, I wrote about the three reasons why employees leave: fun, learning and money. As the candidate market tightens, the reasons haven't changed, but allow me to make them more relevant by giving you fresh examples.
Your offices don't need to be filled with foosball machines, video game rooms or a rock-climbing wall to be considered fun. However, your people need to feel supported, appreciated and like a member of the family. Your company should have retreats and conduct team building exercises. It should celebrate good news such as new business wins and other significant milestones. Even providing perks that might appear petty like free snacks and office parties can offer substantial joy to your staff. If you want a happy culture, be sure that you and your managers are doing what's necessary to set the tone.
The most successful people are those who never stop learning and crave new challenges. Last year employees left established web players such as Yahoo! and AOL for acquisition or IPO targets such as Facebook and YouTube. Patrick Keane's departure proves that Google isn't safe from losing its top players, either.
Talented executives want to make a difference. They crave new challenges. Often they are seeking the opportunity to create a new business model. With the integration of video into online ads and the fusion of traditional advertising styles with radical new ways of reaching people in new media, the best employees not only want to put the pieces of the online integration puzzle together, they want to enhance the end picture, taking advertising options to the next level.
If your organization does not have the flexibility to let employees re-write the landscape, then consider smaller options. Even moving a person to another project can re-energize him and elicit fresh ideas to keep the person engaged.
Some may not believe this, but money is the slightest cause of employee vulnerability. Sure, a person may end up earning more at their new position, but it's usually not why they started looking. Our firm recently placed a sales superstar from a top site into a position with a start up. The candidate took a reduced base salary but is capable of making greater commission in addition to equity. However, fun and the challenge of leading something new was the key motivator in this person's decision to move.
Brandon Gutman is director of marketing and business development for Stephen-Bradford Search. .