No – not your ex-lover (just to clear that up) I’m talking about your EX aka Employee Experience!

Smart businesses are already ahead of the pack and really looking at ways to retain and attract their top talent. But what’s driving the talent away?

2018 is young and already I’ve had many conversations with candidates back from their summer break looking to move jobs because their EX is less than satisfactory. Here’s a snapshot of what I’m hearing are the 5 most common themes direct from the horse’s mouth so far this year: 

Salary under what the market is paying

Employees have easier access to this info than ever before, and are aware of their worth, especially in specialist areas. In one case an employee noted that salaries in his specialist department were 15-20% under market AND that there were plenty of jobs available in the local market. No surprise that departments turnover had been high through 2017 without any sign this was going to slow this year.

Brand perception, not all it’s cracked up to be

Working for a well-known brand does not always translate to a good employee experience. Some employers believe that because the brand is a household or recognised brand, merely having this on your CV justifies lower salaries, no benefits, long hours, no path to advancement and/or a toxic workplace culture just for the honour of working there. Throw in a new CEO hellbent on slashing costs and downsizing departments and things head south pretty quick.

End of the road

Some roles have limited scope – no arguing there, they run their course, once you’ve hit your ceiling it’s time to move on, everyone understands, wishes you well, no hard feelings and you get a great reference to boot. BUT - many candidates I’ve talked to are disappointed that they were sold a role based on opportunities, indicated by the employer, to learn and grow that never arose. Or that the split of the role was not what was promised and instead of doing something exciting and challenging to balance it out - its dreary and repetitive and in essence driving their career backward.

Not having the tools to do your job

Frustrations with lack of investment in new systems despite repeated promises is quite a common one. Running old computers and systems that keep crashing can fray even the calmest temperaments, but more so its being promised the support, mentoring, skills-training and resources that never seem to eventuate that will eventually drive the good staff out.

High staff turnover 

Obviously all of the above contributes and circles back to this – but high staff turnover is very demoralising to be a part of. New employees often don’t get the robust induction and support they need, and with decades of irreplaceable knowledge walking out the door on a frequent basis often means they are left to fend for themselves, and in a way feel set up to fail. Incumbent employees have signed more best wishes cards and inhaled more farewell cake calories than they care to remember.

And now, the good news!

It’s not all gloom and doom, as there's plenty of examples of businesses that are doing it right, and we’ll look at those another time. I predict EX will be the new buzzword (the Bitcoin of 2018 maybe?) and a lot of companies looking to stay relevant will be taking a closer look at the employer/employee relationship as a 2-way street more so than ever before out of sheer necessity. 

As usual, I’d love you to share/ add your thoughts and insights to the conversation, and catch you next time.