How to Keep Your Closest Colleagues and Best Staff From Quitting

image of 2 women working together smiling with one having her elbow on the shoulder of the other womanLosing your closest colleagues? Trying to fill an unrelenting number of unfilled shifts and vacancies? Seeing people leave or not return to your industry?

Worried about the future of your team, organization and even industry in our massive talent shortage?

You may have been following the news where story after story shares the data, trends, and qualitative lived experiences of people telling the story of massive transformational changes in today’s workforce. People are making professional leaps that they might never have even considered had it not been for struggles, ongoing strain, and opportunities to try new things. We are redefining the very definition of “work.” And each one of us might define it differently.

This is a confusing time.

It’s also a time with the greatest opportunities for staff, leaders and workplaces alike. Whatever you wanted to do that you didn’t have the buy-in, comfort level, or even bravery to take on, well, now is a perfect time. Chaos may not be comfortable; however, you can be anxious or excited (your brain actually doesn’t know the difference.)

Redefining Work

If you’re trying to hire people, it’s essential to know that your competition for workers in today’s talent shortage isn’t who you think it is; it’s not the people in the same industry down the street. (At least that’s not the whole story.)

Knowing what we know about our talent shortage, we can be better prepared.

Let’s dive into it some microtrends that are defining work as we speak:image of the words "side hustle" with images around of icons representing different options ie: auction, shopping, etc.

  • Many employees and leaders have side hustles that can replace a second part-time income
  • We have been all customers of the gig economy (taken an Uber lately?)
  • We are prioritizing lifestyle and quality of life
  • We’re addressing the toll on our health (mental and physical health)
  • We have work flexibility expectations
  • We have an expectation of feeling valued at work (recognition!!!!)

For many, these are taking precedence over compensation, job security, and what they thought their legacy would be. For some, it’s short-term changes; for others, there’s no going back.

For some of these no-going-back stories, check out CBC’s article about people opting out of traditional work and making massive changes to their careers.

image of a yellow street sign that says Career ChangeFor example: “Now, Couture works as a yoga instructor and Reiki practitioner. At first, yoga was an easy way to support herself after leaving her career as a PSW — she was already certified to teach — but she’s found it allows her to remain an entrepreneur with control over her schedule. She also drives for Uber as a side gig and says that makes her more money than her full-time job as a PSW did.”

What if her employer knew that she was retraining? Could there have been a way to retain her and utilize her new skills rather than lose her?

Getting Ahead of the Problem (and Playing Catch Up)

It’s time to start asking:

  • What makes you happy at work, and is the most rewarding?
  • What fires you up as a person?
  • What strengths and knowledge do you want to bring to the role/team/organization?
  • What has changed about your values during these challenging times, and how has that impacted how you view your work?
  • Five years from now, what would you say about your role, the team, our organization and even our industry to believe it’s where you want to be as a professional?
  • Are you considering leaving, and if so, what might that look like if there were a way to bring that new knowledge to our team/organization?

In other words, this concept of the Stay Interview should be replacing (or augmenting) the Exit Interview process; when they’re out the door, it’s too late.

If the old adage, “people hate change,” is true, then maybe you’re one juicy conversation closer to keeping someone from having to make the leap because they feel they have no other choice for their lifestyle, well-being, and happiness. Now that is good for everyone.

Here are even more great ideas to help keep your best & brightest:

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Deb Rakonjac

Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

"Sarah nailed it!  She worked with the planning group to learn about the organization, the audience, the desired key messages and integrated it seamlessly into her keynote. Her energy was contagious! We received rave reviews of this portion of our event and Sarah was able to speak to all members of our organization in a way that motivated them to recognize others everyday. Our executives were extraordinarily pleased and integrated FROGging into their recent board meeting. Purolator is grateful to Sarah for dropping the pebble and we continue to see the ripples from this session across the organization. Working with Tami was phenomenal and the supports were easy to integrate to ensure the session went well. Thanks to you both!!"
Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

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