Do you ever feel like you’re just the stepping stone for an employee with potential that is beyond your company or organization? Do you ever worry about losing an excellent employee or leader to your competitor? Do you ever feel like you cannot pay the ‘market rate’ for what your employee is worth, given their skills or qualifications?
Companies and organizations are not only competing for customers, but they are competing for employees too. How do you keep the good leaders from leaving? This is a concept that I rarely see discussed today, but I have a bit of insight on. Let me use an example:
The dean of my School of Business is phenomenal. He has his Ph.d in accounting, has real world experience and has experience in secondary education administration. He is involved in the community. He is relatable to the students of the department. He has a sense of humor, he can fundraise, he speaks well, carries himself well…he is the total package.
My school is small. We struggle to pay ‘market rate’ for most positions, especially those in the School of Business, our highest paid department. We have had three deans since I have been enrolled (4 1/2 years). This is simply due to the fact that we are a stepping stone school on the way to bigger and better schools that pay more money. The current dean is leaving after this semester. He has potential beyond what my school can financially afford. I do not fault him for leaving as it is a better move for him and his family, but it sure is sad to see excellent leadership leave.
This happens all the time with businesses and organizations. Often times companies feel the only option they have is to offer additional money to encourage people to stay; what a terrible misconception!! What companies fail to realize sometimes is that money is not the only reason people work. People like to have the feeling of accomplishment. People want to make a difference. However, people do not want to be married to their job.
After talking with various people within the School of Business, I realized that my university had only discussed the fact that they could not make up the salary difference between what my dean is currently making and what he will be making at his new university. There are other things that they could have offered him that he finds valuable. Employers should negotiate with talented employees looking for a better opportunity. I have made a list of things that employees find just as important as money:
- Flexible scheduling
- More freedom to make decision
- Promotions to less stressful positions
- Additional benefits
- The ability to work from home
- Company car/gas card/phone
- The ability to mentor
- The ability to volunteer in the community on company time
These “perks” do not fit every company, and I am sure there are many more that I am missing. Some of these things do not cost the company any additional money, but are valuable to the employee. Managers should understand that while we work to pay bills, we have other needs that our company can fulfill. Finding a balance is key and could be the difference between losing your talent and keeping it. Think outside the box while negotiating and ASK the employee on the verge of leaving what non-monetary perks could encourage them to stay.
Thanks for reading!