"You need to talk to your employees often about their skills, their experience and their overall employability, not just at your company but at your competition and beyond. How marketable are they? You know they're thinking about these things, and you want to present yourself as caring about them, their personal success now and in the future. Do you want them to have these conversations on their own? Or do you want to help them progress?" Kropp says.
While this might seem detrimental to a company's interest at first, Kropp explains that, contrary to popular belief, managers who have these conversations see greater engagement, loyalty and longer retention in their workforce.
"The reality is that your employees are already looking at these opportunities and options, no matter what you do and do not say. It's so much better to acknowledge that and say, 'We understand you have other options, but this is what we can do to help you grow, learn and keep you engaged,'" Kropp says.
The best times to have these conversations aren't just around annual performance reviews, either. Kropp says that most employees say, anecdotally, that they start thinking about career changes and other options around the holidays, before vacations and around their birthday each year.
"People tend to take their vacations right around now and in August, so this is peak time for you to address these issues before they go away for a week or two and come back determined to leave. Talk to them about their career, what they want to do, where they want to go and how you can help them achieve that," Kropp says.
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