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Five Major Reasons Employees Choose to Stay

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 21 July 2015

 Five Major Reasons Employees Choose to Stay


1 out 3 employees are seriously thinking about leaving their job.

I recently consulted to an international management consulting firm. The partners hire only the best and brightest. They pay their employees well and offer challenging work assignments.

However, they work their employees very hard, monitor their time closely, and demand that they excel at everything they do. The firm is known for its unwritten rule of "up or out." If you aren't a superior candidate for promotion, you're asked to leave. Needless to say, it is an extremely high pressure environment.

The problem is that many of their "keepers," (i.e., those they want to stay with the organisation) are voluntarily deciding to leave. The long hours and near impossibility of living a normal life outside of work are just too much of a sacrifice.


This is a problem for many organisations. Turnover, especially of good young employees, is extremely expensive. It often takes a year or two for new employees to learn the ropes. Losing a valuable employee represents a wasted investment of time and energy.


There are many ways to keep good employees.

We recently conducted a statistical analysis of the Discovery Surveys' normative database to identify the issues that correlate most highly with the intentions of employees to stay with their organization. In analysing the responses from more than 50,000 employees from all types of organisations, the following five factors emerged as the best predictors of whether people will stay with their organizations.

  • Enjoyment of the Actual Work

Those employees who enjoy their work activities and feel a sense of personal accomplishment are most likely to stay.

  • Communication With Supervisors

Employees want to feel respected and encouraged by their supervisors. Those most likely to stay receive ongoing performance feedback from their supervisors throughout the year, not just annually. Those most likely to stay also believe that their supervisors encourage them to make suggestions.

  • Provide High Quality Products and Services to Customers

Employees want to be part of a culture in which people really care about doing good work. They are more likely to stay if they believe their organisation is operating efficiently, is committed to providing high quality products and services, and makes it easy for their customers to do business with them.

  • Pride in the Work of the Organisation

Employees want to feel they are contributing to a cause that is important. Those who are proud of their organisation and believe their work contributes to the organisation's objectives are more likely to stay.

  • Optimism About the Future

Those who intend to stay with their organisations believe that management is doing a good job of planning for the future. They also believe that they personally have a good future with the organisation.


You don't have to run your company like a country club in order to keep good employees. You do, however, need to provide them with five things: a sense of personal accomplishment, good one-on-one communication from supervisors, a commitment to quality, a sense of pride, and confidence in the future.

About the Author: Bruce Katcher, PhD is President of Discovery Surveys, Inc. His firm conducts customized employee opinion and customer satisfaction surveys.

Tags:  APSO  communication  culture  employee retention  Employees  enjoyment of work  feedback  satisfaction 

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Unlocking a Productive Workplace

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 06 November 2014
Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2014

Unlocking a Productive Workplace

Productivity relies on engaged workers who are happy and confident in themselves, their environment and their abilities. As productivity rates continue to fall in South Africa it is increasingly important to focus on providing an environment that enables people to succeed.

Research shows that “Happy” employees are sick half as often, six times less absent, nine times more loyal, 31% more productive and 55% more creative. Can your business afford not to drive the happiness agenda?

Productivity can be unlocked with a few simple steps.

Step 1:  Trust your people

Sadly, many organisations still operate under the old “command and control” management style where individuals are treated like children. To truly empower people you need to trust them. Treat your employees as adults. Provide them with the freedom to operate but give them clear responsibility and you will see an increase in their personal happiness and associated productivity.

Step 2: Encourage entrepreneurial spirit

Embrace diversity in your business and encourage individuals to share ideas, suggest new ways of doing things and participate in decision-making. Whilst you don’t have to accept or implement all of these ideas, the opportunity to contribute and design their workplace will encourage and motivate your employees.

Step 3: Lead through Evidence-Based Management 

Time does not equal results. Focus on three core areas for managing individuals – quantity (results according to target), quality, and attitude. Reward positive attitude and hard work, not just ultimate results.

