Do Your Employees Know to Ask?

February 24, 2022

During this Great Resignation, many employees, especially earlier-career folks, are simply taking new jobs instead of asking for what they would need to stay.

We have a new program for young women and people of color in product and UX and I was speaking to one of the members – we’ll call her TJ.

Initially, TJ reached out for help negotiating an offer for a new job.

I said, “I’d be happy to help, but first I want to ask you a question: do you like your current job?

“Yes, I LOVE my job and my boss, but I can’t stay,” TJ said.

I asked why not.

“I’m being underpaid and some changes are happening that mean I won’t be able to keep reporting to my current boss,” she said.

I then asked her if she’d stay if they paid her more and kept her reporting to her current boss.

“Absolutely, but that’s not possible – I know they won’t be able to pay me more,” she said.

I asked her again *if* it were possible whether she’d prefer to stay.

“Yes, but again I know it’s not possible,” she said.

I explained to TJ that it’s not her job to decide what may be possible, her job was simply to ASK. Her boss may not give her what she wants, but she should certainly ask.

Eventually, with some skepticism and fear, she agreed.

When TJ asked, the boss did not hesitate. 

“Absolutely, YES,” he said.

She then turned down the job offer and called me in delighted shock.

The question is: how many of your recently resigned (and valued) employees would have stayed if they had known they could ask you for what they want?


P.S. Below…some silliness for a somber day.

Yes, I’m still a little kid at heart.

About the Author

Phyl Terry

Phyl Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, Inc., launched the company’s flagship leadership program – The Councils – in 2002 with a fellow group of Internet pioneers from Amazon, Google, and others. Thousands of leaders from the Internet world have come together in the last 15 years to learn the art of asking for help and to support each other to build better, more customer-centric products, services, and companies.

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