Employee poaching is a not-so-pleasant reality for businesses losing top gems and a pleasant one for the receivers. However, as a successful business, you don’t have to constantly live afraid of your competitors poaching employees from you, as you can protect your top performers from poachers by giving them reasons to stay aboard.
By and large, employees hop jobs for either one or a combination of reasons like higher compensation, better perks, and aligned growth opportunities. Rarely do an employee switch companies for any other reason. Yes, stagnancy and lack of satisfaction contribute to some switches, but such issues never surface in companies with adequate career advancement opportunities.
Knowing the whys, now it’s time to move to the hows and discuss how to deal with employee poaching and protect your team from falling like a set of dominos.
The simplest way to stop competitors from poaching employees from your business is to keep employees feeling valued, cherished, and content and offer them what they deserve, or a poacher will see what you can’t and lure them to their side with a better package. Moreover, many employers wait for signs and signals from employees, but it is a dated ploy and ensues trouble in today’s highly competitive business arena.
A better trick is to see the employee’s value for yourself and up compensations and benefits before it is too late. Further, when an employer timely re-evaluates and improves the package without request, its positive impact on employee satisfaction and contentment doubles.
Calling the team a family is inadequate to curb employee turnover or stop your competitors from poaching employees. It is essential to listen to employees’ concerns and do the needful to resolve them. Yes, it is not always possible to change company-wide policies for a handful of employees, but still conducting one-on-one sessions with unhappy ones and helping them see your side helps.
Moreover, if you think the employees feel uncomfortable sharing their views or going against the system, solicit anonymous feedback, as it helps understand the shortcomings in your culture and implement the fixes naturally. Remember, the goal must be to resolve the issues, not to know who or how many face it.
Top performers perform exceptionally for a reason, and it is often the drive to learn and grow better. No two employees are alike, and though, compensation and benefits help, it isn’t enough for some. The best ones crave vertical progress, and until you share the way up with them, the odds dictate they will jump ship and join a force that does.
Helping employees advance by giving them new roles and responsibilities aligned to their skillset helps stop a competitor from poaching employees who move your business up. Moreover, you cannot expect every employee to stay with you for comfort. Some, especially top performers, hate it, as they know growth occurs outside their comfort zone. Thus, knowing who wants what and providing better growth opportunities to employees help.
At times, there is nothing you can do to keep other businesses from poaching employees, as you can’t change hearts by force. However, you can use a non-solicitation agreement to curb the damage. These limit the employee from using your contacts, clientele, or customers to build a new business or benefit your competitor.
A non-solicitation agreement is quite common in niche markets, where the edge dictates success and failure more than anything else. So, use it to curb the damage and ensure your business doesn’t lose clients with every lost employee.
Like non-solicitation, the non-disclosure agreement or NDA limits the employee from sharing trade secrets, sensitive data, or confidential information with others. These contracts outline sensitive and confidential information, so there are no gaps in understanding, and your business data remains safe. However, no NDA is applicable for life, and they expire after a certain period, say, five years, from the time you separate ways.
Even though NDA doesn’t stop your competitor from poaching employees, it contains the damage and ensures your business stays afloat.
So, we discussed how to deal with talent poaching and ensure you don’t lose top performers. What about the contrary? Don’t you want to gain an edge and cripple your competitors by poaching their top performers?
Well, if you do, it is okay, as poaching employees is not illegal. However, be ethical about it and play by the rules. Don’t encourage anyone to breach their contracts or violate the terms, as it could push you into legal trouble and up the odds of your employees doing the same with you.
In a nutshell, stopping competitors from poaching employees is not impossible, and creating a culture where employees feel valued is often the cure. Further, it is not illegal to poach employees, so poach if you must but do so ethically.
Read more: Creating a People-First, Human-Centric Workplace Culture
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