As search consultants, we are always talking to our market’s Top Performers and High Achievers. Key to our role is to get people to leave their current job and move to our clients business.
As such, we need a deep understanding of the motivation for a person to leave. There has to be a positive reason why a person will leave their job that’s not just dangling a carrot. We have to get under the skin of the job to understand what will push them away!
So here is the list, in order of what will motivate Top Performers to leave their job.
This is the most powerful push factor. If a person doesn’t get on with their boss or with someone else they have to report to in carrying out their duties then they will not be very happy. This is by far the easiest person to entice away. Just imagine if you had a poor relationship with your boss. With little or no trust, you feel you are always being watched, micromanaged, undervalued in the team. Need I go on! You don’t have to be best friends, actually it’s often when there is a friendship that the working relationship suffers most. But there must be mutual respect, trust and honesty.
Work Content and Challenge:
After reporting relationship people like to feel they are achieving something, that what they do counts. Wanting to make a difference and contribute is essential to a persons well-being at work. Top Performers like to be stretched and tested, challenged by what they are doing so they feel accomplished. The first answer I get when I ask what a person wants to see in their next job is Challenge. I know it sounds cliché, but there it is, this IS what people want.
I would add recognition to this as well, it isn’t just about their contribution. Top Performers really want to be appreciated for for what they achieve, the proverbial pat on the back goes a very long way to keeping people happy and motivated.
When you bring someone into your business you need them to do a job. Normally you want the person to be put a few years into the job, especially if it’s critical. You invest time in training and getting the person experienced so you need a return. Mostly people understand this but want to know you have an eye on their future because you can be sure they do. Where will the job take them, what next, is there a natural growth in the role. Will they develop and be able to take on more ownership and responsibility. This is one reason why you might be better off getting someone stepping up into the role as opposed to side stepping.
Peer group and the environment:
Peer group speaks for itself really. You don’t get on with the people you work with then you are not happy. It’s not the biggest consideration and many people can put up with working for a team that has an amount of friction. The environment includes the people you work with but also the physical environment as well. The travel, commute and how much time is spent working away from home. All these can tip the balance and your Top Performer is off.
Last and normally least, Money:
Well I expect you’re not surprised that money isn’t the biggest push factor, but perhaps it’s a little surprising that is 5th on this list. Honestly, over the last few years with more people seeing wages frozen, bonuses not being paid, benefits reduced, then it IS high on a lot of peoples mind right now, although with the current Corona Virus Crisis, Money is maybe stepping back in priority again.
However for most of the last few years the money motivator has been offset by ‘better the devil you know’ argument. That argument has less impact recently but while money is still a motivator, it is the easiest one to deal with, the counter offer!
Money maybe only number 5 on the list but part of not providing pay rises in recent years has left people feeling undervalued and taken for granted. Playing straight into the hand of the highest motivator.
All this aside, Top Performers are normally paid their worth.
Of course, these are also the reasons people will want to join your business and stay, so when you are looking at retention these are exactly the points you need to be considering . However as I mentioned the push motivation is always greater than the pull!