You’ve just spent a fair amount of time and money with your executive search firm identifying and vetting your new c-level executive. But the work isn’t over. You’ve made a significant investment in this person and the last thing you want is for them to leave in the next year or two. To ensure both you and your new hire are happy and productive, do you have an executive retention plan in place?
Today’s business environment is knowledge driven, with human capital playing an important role in your competitive advantage. At the same time, technology advancements have made job mobility and options easier than ever for job seekers. As we’ve discussed previously, replacing a senior level hire is costly.
Executive turnover is rarely predicated on a single event. It’s typically a combination of factors that happen over a period of time. Sometimes it’s necessary, whether it’s your decision or their decision. However, assuming you identified the right person initially, you want to keep as many of your executives for as long a you can. Below are three areas to continually monitor if you want to keep your executives engaged and happy.
Meet Individual Needs
When thinking of retention, look beyond compensation alone. It is rarely a driving factor for employees. Instead focus on their unique circumstances and needs. For example, healthcare is becoming more important along with flex time and vacation time. Executive are plugged in 24-7 and prefer flexibility to the traditional 9-5 schedule. At this level, employees know who they are and what they need and decisions to stay or leave are less organization based and more individually driven.
Provide Meaningful Work
The best executives are those that enjoy their work. They are both driven to succeed and lifelong learners. They expect challenges and opportunities to grow in every position. Making sure you understand their interests, goals, and aspirations will ensure you’re providing them with the meaningful work they are seeking. Maintain a regular meeting cadence to provide ample opportunity for feedback and direction on the work they are currently leading and work they would like to undertake.
Researching executive retention for his doctoral thesis, Rohan Carr of IRC found that relationships play an important role in retention. More than two-thirds of executives said that strong bonds with other executives is the main reason they stay with their organization. The ability to communicate freely and openly drives better decision making and respect among peers. Relationship building and communications are key leadership skills that can be identified early in the recruitment process.
Working with a retained executive search firm like Sheer Velocity helps increase your chances of finding the long term solutions to your executive hiring needs. If you’d like to learn more about our process or discuss a current need, please let us know.