This awful feeling somewhere in the stomach.
Yes, exactly the same you experienced last time when you got email announcing that one of your team leads was leaving. The same which kicks you every time you hear “we must talk now” from one of your team members.
You haven’t seen it coming.
Now, you suddenly are all motivated to get a raise for the guy. Everyone is. Hold on. It won’t change anything. You screwed it in far more places than just with salary. People almost never leave only because they want to earn more. Well, at least it is so in our industry.
My question is: do you even know why the guy is leaving? Yes, “they offered him better salary” and “he was looking for a new challenge” but you know, he sent them his resume in the first place. Do you know why?
And no, not because there was a better salary or a new challenge as there were nothing at that point of time. Nothing but frustration with your organization, that is. And you know, people don’t get frustrated only because the grass on the neighbor’s lawn is greener.
So do you know the answer?
Hint: people don’t get frustrated in a minute. It takes time. Months. Sometimes even years. Yes, you should have seen it coming.
This feeling in your stomach means two things: you’re losing fight for your people and you don’t even know why.
Now, you can do more of the same thing you already are doing (throwing money at people, anyone?) and you will be failing as you are already failing. But maybe, just maybe, it is good time to try different approach to people? Maybe it’s time to start paying attention to what they’re trying to tell you over and over again for at least a year already. Maybe it’s time to start keeping your promises.
Of course you can’t please everyone. Of course it will happen on occasions that you won’t be willing to give people what they want. But at least make it your own conscious decision. Then, if nothing else, you will see it coming.
If you’re losing a fight for your best people don’t blame economy, CEO, new competitor or anything else. It’s your fault in the first place.
And what does it tell you about a manager if he can’t keep his team and he is surprised every time his team member gives him a notice?