NightA new poll from Right Management reveals that 86 percent of employees intend to actively seek a new position this year.

The recovering economy has renewed job confidence, which inspires career mobility. If employees can find clear paths for advancement, training, and learning opportunities in their current careers, you can expect they will be more likely to jump ship.

How do you keep your employees engaged through training? Here are a few tips to help retain those ambitious employees who might have wandering eyes:

1. Conduct “Stay Interviews”

If you’re asking employees what it would take to get them to stay during an exit interview, you’re already too late.

In a TINYpulse survey, nearly one in five responses insinuated that not encouraging employee suggestions puts organizations at an innovation disadvantage.

Regardless of whether or not you suspect an employee is looking to leave your company, it’s a good idea to conduct stay interviews with everyone. Regularly accessing your employees’ thoughts on their careers can help you to help them continue to find satisfaction in the work they do.

Ask employees what some of their career and personal development goals are. Inquire whether there is anything they wish for that they are not getting in their current role. If an employee requests something you cannot provide, such as a raise or promotion, explain to them what they need to do to get that raise or promotion.

Then, talk about what else you can give that employee to make them happy. Look for unconventional rewards that you may be able to give them, such as a mentor or better work-life balance through the option to telecommute.

Some managers avoid this conversation because they fear the conflict of being unable to make an employee happy. But, if you don’t know your employee is unhappy or why they are unhappy, you won’t have the opportunity to recover them at all.

2. Match Employees With Mentors to Learn New Skills

When tasks become rote or boring, a job can lose its luster, nudging employees to begin looking elsewhere — if only to feel inspired again.

If you notice employees beginning to drift off into disengaged states, provide them with the opportunity to learn new skills. The skills doesn’t necessarily need to relate to employees current roles; they could be skills that may be helpful to their careers later on.

For example, if Frankie wants to learn Final Cut Pro, but he works in the scriptwriting department of a production company, he could shadow someone on the editing team to for a few hours each day until he feels comfortable using the program. Frankie will be more excited to go to work everyday as he looks forward to learning about something that interests him. Also, Frankie will become equipped to help the editing team if they need a few extra hands.

Employees notice when you show you care about their own personal development rather than just the advancement of the company.

3. Make Work Meaningful

Employees value meaningful work over retention initiatives, according to Deloitte’s Talent 2020 report. The large majority of respondents (88 percent) who indicated their company uses their skills effectively planned to stay with their current employer, while only 57 percent whose skills are not well-used indicated they would stay.

One way to ensure meaningful work is to allow employees to use their skills to help other employees learn. Encourage experts in specific programs your company uses to create video tutorials or document guides that can be shared with other employees who wish to learn those programs.

If your experts are better at instructing others in real time, arrange for one-on-one meetings between trainers and trainees. Meetings don’t necessarily need to take place in person, thanks to tools like instant messaging and video chat.

Employees who are empowered to share their knowledge with other employees feel more valued because they are playing an integral role in someone else’s career life, giving their own career more meaning.

4. Don’t Let Your Superstars Go Unnoticed

Your star employees may grow weary of the effort they are putting into training others if doing so is a thankless job. To ensure your best trainers are getting the recognition they deserve, use a feedback mechanism that allows trainees to provide feedback about their training experiences.

This will not only provide tangible data to show trainers they are making a difference, but it will show you each of your employees’ skill sets and strengths, allowing you to make informed decisions regarding who to promote or pair with new hires.

Employees leave organizations for many reasons, most unknown to employers due to a lack of communication. Not knowing why employees leave both robs managers of the opportunity to fix the cause and ultimately hinders a company’s progress. Talking to employees and asking for feedback early on is the first step toward mitigating — or preventing — this damage.

Don’t assume it’s always about money either. Employee unhappiness most often stems from a sense of purposelessness in their role or a lack of a clear career path. If employees have the learning and development opportunities they seek at your company, they’ll be less likely to look elsewhere.

What are some methods you’ve used to retain and reengage employees? Have they been effective? Share with us in the comments below!

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