Why do I stay? when so many choose to leave our profession

Tami Chamberlain

Retention is always a hot topic in Communications Centers. I was curious how to keep good people from leaving and I started with interviewing myself :)

Experience of the District

  1. What would make me search for a new job? Searching for a new job is not one of my top priorities at this point in my life. However, I would begin a new career search if I suddenly became unable to perform my duties.
  2. What do I like most about my job and the work in providing emergency communications? This is an easy one, "the people". I love the people I work with and the people we serve.
  3. What do I like least about my job and the work in providing emergency communications? Another easy one, I lived on second shift for much of my career. Working the evening shift is difficult when all of your friends and family are out having fun. Thankfully, my co-workers were amazing and we had equally as much fun working together.
  4. How happy am I working here on a scale of 1-10, with 10 representing the most happy? I'll be honest, my scale of happiness at work is a sliding scale. Some days I love it, some days I don't. I guess that would make my rating a 7.
  5. What would have to happen for that number to become a 10? I would need to take some serious medication. Who is ever consistently that happy?
  6. When I think about employers, how does the District rate overall on a scale of 1-10, with 10 representing the best possible employer? This District does pretty well as an employer. The job is good, benefits better than most and I believe in our mission. I would rate it the District as an 8.
  7. What would it take for the District to earn a 10 in my mind? Better opportunities for advancement and increase in salary.

My needs as an employee

  1. Do I feel that I'm part of a bigger vision and mission? Why or why not? Yes, I do feel that I'm part of a bigger vision and mission. The communications field is constantly changing, education is key to keeping up with new technology.
  2. Do I believe that my work has meaning? How can we work together to make our work more meaningful? I believe my work has meaning. I'm not sure how we could work together to make our work more meaningful. That's the million dollar question.
  3. Is the District providing me with opportunities to grow and develop as a person and as a professional? What would improve my opportunities? The District does a tremendous job of providing me with professional opportunities. My co-workers are amazing at proving me with opportunities to develop as a person.
  4. Do I feel that I have the necessary control over my job to perform most successfully and productively? (giggle) No, however this is unavoidable.
  5. How well does the District focus on producing quality service for callers? What about the responders? The District does an excellent job of focusing on quality service for the callers. The District is working to focus more on the responders.
  6. Overall, how well do we walk the talk when we say that engaging and satisfying our responders and citizens needs is our highest priority? Great.
  7. Have I ever thought about leaving the District? If so, what caused me to consider leaving? Why did I decide to stay? Certainly. Typically I get this feeling when I'm working too much and not spending enough time doing the things I enjoy. I decide to stay because after a mental health break, I realize that life isn't that bad in a communications center.
  8. Have I actively job searched in the past year? Why was I leaving? No.
  9. Do I feel as if I'm a member of the "in-crowd", the employees who receive information as quickly as something changes? I've never considered myself as part of an "in-crowd". However, I am kept up to date on changes.
  10. Am I treated respectfully by my co-workers? For the most part, we all have our moments.
  11. What type of feedback would I like to receive about my performance that I'm not receiving now? From my supervisor? From my co-workers? I prefer for someone to talk to me about my performance, if I'm doing something that needs corrected. I never really cared for generic evaluations.
  12. Do I know what career opportunities I'd like to pursue within the District? Can I see myself accomplishing them here? I've reached my maximum potential at the District. I do see myself pursuing opportunities elsewhere upon my retirement.
  13. Do I respect the amount and kind of leadership that I receiving from senior managers? Yes, Jeff and John are both open, honest and kind.
  14. Do I trust the senior leaders? 100%

Compensation and Perks

  1. How well does my compensation stack up to competitively in the local market? Better than average.
  2. What would I like to see in the employee benefits package that is not currently offered? Earlier Retirement
  3. When I consider the employee activities, events, parties, team games, meals and snacks, and family events, which would I like to see continued? If the need occurred, which would be easiest for me to give up? I enjoy them all. I'd give up National Telecommunicator Week in a heart beat.

Final Thoughts

  1. Is there anything else that is important to me that wasn't covered?
  2. Do I have suggestions about how we can improve as an organization?


Created with images by TrendUp - "daisies flower spring"

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