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Why talented employees leave jobs

Few things in business are as costly and disruptive as losing key employees in your organization. This rings true especially for the Roaring Fork Valley, where the talent pool is limited purely from a numbers standpoint.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average turnover rate is close to 9 percent per year, but it is more than double that in a seasonal resort community like Aspen, Basalt and the lower valley. So what is it that drives personnel to the next-best job, and how can you retain their much-needed talent?

Lack of advancement

There are a finite number of “upper level” positions in the valley —­ it’s simple mathematics. But in order to keep smart people engaged and excited about their work, they need to be influencing decisions, solving problems and making a bigger impact. This traditionally comes with promotions but also can be accomplished with evolving job descriptions and responsibility. There may not be an advancement available, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stimulate development and encourage growth.

No Recognition

The best leaders don’t take credit ­— they give it. A simple pat on the back or “job well done” goes a long way in terms of the motivation and productivity of individual employees — not to mention the overall morale of an organization. When employees get positive feedback, they feel more emotionally connected to the leaders and the company, and they thus are less likely to jump ship.

The Hunt for Better Compensation

The desire to make more money is a very common cause for employees to leave their jobs. Whether they can actually secure a new position with a higher compensation package is yet to be proven, but the yearning is ever-present in a valley with an incredibly high cost of living. A study by WorldatWork, the Hay Group and Loyola University found that 83 percent of organizations will pay key employees above the going market rate, and 73 percent say this is an effective retention strategy. Obviously this has to work with the bottom line, but if it costs approximately 50 to 200 percent of an employee’s annual salary to replace them, the extra compensation could be well worth it in the long run.

Confusing or Uninspiring Organization

Erika Anderson, a Forbes magazine contributor and nationally known leadership coach, believes this is one of two reasons people leave organizations, period. If you are clear about what you want to accomplish as an organization and enlist the support of your staff to help bring that vision to life,­ people will stay and thrive.

Kathryn Consoli is president of Hot Jobs. More information is available at http://www.970hot jobs.com.


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