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When and How to Fight for an Employee

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If you’ve ever experienced the following management scenario, you’re not alone: You’re happy with your staffing plan and you’ve finally found a happy balance being liked and being respected as an employer. Your teams will go to the ends of the earth for you, but they never seem burned-out out or resentful. You have just enough hands to handle your current workload and not so many that you’re paying workers to sit idle. You’re about ready to kick back and congratulate yourself when the worst happens…One of your star players walks into your office to give her notice. What should you do? Should you fight to keep her on board, and if so, how? Here are few factors to consider.

First, drop everything.

No matter what you’re doing or how important it may be, stop doing it and give this matter your full attention. You may have only minutes to act, and there’s still a strong possibility that your employee’s mind isn’t fully made up and you can still win her back. So hang up the phone, schedule a meeting with the employee (for right-now-o-clock), and get ready to review your hiring budget the minute the meeting ends.

Find out what she needs and find out what she wants.

A little empathy and situational awareness will give you some insight into what this employee needs and isn’t getting from you. But if empathy and situational awareness aren’t your strong suits, just ask. And listen closely to the answers. Phrase your question in a simple and straightforward way, like “Is there anything we can do to change your mind?” If the employee can’t answer on the spot, encourage her to think about it and get back to you whenever she’s ready.

You don’t have to leap to money right away.

Before you make an expensive counteroffer, evaluate what this employee brings to your organization and find out if you can offer something she needs that might come at no cost to you. If she needs to move forward and your company offers no room for advancement, consider increasing her responsibilities, providing more exposure to whatever she’d like to learn, expanding her benefits, or adjusting her job title.

To get respect, give respect.

In addition to wheeling and dealing in order to keep your employee on board, use your tone and your language to signal respect. Take advantage of this opportunity to let her know that her presence is valued and her efforts are appreciated.

After you’ve done all you can and your best counter offer has been declined, be careful not to burn any bridges. Let your employee go gracefully and extend both personal and professional support as she enters her next chapter. For more on how to increase retention and keep restless employees on board, contact the Little Rock staffing and management experts at Career Staffing Services.

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