Could you be pushing your best employees out the door without realizing it? If staff retention is an issue for your company, then you’ll need to think about what could be causing your top talent to look for other opportunities.
There are numerous ways that managers can drive great employees away without even realizing it. I’ve told leaders this many time “people don’t walk out on companies; they walk out on managers”. Here are three actions that always impact employee retention :
1. Focusing on the bad rather than the good
Employees might make mistakes, but blaming them for mistakes instead of providing constructive feedback and advice is an even bigger mistake on a manager’s part. Star employees are those who aren’t afraid to take risks. Recognize that taking successful risks can create massive beneficial change for your company. There will be times when plans and projects fall through; accept those mistakes as learning opportunities and move on. Your top talent will walk away if you focus more on their weaknesses than on their accomplishments.
2. Thinking money is the only motivator
A big mistake employers make is thinking their employees are there just for the paycheck they receive at the end of the month. In the short run, money is a definite factor for retaining employees, but it can only remain a motivating factor for so long. If your staff does not find their work fulfilling and get the job satisfaction they desire each day, they’ll soon get bored.
This is especially true for your best, most talented employees. If your star employees can acquire a new position somewhere else that will give them greater responsibility, strong mentorship, increased recognition and new opportunities to learn and innovate, they may jump at the opportunity — even if the pay is not as high.
3. Do as I say, not as I do
You’ve secured the title of manager, but if you think sitting back in your chair and delegating work is going to get the work done, you’re not in touch with reality. When the going gets tough and a key project is due, rolling up your sleeves and working alongside your team shows your commitment and gains you respect. Star employees are looking for strong leaders and role models and are less likely to leave bosses and managers who are accessible, approachable and respectful.
If you don’t think as a manager you need to be respectful of your employees, you’ll find it very challenging to keep great employees and will always end up with mediocre performers.
Throughout my career, I have seen this time and time again. Managers that set a good example, listen to their employees and genuinely make employee’s feel they care about them, will benefit from great employees staying with them through thick and thin.
If you distrust your employees, discourage innovation and creativity, ignore their advice and communicate poorly, they’ll start hunting for other positions. As the economy slowly improves finding and keeping great talent will become even more challenging.