I totally agree with this article confirming that the days of extreme loyalty from both employers and employees has all but disappeared. Both parties are now focused on what works for them and so decisions are made to move on to the next career challenge or make redundancies or dismissals much quicker.
In respect of how you can improve your chances to retain the employees you really want to stay for the future, it comes down to two critical factors which you can assess and communicate in your recruitment process.
1. Forget whether your candidate has the skills to do the job. Clearly, this is important but more emphasis needs to go into their culture fit. Having shared your company's vision and what the journey will mean, does your candidate even want to come out of the station? Do they share your values? Have you identified the core behaviours that make employees successful in your business and does this candidate have them?
You need to be upfront, honest and set the scene as to what your cultural web looks and feels like. There is no point you or the candidate finding out that they don't fit after they start.
(Read our top tips for assessing a candidate's cultural fit here).
2. I love the idea of a career lattice. Career development has always been thought of as 'progressing up the ladder' - securing more impressive job titles or taking responsibility for a bigger P&L or a bigger team. The more sophisticated leadership development programs run by our clients forget this in favour of; sending an employee across their organisation to learn new things, sit in new teams and push them out of their comfort zone. All are meant to create a rounded professional and not a single discipline expert.
Both points need an upfront conversation with candidates to ensure that you really understand their career objectives and can deliver them rather than the relationship ending in disappointment after a few years.
Employees' desire to move through the ranks quickly is a challenge for many employers. Hindrances often stem from organizational barriers, ranging from the number of job openings at any given time to the promotional process. Citing a Deloitte University Press study, Peterson advises that companies jettison the notion of a career ladder, for one of a career lattice. Unlike a ladder, which has a distinct, upwardly oriented structure, a career lattice can be scaled vertically, horizontally, and in myriad other ways. "Sometimes there isn't another rung on the ladder," notes Peterson. "However, in organizations there are still ways to grow and to develop skills to help you be prepared to climb to the next rung of the ladder if and when it is available." Examples include doing special projects and lateral assignments.