AWiB Updates Tids and Bits
Tids and Bits
08 February 2016

Making the right choice

On January 23rd, 2016 AWiB had its RTD session on the theme “Making the right choice”. Since the topic knocks on everyone’s door, members join together to discuss this very stimulating topic. We all were eager to start, to share our experience, to learn from one another and to truly find out the skills on how to make the right decision. We raised some questions that frequently run through our heads when it comes to making the right choice. Questions like, what is making the right choice? How can we make the right choice? Is there always the right choice?

Choice is a gift that is given to us by life; it’s a means to our freedom and we have the ability to act on it. The journey of our life is based on the choice that we make every day: whether we want to be the person we ought to be, whether to live our life with a mission or float, whether to use our mind adequately or not, whether to live abroad or not, to carry on our education or not, to get married and have children or not. The list goes on.


© iStockphoto vernonwileyEveryone respects Molly. Her team members are fiercely loyal, and they're highly successful – as individuals, and as a team.

By contrast, other leaders in the organization report that their people seem disengaged. They experience high staff turnover, and their results are often disappointing.

So, what does Molly do that other leaders don't?

To begin with, she regularly reminds her team members of the purpose of their work. And she knows that she's a role model for her team, so she demonstrates integrity in all of her working relationships.

Molly is a transformational leader. She sets high expectations, but "walks the walk" to demonstrate the standards that she expects. In this article, we'll explore what transformational leadership is, and we'll outline how you can become a transformational leader.


If you’re a rational human being, then you probably have a tiny voice in your head that tells you why certain things are possible and other things aren’t. Most of the time, this is a good voice that can keep you safe. “No, you can’t fly if you jump off this ledge,” the voice will say.

However, this voice can often go too far, actually keeping us locked up in a boring existence within our hobbit-holes! This is the voice we need to keep quiet if we’re going to turn life into an adventure, because it can derail us if we’re not careful.

Fortunately for you, I’m going to systematically and thoroughly destroy any argument this voice in your head might have, so we can shift the focus away from, “I can’t, because ...” and toward “Okay, this is my current situation, let’s fix it.”


Don't let top talent slip through your fingers!

Do you manage a team of organized, reliable and hardworking people? And do you feel you can leave day-to-day tasks in their hands, while you focus on more important things? This may sound like an ideal situation, but what would happen if these valuable team members left your organization and found other jobs elsewhere?

Your organization's success depends on retaining a skilled and talented team. However, it's all too easy to take people for granted, and it can often come as a surprise when someone decides to leave. Recruiting can be expensive, time consuming and stressful, so it's important to create an environment people enjoy and where they can thrive.

In this article, we'll look at some of the reasons why people decide to leave their organizations. We'll explore the potential costs of losing team members, and some of the ways you can keep your people happy, motivated, engaged, and excited about coming to work.

Why People Leave Their Organizations

It's normal for people to change jobs during the course of their careers and, of course, to retire at the end of their working lives. Forty percent of the working people that participated in a survey by Randstad, an HR services provider, say that they're planning to look for a new job within the next six months. Technology has made it easier for people to do this – a survey carried out by recruiting agency Jobvite shows that 69 percent of the employees who took part are checking out new opportunities every day on social media.

So why do people want to leave their jobs? A study by business consultancy AchieveGlobal has identified that the top three reasons are:

  1. Lack of recognition for their achievements.
  2. Insufficient compensation and benefits.
  3. Infrequent growth and development opportunities.

What Is the Cost of Losing Team Members?

Losing a team member is more than just an inconvenience. Research by Acas, a U.K.-based employment advice bureau, reveals that the likely consequences of a high turnover of staff are:

  • The extra cost of advertising, recruitment and training.
  • Missed deadlines and interruptions to workflow.
  • Higher levels of stress-related absence .
  • Other team members becoming unsettled and leaving.
  • Damage to the organization's reputation.
  • Poor customer service.
  • Lower knowledge retention.
  • Poor quality of production.
  • Damaged relationships.
  • Weaker financial performance by the organization.

From "Managing Attendance and Employee Turnover" Acas. ©2014. Reproduced with permission.

How to Retain Your Team Members

The key to retaining your workforce is providing an environment in which its members are engaged. In their 2009 report, "Engaging For Success," David MacLeod and Nita Clarke reveal that engaged team members are 87 percent less likely to leave their organization.

To keep your people engaged in their work, David K. Williams and Mary Michelle Scott, of U.S. software developer Fishbowl, suggest that managers adopt the "5 Rs" of good workplace relationships. They are:

1. Responsibility. Individuals want opportunities to develop at work, so give them responsibilities that allow them to grow and gain new skills . Provide them with training and development courses and, when possible, hire from within and give promotions to those who've earned them.

