Finding employees who will be a good fit for your company isn’t easy, so when you do hire someone who does stellar work, you’ll want to keep them on your team as long as possible. Replacing departed employees isn’t just time-consuming — it’s also pricey. It can cost your company 30–50% of an entry level employee’s salary to replace them; that cost goes up even more for senior employees. Good employees leave their jobs for a variety of reasons, but some of them are entirely in your hands. As a leader, your job is to ensure that good employees feel supported, encouraged, challenged, and rewarded. If you want your great employees to stick around, be sure to avoid these common management pitfalls.
A lack of recognition
Many employees cite inadequate salaries as a reason for leaving, but you’re not always going to able to offer raises. So what else can you do? As it turns out, sometimes it’s the little things that count the most. A Globoforce survey found that 68% of employee recognition programs had a positive impact on retention. Think about it: everyone likes credit for a job well done. Consider something as simple as a thank you note or a gift card after a team member completes a big project — or even a company-wide email acknowledging a job well done.
Think back to some of the best and worst bosses you’ve ever had. Odds are that one thing the worst bosses had in common is that they were almost impossible to please. If employees are given vague directions, or their bosses aren’t happy with anything they turn in, eventually they’ll get tired of playing a game they can never win.
Sometimes fixing this issue can require working with department heads who don’t always have the strongest managerial skills, but it’s crucial to set clear goals on each project, hold employees accountable for meeting those goals, and make yourself available when they need support. This approach can do wonders for employee retention… and productivity.
No feedback loop
Even if you can’t do something to recognize every great employee accomplishment, it’s still important to regularly let employees know how they’re doing—employees are more engaged at work when they regularly interact with their managers. Employees want to know that someone is paying attention and that the work they’re doing matters. Reliable communication from a superior can help an employee feel like a valuable member of the company, and it’s easy enough to do: setting up weekly or monthly in-person check-ins, scheduling regular calls, or even sending emails to highlight your employees’ strengths and offer your suggestions for how they can achieve their goals can help your staff understand what progress they’re making. Remember, feedback is a two-way street: make sure that you establish clear communication channels so that employees feel comfortable and confident sharing their feedback with you, too.
No opportunities for growth
Your employees chose their career because they saw a future in it. Of course not everyone will end up in the cushy corner office (nor will everyone want to). But most employees will want to feel like their role offers an opportunity for growth, whether it’s a managerial role, an individual contributor with greater responsibilities, or a mentorship. The problem is that there’s a lack of communication between employees and leaders and many employees lack an understanding of what they have to do to get to where they want to be.
You don’t have to give employees a handbook on how to achieve their goals, but you should emphasize that there are clear paths to their success. If they communicate their goals, as a leader or their direct manager, you can set up an achievable timeframe for them to rise up to the occasion. Set milestones, and regularly ask employees how you can shepherd them toward meeting those milestones on the way to their ‘big’ next step.
Nothing can stop an employee who really wants to move to another company or career make that move, but addressing these major concerns can certainly provide an environment that employees want to stay in. More, you might find that some of your employees can be made much happier, fulfilled, and more productive if they are given just a little more encouragement, feedback, and support.
Have you tried to reframe your approach to management? What sorts of things have worked for you?
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Source: Julien Emer