12 and add to his present-day salary. Perhaps, the total amount will be greater than the proposed salary in the new company. And besides, such simple arithmetic helps the employee to realize that the new company forgot to clarify some details (for example, catering and conveying home at night), and he becomes more aware of what he can lose.

If this option does not suit you, you can review the remuneration system (it shouldn’t be confused with the salary increase). For example, redistribute the workload. If the department has two strong and one weak specialists, maybe it makes sense to get rid of the weak one, and redistribute the workload and the wages to the remaining two? Or another option: introduce the variable part of the salary, which will directly depend on the employee’s fulfillment of the established norms. You can also offer the specialist some extra work in your or affiliated companies.

Pay attention to the employee bonus system. If his work is highly-efficient and the results of his work bring significant economic benefits to the company, then offer him bonuses following the implementation of the projects with his participation or under his supervision.

If a specialist is good enough to perform his 8-hour workday tasks in 4 hours and his constant presence at the workplace is not required, it makes sense to offer him a shorter working day or a shorter working week, so that in the remaining time he could find sources of additional earnings.

For the same reason, you can offer the employee such a modern form of work as teleworking, when an employee is working remotely from the office (at home or basking in the sunshine of the Mediterranean), and the information exchange with him is carried out through the network.

2. Problem of self-realization

Your employee doesn’t see prospects for his development, feels that he is underestimated, believes that his potential has not been fully implemented. The problem of self-realization may cause a dismissal of a highly qualified specialist. Unfortunately, companies not always have the potential for development to meet the needs of the employees’ professional fulfillment, but actually the quantity of such professionals is not high. That’s why we need to consider this question more broadly, not just in terms of professional fulfillment.

So, if an employee is able and wants to do more:

  • offer him a new position or a new project;
  • precede it with more complex tasks, delegate him some of the powers and extend the range of his responsibilities;
  • if it is impossible to promote an employee in your company, find out if there is a higher position requiring more responsibility in the affiliated companies;
  • demonstrate the value of his experience: ask him for advice as an expert in his field;
  • if you have such an opportunity, then change the employee’s work schedule so that the person has free time to realize his potential in another area (for example, he could do consulting etc.);
  • if the area of employee’s self-realization is out of work, give him a chance to develop his creative potential. For example, assign him responsible for corporate events, make him corporate blog editor on the intranet site, offer him to write a script, and direct the corporate event. Specialists with poetic talent can realize themselves in writing poetry for greeting colleagues and those with singing skills can create an anthem of the company, and record it for the corporate audio intro for the company calls;
  • it is also necessary to mention such a category of employees for whom it is important to outward manifestation of their status. Promise such an employee the delivery to work with a personal driver and a separate room with a sign – and it’ll immediately boost your rankings as an employer.

3. Problem of interaction (psychological distress)

The employee failed to find a common language with colleagues, leadership, subordinates. Typically, such problems don’t arise suddenly, they are deeply rooted and are to be solved as a complex and certainly not at the moment of the employee’s resignation, but much earlier – when hiring an employee.

Several recommendations in this regard:

Competently carry out the procedure of adaptation of workers in the team, don’t let it take its course, track and describe the regulations to be followed by both new and old employees, whereby a new employee will feel comfortable and confident at the workplace in a short time.

Introduce the fundamental principles of the employees’ cooperation, which minimize interpersonal conflicts. For example: “Treat others as you want them to treat you”, “Entering the office, leave your likes and dislikes out”, “If you criticize – you suggest”. These principles must be brought to the attention of each newly hired employee.

Regulate the relations between the leaders and subordinates in the document called “Code of Management”, which is based on the respect of each employee and must be observed by all the leaders of the company.

In such cases, when the specialist is extremely important and indispensable but has antisocial tendencies in his behavior, you can just isolate him, provide a separate room or a possibility to work from home (remotely).

4. Problem of dissatisfaction with the working conditions

It’s a group of the most numerous, but less significant reasons for dismissal. The reasons for resignation, in this case, are quite varied: “My computer is not powerful enough”, “The office is far from my home”, “Every day I have a catering problem”, ” I dislike work schedule” etc. A positive thing in solving this problem lies in the fact that the reasons are obvious, as well as their decision – social package. Negative point: as a rule, such issues are associated with significant costs covered by the employer – office equipment replacement, PCs upgrading, introducing of conveying home and catering costs require time and money. However, if you’re willing to spend on it to ensure a comfortable stay of your employees at the workplace, your efforts will pay off in that you will rarely have to spend money on hiring the new ones. For a certain part of the employees, the care taken in the provision of a social package is much more valuable than the nebula prospects in the new place, even with a greater salary.

Here the important point is the individual approach in providing benefits, paid by the company: one employee will appreciate a subscription to a fitness center or a ticket to a sanatorium for a sick child, for another one conveying home is important, and the third one owns a car and a voucher for petrol is just what he needs. Only in this case the formal phrase “social package” will be perceived by the employees as a warm expression “care about me” and include internal motivators, by which the employee remains with the company for a long time.

Having learned about the employee’s desire to leave the company, ask yourself: “Is it worth to hold him?” If your answer is a univocal “yes”, don’t haste to offer higher wages as the only argument. We are all different, and different things motivate us to successful work: some people are attracted by the stability of the company, the others are satisfied that the office is “at hand “, the third like the team. To find the dominant motivator (or a group of motivators) means to find a key to the heart of any employee.

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