Why ‘zero resignations' should come as a surprise

Why ‘zero resignations' should come as a surprise

Publish Date: 2022-01-07

Author: Victoria Bond

If you have a healthy relationship with the people in your team, a resignation shouldn’t come as a surprise; here’s why.

There are 3 reasons why a member of your team would resign;  

- Career development,

- Personal circumstances

- Personal engagement in the business or team.

As a leader, you have an opportunity to see a problem emerging in every one of these circumstances. As such you should see a resignation coming. To understand more about how you can identify these problems, let’s dig in a bit deeper. 


Career development

A key part of a leader's role is to actively manage the careers of their employees (for those who want it). As such, a well managed employee would stay in an organisation if presented with the right opportunities. 

Leaders can have a huge impact on the progression of an individual in their team and beyond. This could be through creating opportunities for them to progress. But it might also be knowing when the opportunities have run out.

If you’re working with your employees to understand what they want in their careers; you’ll know if you’re able to meet those needs. You’ll know if their compensation is enough for them; if the next role they want to move into is achievable and if there are enough opportunities to keep them feeling challenged and valued.

So when they get contacted via LinkedIn about a ‘great opportunity’, you’ll have a good sense of whether they are going to take the call or not. And whether that call might lead to a resignation.

There might even be times when you are expecting that resignation. You might even have been the catalyst. Maybe you’ve been transparent and said that you don’t think that new opportunities exist for them in the organisation in the future. Your work as a leader is done, they’re ready to fly the nest!


Personal circumstances

Good leaders should have an understanding of their employee’s circumstances outside of work. This includes their health, their family and their personal motivations for coming to work. It’s all part of taking care of the wellbeing of employees.

Having a good understanding of a person’s personal circumstances will help you understand if a resignation might be on the horizon. This is not about being intrusive into employee’s lives. It’s about understanding the whole person. So when Dave’s wife gets the big promotion in Scotland and they need to relocate, it isn't a complete surprise.

These types of resignations can still blindside you. People’s circumstances can change in a moment (hello lottery win!). But they can also be the most preventable. It’s possible to support employees through ill health, through caring responsibilities and even relocations, depending on the role.


Personal engagement in the business or team

The final reason why someone might leave an organisation is a big one. They just don’t enjoy it anymore. 

Maybe the organisation has moved on and they didn’t move with it, maybe they’ve changed and the organisation hasn’t. Maybe they’ve fallen out of love with the vision and don’t see their part in it anymore. Maybe their job is just not challenging them any more.

You should be able to get a feeling for an individual's personal engagement through open and honest communication. Having a strong relationship with your team will help you to understand where there might be cultural gaps opening up.

You can use tools such as employee feedback surveys to gain more insight. These can give you a sense of common challenges across a team and will help give you a starting point of where individual engagement might be waning.

If an unhappy employee has opened up to you about their personal engagement levels, it's an opportunity to have a conversation about whether it’s something that you can fix. If it isn’t, you can be honest and they can make an informed decision about their future. Again, when a resignation comes, it shouldn’t be a surprise.

Let’s be realistic, there is always going to be the occasional time you get caught out. Something you didn’t see coming. But maybe think about your team now, which of the above reasons is the most likely reason you’d end up with a resignation on your desk? Can you do something about it? If you can, go do it before it’s too late!


At Ten Space we can help you understand engagement levels in your team and capture individual feedback that helps you strengthen your team, reduce attrition and prevent surprises! www.tenspace.co.uk

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