Thanks to our friends at White Horse Digital for this week’s post!
Every employer has been there.
It begins with your employee asking for a ‘meeting’. It gets to one o’clock and they shuffle into your office, armed with a small, ominous envelope. They hand it to you, wordlessly, shying away from eye-contact. Suddenly, it hits you. You know what this means. Your heart sinks – they’re leaving you.
But why? Does it really have to be this way? What went wrong?
Granted, it can be confusing when your employees leave – you think you’ve given them the best possible treatment, that they fitted in well, that all was at ease in your Eden.
But there are a lot of subtle things that you may have missed. Great employees leave their companies everyday for a whole myriad of reasons – and the best you can do to prevent this from happening is by assessing the risks before they become reality.
Have you been overworking them?
Every employee has different capabilities – that goes without saying. The trick is to learn about these capabilities, as opposed to assuming that everybody has them – don’t think that, just because one worker can handle an extensive workload, another can, and produce the same quality results. Everybody is different, and if you treat each employee the same, you run the risk of burning them out.
Make sure you dispense your work evenly and fairly across your employees based on their skills. Additionally, if you think you’ve detected a few who can manage extra tasks, make it clear there are rewards at the end of the hardworking tunnel. Your employees won’t want to pick up all the extra slack for nought – throw in employee-specific incentives with the extra duties you’re assigning them, if you want to keep them smiling.
Are you friendly?
You don’t have to be actual friends with your employees to be kind and thoughtful to them. An empathetic employer is far more likely to rate highly in their staff’s good books: after all, you are spending the best portion of Monday to Friday with them. It’s worth being amiable.
If you’re detached and distant from your recruits, their lack of connection to you may encourage them to leave, seeking greater rapport with a new boss elsewhere.
Avoid this risk by ensuring that you’re considerate – a kind word goes a long way. If your employee is going through a tough time, show empathy. Or why not offer to make the coffee for everyone on occasion? It’s not just the intern’s job, you know.
Most agree that the days of the strict, megalomaniac boss are over: we’re all adults, and people generally prefer to be treated as peers as opposed to pawns.
Are you allowing them to grow?
Monster credits ambition as the main reason your ‘golden apples’ choose to fall from the office tree – the better and more successful an employee, the more likely they’ll want to move on and scale the business ladder elsewhere. This is echoed in other studies, which show 55% of employees leave to progress their career.
To avoid this, think about how you can make your company the place to be – give your employees room for growth, and make it clear that the opportunity for promotion is there, too, if they earn it.
Let them pursue their passions, and they’re less likely to pursue a different path. If your employees feel like they’re lacking development, or that they’re bored, they’re unlikely to feel stimulated enough to stay – after all, a lot of time is spent behind office doors, so it’s no surprise that your employees want to make the most of that.
Are you paying them enough?
Yes, an obvious one – but you must assess salaries from time to time and deliver praise where deserved. Make it clear there are benefits in working for you: you’re a thoughtful employer who cares about their employees’ best interests, as well as their role within your company, their sense of loyalty and enjoyment in working for you.
Are you engaging them creatively?
Make room for your team’s suggestions about the company, to offer their two cents on pitches and approaches to clients and to take on extra roles that they’re potentially interested in. Challenge them intellectually and offer them your wisdom where they’re lacking. If there’s plenty of opportunities for growth and development with you, they’re less likely to seek it elsewhere.
What else can you offer?
Consider their needs outside and inside the office: what kind of pension schemes do you offer? Do you offer travel incentives? Bonuses? Flexible hours? It’s the little things that can really go a long way in making your employees crow about your company – after all, why would they want to leave somewhere where they’re so well-looked after?
The bottom line…
Communicate. Regular dialogue with your employees – finding out what makes them tick – is at the heart of securing loyal relationships. Importantly, if your staff feel they can communicate with you openly and honestly, they’ll be more inclined to address you with their issues, as opposed to leave you entirely.
Ultimately, care for them as you would a golden sapling – keep on top of their health and happiness, constantly assess what they need, foster a caring relationship and keep them close at hand.
You know what they say – keep your friends close, and your employees closer.