QUIT YOUR JOB OR STAY - IT'S DECISION TIME
It's something an employer hates to hear—a valuable employee announcing he or she has decided to quit.
If you are thinking of quitting, consider your employer's point of view. Not only do they have to try to find someone who can do your job as well as you, they have to worry about all the costs involved in recruiting a new staff member.
According to Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans, authors of Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay (3rd Edition), the costs of losing an employee may include standard hiring expenses such as:
However, there are additional "costs" that are often overlooked, such as:
There may even be lost customers, lost contracts or business, and the loss of other employees. "They follow each other!" say Kaye and Jordan-Evans.
It's no wonder that smart employers want to keep good employees. In a University of Calgary course that Tag taught for human resources managers on "Keeping Valuable Employees," one of the class exercises was to come up with ways to keep three employees who had announced they would be quitting.
Before you read the solutions the human resources managers came up with, see if you can come up with creative ways to keep the following employees.
CHALLENGE: An employee wants to cycle around the world for a year.
Possible Solutions: Give the employee a sabbatical or leave of absence. If the company is looking to expand internationally, the employee might scout out various locations for the company. The company could get some publicity as a result of the employee's travels. The employee might report on their travels in a company newsletter or blog.
CHALLENGE: An employee wants to run their own business.
Possible Solutions: If the business is in the same industry, the employee might be able to continue working with the company as a contractor. Otherwise, the employee might stay with the company on a part-time basis. If the company needs someone full-time, they could allow job sharing between the employee and another part-time person.
CHALLENGE: An employee wants to move overseas.
Possible Solutions: If the company has an overseas office, the employee might be transferred. Otherwise, the company could allow the employee to telecommute (work from home) and communicate electronically with their supervisor, co-workers, and even customers.
Of course, these ideas will not work with all organizations or all employees, but they show some of the creative solutions companies can come up with.
Our fabulous mom, Terry Goulet, created her own telecommuting job 15 years ago. At the time, telecommuting was almost unheard of, but she was able to convince her employer to hire her to work from her new home on the west coast thousands of miles away from her employer's office. She was able to create her own job by offering something the company wanted, then asking for what she wanted.
Her employer was a Toronto area company that published legal information containing indexes that needed to be updated every month. However, when she joined the company she found the information in a number of the indexes was seriously out of date. (One had not been updated for 10 years!) She made herself an indispensable employee by learning a new computer program so she could do this important work for the company.
When she wanted to move back west, she approached her supervisor to suggest that she continue the work as a freelance editor from home and send the information to them on computer disk. "It was very easy to convince him," she says.
Although not every company is open to telecommuting or other unconventional work arrangements, if you are thinking of quitting, you may find your own company will do what they can to keep you.
Kaye and Jordan-Evans wrote a follow-up book for employees called Love It, Don't Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work, in which they say that "If you are a solid performer, your managers want to know what will keep you."
They suggest the first thing you need to do is "get crystal-clear about what you want" then consider who, when and how you'll ask. Ask yourself, "What's in it for that person to grant my request? How will she benefit? Is my request a 'piece of cake' or really difficult to grant?"
If the answer to your request is no, "ask how you can make it work (brainstorm possibilities) or ask what's possible, if not this, or ask when it might be possible, if not now. And when they say yes, thank them -- with words and in continued great performance."
"People tell us in hindsight, they wish they had asked for what they wanted. Or they wish they'd asked in a more effective way, so a decision-maker could have worked with them to make it happen," say Kaye and Jordan-Evans.
"Don't expect others to take the first step. Don't make them guess, because most often, they'll guess wrong. Be clear. Be prepared. Be collaborative, and then ask for what you want."
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by Tag and Catherine Goulet:
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