Step 4: Eliminate red tape

Bureaucracy, especially outdated red tape, frustrates everyone – employees, clients and suppliers. Review your processes and streamline wherever possible. Policy and processes should be kept KISSS: 

·         Simple  - easy to explain,

·         Short - quick to implement,

·         Sustainable - usable, long-term,  and

·         Sexy - interesting/exciting.


Step 5: Eliminate conflict or complaints culture


Negativity breeds negativity. Try to nip whingeing in the bud. Implement a policy that seeks to focus on solutions, not problems. Encourage employees to raise concerns but to do so with a counter-proposal or alternative suggestion, not simply a complaint. Ensure that you listen and have appropriate mechanisms to address employee concerns and to manage expectations, particularly if the “problem” is unable to be changed.


Tags:  APSO  apsogram  complaints  culture  productive workplace  productivity  red tape  trust  workplace 

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8 Strategies to Successfully Change Your Company Culture

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Updated: Friday, 16 May 2014

8 Strategies to Successfully Change Your Company Culture
By: Michelle M Smith


The current pace of change in business is unprecedented, and many leaders are looking to refine — or even overhaul — their cultures to better position their organisations for success. Change is never easy, but changing corporate culture needs to be approached thoughtfully and with resolve. Drs. Kevin and Jackie Frieberg specialise in culture, and the following strategies have been adapted from their work.

  1. Creating a new culture calls for new methods. Creating a new culture will be extremely difficult if you insist on doing it by playing with the old rules. Trying to change while still using the old rules is futile — the rules themselves are part of the problem.
  2. Champion the vision and re-channel the energy. When change happens, people get disoriented and fear and resistance take over. Start by communicating a compelling vision to focus employees’ attention. Give people something to aim at—be specific and avoid generalities.
  3. Make your early moves bold, dramatic, and unwavering. Culture change requires a unique combination of passion, courage, conviction, audacity, and determination. Your early moves must be strikingly bold, lightning fast, and out of character in relation to the old rules. You must gain momentum quickly, and employees need to see your resolve or you won’t overcome resistance.
  4. Surround yourself with talented, tough-minded non-conformists. Creating a new culture is not only about changing the rules; it’s about changing the rule makers. Surround yourself with people who are as passionate about the new vision as you are and are willing to stand up to the heat.
  5. Re-engineer the reward system to reinforce the behaviours you want. Culture change won’t happen unless people see a personal return on investment for behaving in different ways. If you don’t radically restructure how you reward people you’ll fuel the fires of resistance. Change what you celebrate, honour, and who you hold up as heroes. Devote your time to those change agents and vision champions who add value.
  6. Track progress, measure results, and hold people accountable. The cliché is true: You get what you measure and reward. Holding people accountable means paying close attention to what’s important. Like a rubber band, if you relax the pull of the new culture, people will revert back to old comfortable patterns. Tracking progress enables you to know where the resistance lies and where you should be allocating rewards.
  7. Remove obstacles and bureaucratic practices. You’ll gain respect and credibility by breaking the chains of bureaucracy. But bureaucracy is a formidable adversary — it’s the ball and chain of ‘the way we’ve always done it.’ Your employees will have a difficult time contributing to the new cause if they are shackled by the old rites, rituals, and rules.
  8. Establish concrete evidence and tangible results quickly through small wins. Tangible pay-offs fuel the fires of motivation and contain the skeptics. It’s hard to argue with success when you can measure it in more money, time saved, and percentages of re-work minimised. Advertise successes—many cultural initiatives fail because employees in the trenches don’t see or hear about positive results.

Michelle M. Smith is the Vice President of Business Development at Salt Lake City-based OC Tanner, an international appreciation company that helps more than 6,000 clients worldwide appreciate people who do great work through consulting, training, and creating customised award and recognition programs.


Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  conviction  corporate culture  culture  organisational culture  passion  strategy  tangible results  vision 

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