Have you ever known anyone who divorces and remarries over and over, or jumps from relationship to relationship in search for that dream partner? Only to find the same problems emerge, with different faces? Do you think jumping jobs could have the same effect? Imagine that the very job you have now could be another person’s dream job.
1. Examine Your Thoughts
Before jumping ship, ask yourself the main reasons you wish to leave. Do you have an intolerant boss or devious co-worker? Are work hours too inflexible? No matter the problem you have now, you can expect it to resurface at your next job. Only the faces have changed. Write down at least 3 personal reasons you want to leave and 3 ways to solve the problems that will make you stay. These are for you to keep your goals specific and on track, not to hand over to any colleague.
2. Speak Up
You can be sure your company is gauging the threat of a diminishing work force. You are a valuable asset. Once they’ve trained you, you become even more valuable to them — and other employers, and they know it. Find the best way to provide feedback to the decision makers who could make reasonable changes that you believe would make the work life easier on all staff. You are providing an inside voice, perhaps speaking for others too shy or afraid to speak for themselves. You are offering an inside view as to how your company can best retain staff with whom they’ve invested. The “What’s in it for them” is the best approach to selling your ideas.
3. Put it in writing
De-personalize your request. It can’t be just about you. Every company knows there is a growing subculture of staff looking for greener pastures. Outline 3-5 points that would improve the work environment not only for you, but for others on the fence. The focus should be on retaining staff in general vs. retaining you personally. You can get to your specifics at the end, using yourself as an example. Venture Up recommends that you prepare the written statement and do NOT email it. Bring your (1) hard copy to the in-person meeting with the decision maker.
4. Meet With Decision Makers
Whether you choose to meet with HR or your direct boss, you must be careful that you are not undercutting anyone. Egos at higher levels can easily bruise. Do not, for example, meet with the boss of your boss. If the boss is the problem, meet with HR. If you feel afraid to rock the boat, you have two choices: stay in your job and put up with it, or risk rocking the boat.
Enter the meeting with a bounce in your step. Smile and sincerely thank them for taking time out of their day to meet with you. Tell them you will keep it short and make eye contact with any colleagues in the room.. Eye contact is imperative. That is why Venture Up suggests you do not provide a hard copy of your points to your colleague since it would provide an easy way to avoid eye contact by reading instead of listening to your points.
As you review your points, speak slowly and clearly, pausing after each point to allow your colleague to assess what you’ve said and ask questions. Be prepared to elaborate and give concrete examples regarding the point you are trying to make.
5. Wrap up: When you wrap up the meeting, be sure to thank them again for taking time from their busy day. Casually let them know you will summarize the meeting in an email including all matters discussed, including action plans or a follow-up meeting if applicable. In this way you not only reinforce your points, but also relieve your colleague of making a summary. Conclude your email summary with something like, “Please let me know if you have any additional feedback or wish to clarify anything in the summary.”
Meetings with staff in higher professional levels is not easy for everyone but is imperative if managers wish to keep their finger on the pulse of their workforce. One way to help create a relaxed environment is to engage in fun, productive activities beyond the workplace. Venture Up offers creative charity programs to engage companies with the community as well as staff of all levels, as well as company-only games tailored to bridge gaps with leadership levels and staff, such as the Escape the Case game series. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888.305.1065.