Jumpers

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There has been a lot of talk about frogs lately but I’d like to focus my discussion on people that jump from one company to another doing the same job.

I’ve seen a lot of this happening in the IT Service Desk industry. When I participate in interviews, the first thing I look for on a resume is how long the candidate has worked for a particular company. If I notice people making jumps after spending a year (sometimes less) in an organization, it immediately raises a red flag for me.

I’m not saying that I’m immediately opposed to the idea of hiring that person, but I certainly want to know reason for their short job stints. Here are some of the frequently described reasons:

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#1 – Last In. First Out.
Retrenchment is a workplace reality. If you want to work for companies, you need to understand and come to terms that you can be let go at any time. This can be unfortunate to some when they’ve just started with the company (like a couple of months in) and then told that their services are no longer required due to a restructuring exercise.

I’ve been in a situation like this and I’m sure you’ll agree that it can be very demotivating. I don’t fault these individuals. If they have the right attitude, I have no qualms in giving them another chance. After all, one was given to me.

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#2 – Frequent Restructuring.
When you restructure your company annually, please don’t sell the idea that “Change is Constant” to your employees. Instead, own the fact that there is a real problem with the management of the company. In this situation, employees have the right to question their future and well-being in the company.

Think about it, when an employee goes through a restructure, it’s almost as if they are starting work at a new company, so why not do the real thing and get on with it. Company restructures are important (no denying here). There is no escaping Darwinian law. Just pace and plan it wisely. I’ve witnessed businesses lose stellar employees because there is simply no direction for them post restructure. In situations like these, I am thankful to companies that give people a 3rd chance.

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#3 – No Company Meets My Expectation.
Candidates don’t really tell you that. Unfortunately for them, it can be made pretty clear when they answer some tough questions during the interview.

These are the real “jumpers”. They look for quick and easy ways to get more money for doing the same job without necessarily aiming to be good at it. They usually don’t have any recognition or awards from their company stated in their resumes. Also, they don’t really invest in themselves (i.e. no learning and clear evidence of knowledge seeking). Whenever I meet these individuals during interviews, I try to get them to manage their expectations, calibrate their attitude and tell them I hope to see them again in the future under better circumstances (as subtle as I can because accepting one’s fault is a bitter pill to swallow).  

So, what kind of “Jumpers” do you face at the office?

Encourage your team and stop the “jumpers” by showing them their value and how their contributions make a difference. Click the banner below to find out more!

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2 responses to “Jumpers”

  1. Stefen Cheng says:

    Great write-up, totally get the frog references haha. But there are still many employees who insist to jump to get a quick raise, how do we address this issue?

    • Indy says:

      Thank you for your feedback Stefen. This is a long topic for discussion, but I’ll try to keep my response crisp. The harsh reality is that people need money now more than ever. In fact, some business bait employees from other competing organizations with the promise of higher salaries for the same job. “Jumpers” will continue to exist as long as this is the reality and we can’t blame them. What can we do? Offer competitive salary packages (not just the basic), have clear job descriptions and targets, provide access to training and mentoring, have career development plans, ensure there are means to reward and recognize good performance. Make good employees famous within the organization. Create opportunities to have honest conversations with your team. As a leader, make sincere efforts to know what’s on their minds. Have discussions with stellar employees on how to make work and the office better. If you say you’ve done all of this with no effect, time to examine company culture, leadership practices, direction, focus and transparency. Need more help? Feel free to enroll in my Art of Leadership Motivation program. Good luck!

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