5 Reasons Companies Fail to Retain Human Capital

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A few weeks ago, I advertised the need for 5 ABM’s on LinkedIn, to a humbling response. At the moment we’ve narrowed down and hired 4 of the hundred’s of applications we received. In one week of interviews with each and every candidate, one thing was very clear to me … monetary rewards have finally become a secondary priority and that even some of the most respected companies mistreat their employees. Without dragging it out to much, I’ve created a list of the most common reasons or company traits that compel disloyalty towards the employer and the interest to jump ship:

1. Absence of Accountability
One of the applicants, a current employee for KESC in marketing communication, spoke of the absence of senior managements’ insights, observations and suggestions midway projects being assigned to junior and senior associates. Not doing so send a clear message of no accountability in terms of project modalities. Hard workers want to be held accountable and asked about the progress or issues. As a manager you should do this without interfering with the work being carried out and maintain regular touch points.

2. Absence of Open Minds
An applicant from Colgate Palmolive has reached the level where giving ideas and suggestions are avoided simply because her seniors do not want to execute in line with the feather dusted vision set out in the company. What this means is saying we want to achieve X and aligning resources or projects to do the exact opposite. Furthermore, she laments their adaptation for social media and digital augmentation was tedious to the point of being useless after the competition gained a months head start.

3. Absence of Vision/Mission
Again, this was common with far too many executives working for an agency or company that says lets do this but goes around and applies another tactic.

4. Saturation of Bureaucracy
No one likes rules that make no sense, which eventually creates disenchanted employees. As manager you need to involve key players in the rule making process and do so across functions so halted work can be avoided. Being ordered to follow orders ‘just because’ encourages top talent to frantically search the exit path.

5. Saturation of Apathy
Poor project assignments, weak performance reviews and a disinterest in career development. Blame this on weak senior leadership or the off hand approach towards HRD but this was one area I’d say 90% of applicants felt their company lacked in. Giving projects that no one has interest in or shows no capabilities towards shows that as a manager, you don’t know the strengths of your team players. Weak performance reviews means you are giving the best feedback on how something could have been done better and where said employee truly excelled. And finally, not sitting down at least once every quarter to discuss the career development suggests that as a manager, you don’t care if your subordinates stay around for the long haul.

Take some time to bring the change, the problem could be you.

Sahlique Sultan is Managing Partner of N'eco's Natural Store & Cafe and holds a masters degree in sustainable business management from the American University of Paris.