2. Respect. People need to feel appreciated and respected so that they can fully engage in their work. This includes offering everyone equal opportunities and avoiding discrimination. Communicate and consult with your team members so that they feel that they have a voice. Managers who respect their people can develop strong, productive and loyal working relationships with them.

Revenue-sharing. Sufficient compensation and benefits are an important contributor to how satisfied  your team members feel. Williams and Scott recommend linking part of their salary with the organization's performance. This can motivate  them to make a more personal investment in achieving the organization's goals.

4. Reward. Recognition  for a job well done is important and can even mean the difference between someone staying or going. Where appropriate, recognize individuals in front of their colleagues, host office and departmentmental parties, run service awards, take people out for lunch, and write handwritten thank-you notes. If you can do things that let your team members know that you appreciate them, you can boost their morale  and increase their desire to stay.

5. Relaxation Time. Everyone needs to relax  and recharge, so provide appropriate time off for vacations and significant events like births and funerals. When possible, offer flexible working hours, reduced workweeks, working from home , part-time or temporary working, or job sharing. When people take sick leave, remind them not to return to work until they're well, and allow for phased returns after long absences to ensure people's long-term health and wellbeing. Creating a Healthy Workplace  can help to increase your team members' happiness and productivity.

From "Five Ways to Retain Employees Forever" by David K.Williams and Mary Michelle Scott. © 2012. Reproduced with permission.


Be sure to focus on the specific factors that are causing high turnover in your team or organization. For example, if you work in a high-stress  environment, you might need to find ways to make the workplace more fun.

Retain people by creating an open and honest culture where they're comfortable enough to share how they feel. Here are some additional ways you can promote this kind of environment:

  • Provide mentoring opportunities. Give your team members the opportunity to learn something new or to pass on their own expertise. This can help them to build relationships, grow in confidence, and learn more about your organization.
  • Offer work shadowing. Encourage your team members to take an interest in other parts of your organization by arranging work shadowing sessions. This provides them with a "taster" of what people in other departments do, and can even inspire them to think about different career paths within the organization.
  • Encourage people to give and receive honest feedback. Provide your team members with regular feedback sessions so that they can voice their opinions on issues that matter to them, as well as take on board those of other people.

Remember that everyone's different, and that what engages or retains one team member won't necessarily work for another. Get to know the members of your team and be flexible in your approach. Be aware that their wants and needs may change over time, so be open minded, and regularly review the ways that you engage and retain them.

Clues That People Want to Leave

Researchers Gardner and Hanks studied the results of three surveys that looked at the behaviors of people who wanted to leave their jobs. They found that team members who are likely to leave can often demonstrate the following behaviors:

  • Declining productivity.
  • Reluctance to commit to long-term projects.
  • Becoming more reserved and quieter.
  • Losing interest in advancement.
  • Losing interest in pleasing their boss.
  • Avoiding social interaction with management.
  • Performing the minimum amount of work.
  • Reluctance to participate in training and development.


A common time for people to resign is within the first few weeks or months of a new role, if they've struggled to settle in or if it hasn't turned out to be what they were expecting.


To find out more about developing your team members so that they remain motivated to perform at their best, see our article on Talent Management .

What to Do When People Resign

It can be difficult to know exactly why people decide to leave. This is because they don't always provide their real reason, or perhaps they're not comfortable expressing criticisms of their manager, colleagues or the organization. There are several things you can do to learn more about why people want to leave, why they want to stay, and how they really feel about working with you. They are:

Retention interviews. Otherwise known as "stay interviews," these one-on-one meetings give you a chance to learn more about why individuals want to stay in your organization before they are tempted to leave. For more information on why people stay, see our article, Job Embeddedness .

Confidential attitude surveys or Employee Satisfaction Surveys . You can use these to find out how satisfied your team members are and whether they have any intention of leaving. They can also be sent to former employees shortly after their departure, or instead of or alongside an exit interview.

Exit interviews . These are often used to ask an individual about his or her reasons for leaving. HR organization CIPD suggests that the interview shouldn't be conducted by the manager of the person leaving, or by anyone who'll be involved in writing his references. Be sure to explain the purpose of the interview at the start and that confidentiality will be maintained.

Break down the exit interview into sections. Start by discussing the job advertisement and how well he thought it matched his role. Move on to the recruitment process, his induction, and then onto his training. This can help you to identify the triggers for his disengagement.

You can use the information you've gathered during these activities to identify what makes people happy in your organization, what makes them want to leave, and what areas you can improve to encourage them to stay.

