These days, it’s more common for people to change jobs than ever before. The age of remaining with a single company for the long haul is gone. So what is it that drives people to make so many career changes?
Arguably, we’re living in an age where there are more diverse job opportunities available in a wide array of industries. It’s unsurprising that many folks choose to seek out work that they find more fulfilling.
I believe, however, that there’s one other main reason why people leave their jobs – work they enjoy and employment they thrive in: Much of workplace dissatisfaction stems from leadership shortcomings. Employees often quit their bosses, not their jobs.
This isn’t a very popular idea, but it’s worth investigating. As a manager, business owner, or company executive, are you the reason your employee retention rates are down? Do you push workers out because you’re unapproachable, a “helicopter boss,” or unclear about your expectations?
Here are six employee retention ideas to assess where you stand and ways you can make positive changes to work better with your team.
1. Seek and react to honest feedback about your communication style.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s the #1 thing that will make or break a work environment. Ask your people for their input and listen to what they tell you. Your tone and communication style are equally as important as what you say, so be conscious of those things, too.
Consider getting feedback from a 360-degree assessment on how you are doing. Based on what you learn, reassess your attitude. Adopt a different and more supportive approach.
2. Create realistic and understandable goals.
Your teammates want to be successful, and they yearn for well thought-out performance goals and a regular discussion about how they are doing.
List out your values and communicate them to your team. This is especially important for millennial colleagues. They want feedback and meaningful, constructive criticism.
3. Include your teammates before making decisions.
Strive for 100% inclusion. This doesn’t mean allowing for chaos or relying on decisions being made by a committee. Instead, ask for ideas and solutions. Give ample credit to those who contribute.
Also, support creativity. Unfortunately, organizations naturally squash creativity – often unintentionally. Your company’s contributors are probably different than you, so use this to your advantage. Find a way to harness the creative energy in your team. Listen carefully and be open. A clear policy of inclusion and creativity should always be part of your employee retention programs.
4. Carefully explain the rules of the game and follow them.
You will lose your team’s respect if you make the rules for the team and then don’t personally follow them, which will affect your employee retention rates.
Consistently talk about expanded limits for decision-making. Employees want to know the extent of their authority when you aren’t around. Be more supportive of personal initiative, risk taking, and mistakes.
Try implementing a system such as “Unless I Hear Differently” (or UIHD) to keep things rolling smoothly and empower your team to make decisions using their intuition and logic.
5. Pump up your energy level.
Believe it or not, your team prays that you will have a high degree of energy, passion, and optimism. No matter your industry, making a conscious effort to orchestrate fun is a great idea to retain talent. Manufacture exciting things to do in the workplace. Keep it light, funny, and laugh as a group at the crazy things that happen.
6. Create variety in jobs.
Most people hate routine work – perhaps this applies to you, too!
Finding ways to give your workers different projects and the chance to contribute beyond their current job is another employee retention strategy. When a team member does something well, openly and energetically celebrate their success. Take the opportunity to trumpet what worked well instead of finding other reasons to complain about things that went wrong in other areas.
The main takeaway here: Find a way to pan those gold nuggets of success.
As an executive or business owner, you don’t have to be the reason your employees leave for other opportunities. By using some of the employee retention ideas above, you can create a supportive and vibrant company culture. If you’d like to do further research, The Law of Magnetism by John Maxwell, is an excellent resource.
For more expertise on how to improve your talent retention strategies and leadership skills, fill out my contact form for a complimentary one-hour coaching session with me.
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