The PR industry has two significant challenges—a high level of staff turnover and a strong demand for a multi-skilled staff. Last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found the number of people voluntarily quitting their jobs far exceeded those released by companies. According to a December 2010 Right Management survey, 84% of respondents intend to actively seek a new position in 2011, and another 11% are networking or updating their resumes; with only a handful remaining at their current job.
So why do employees quit? Opportunities, salary, challenges and growth are all common reasons. Perhaps one of the main reasons though, is poor management. Because having a good manager can actually help minimize all those other reasons.
Studies have shown that talented employees will quit a job due to the relationship with their manager. Selecting the best people for key management roles, rewarding good management and constantly training managers, an organization can create a good work environment and ensure a low employee turnover.
There are things managers cannot change. They can’t grant career moves or more pay easily. But employees thinking about leaving can often be retained by other means. If they feel genuinely valued and appreciated by their manager they will feel a stronger sense of loyalty. By giving them more interesting work and learning opportunities, many employees who might leave will stay around, at least a while longer.
Deep communication is the real secret of employee retention. Career satisfaction is critically important to employees and they need someone who will listen supportively to their hopes and concerns. This needs to be the manager, not someone in HR, because the manager-employee relationship is critical to long term employee retention.