How to Retain People Once They've Resigned

Unfortunately, this is difficult. Most HR experts agree that once you've discovered why your team member is leaving, there's not much you can do to change her mind. If she's leaving because she's unhappy, and you persuade her to stay with counter offers, she may disrupt the rest of the team and is more than likely to resign again in the future. Mutual trust can be difficult to regain.

A better idea is to let her go gracefully and retain a good relationship. If you keep calm, thank her for her work, and wish her well, you may be able to recruit her again in the future.

Key Points

Members of your team may decide to leave their jobs for any number of reasons, including career advancement or retirement. For many people, however, it's a lack of recognition, opportunity or compensation that drives them to "seek pastures new."

Losing team members can be costly. Advertising, recruitment and training can be expensive, and interruptions to workflow can be unsettling for their colleagues. This can affect your organization's financial performance and reputation.

Fortunately, there's a lot you can do to make sure that you retain the smart, resourceful and reliable people that you want to keep on your team. The "5 Rs" of workplace relationships – responsibility, respect, revenue sharing, reward, and relaxation time – can help you to maintain a happy, engaged, loyal, and productive workforce.

Recognizing the common behaviors of people that might want to leave can help you to pre-empt and perhaps prevent their departure. Having exit interviews and running surveys can help you to identify the root of their dissatisfaction and do something about it.



Stock markets around the world are off to their worst start to a year, ever. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the broader S&P 500 index are down around 5% since the start of 2016. Why is this happening? The answer is complicated, but understanding what stocks are and why they have a price will shed some light on the matter.


Imagine a world in which we all shared our gifts and bounty with each other rather than focusing on self-preservation.

There are many variations on the story of stone soup, but they all involve a traveler coming into a town beset by famine. The inhabitants try to discourage the traveler from staying, fearing he wants them to give him food. They tell him in no uncertain terms that there’s no food anywhere to be found. The traveler explains that he doesn’t need any food and that, in fact, he was planning to make a soup to share with all of them. The villagers watch suspiciously as he builds a fire and fills a cauldron with water. With great ceremony, he pulls a stone from a bag, dropping the stone into the pot of water. He sniffs the brew extravagantly and exclaims how delicious stone soup is. As the villagers begin to show interest, he mentions how good the soup would be with just a little cabbage in it. A villager brings out a cabbage to share. This episode repeats itself until the soup has cabbage, carrots, onions, and beets—indeed, a substantial soup that feeds everyone in the village. 


Our world is becoming colorless, odorless and tasteless, at least in my eyes. The essentials for living such as love and compassion are slowly disappearing. Among all different particulars “Religion” is becoming an element for division and a reason for today’s war and conflicts. Yet we all are in a deep friction with our thoughts, perceptions, and interest focusing on the external rather than the internal. For most of us Religiosity or Spirituality plays the role for our existence. But what exactly do we know about the subject? Is there a difference between the two? Where do we fall? Or are we just following what we follow for the sake of belongingness to some institution or group? Reflecting on such questions is very significant and AWiB for the last RTD of 2015 brought us a marvelous self-discovery and provoking topic.


When you're kind to others, you'll be a happier person as a result.



IMAGE: Getty Images

There's every reason in the world to be kind to others--your co-workers, your friends, your neighbors, and everyone you meet. However, recent studies show that when you are kind to others, you will benefit too.

According to research conducted by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, psychology professor at University of California, Riverside, when students were assigned to do five random acts of kindness per week for a period of six weeks, their levels of happiness increasedby 41.66 percent.

Being kind has a profoundly positive effect on happiness. So when you make kindness a habit, you'll be happier as a result. Here are seven ways to do just that.


by Madisyn Taylor

People you feel drawn to reflect your inner self back at you, and you act as a mirror for them as well.

When we look at other people, we see many of their qualities in innumerable and seemingly random combinations. However, the qualities that we see in the people around us are directly related to the traits that exist in us. “Like attracts like” is one of the spiritual laws of the universe. We attract individuals into our lives that mirror who we are. Those you feel drawn to reflect your inner self back at you, and you act as a mirror for them. Simply put, when you look at others, you will likely see what exists in you. When you see beauty, divinity, sweetness, or light in the soul of another, you are seeing the goodness that resides in your soul. When you see traits in others that evoke feelings of anger, annoyance, or hatred, you may be seeing reflected back at you those parts of yourself that you have disowned or do not like.


Language is powerful. The words we use drive the deeds we do. 

Call a condition a problem and you get to reply to it from the position of a victim. 

Speak an excuse, and you get to deliver your power to it, sometimes for a lifetime. 

Words can destroy people's confidence, provoke their greatness, electrify your performance and free entire nations. 

Maybe two of the best ones to recite to automaticity so they become a part of your vocabulary are... 


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