How To Avoid Losing Your Best Employees
Key employees are amongst the most valued assets in any business and ensuring their loyalty is imperative to the longevity of internal growth. Fortunately, losing such employees is more than avoidable. By providing your staff with a work environment in which they can learn and prosper, you cultivate a clear path for their future. And by carefully avoiding the pitfalls mentioned below, you reduce the risk of losing the key pillars in your business.
1. Demonstrate A Clear Vision
All too often, employees feel demotivated by a lack of direction. Inspiring their passion and excitement by communicating the vision and future of your business is vital to employee satisfaction. With aspiration comes challenge and a clear mindset towards achieving organisational goals. Employees expect to start the new year with a motivating word and end it in an appreciative thanks. Providing them with stability in the workplace is the very foundation of their loyalty. Discuss and motivate major changes, like moving offices or a change in work hours, in advance. Nothing makes an employee feel more like a number than introducing new changes that affect them drastically, but in which they had no say.
2. Communicate Properly
Even the most hard-working and loyal employee seeks appreciation and acknowledgment for efforts demonstrated. Whether done at a performance review or by casual mention, it’s important to communicate your work-related likes and dislikes in an effective and honest manner. Employees often feel that they are not properly being communicated to, increasing stress levels and negatively affecting production in an unnecessary manner. Take the extra minute or two to properly convey your expectations and when an employee asks for your help, equip them with the tools or knowledge to better themselves for future scenario’s.
3. Align Talents With Goals
Another sure way to keep your valuable employees happy in their work is to align their job descriptions with their talents and skills. Don’t pile mountains of work on their desk, spread your resources effectively. Choose quality over quantity and allow your employee to be proud of the work they produce. Listen to employees who consult you in an effort to grow or move into a different field. Allow employees to showcase their talents and feel like more than just a pawn in your success. Guard against your employee’s true talent and skill being drowned in a too-heavy workload. Give credit and reimbursement for an employee taking on additional responsibility and never threaten someone’s job simply because they cannot be in six places at once.
4. Promote A Work-Life Balance
Work fatigue is probably one of the biggest reasons behind valuable employees deciding to leave your business. Whilst most of their time is spent investing in your success, every employee deserves to distance themselves from work and spend time with their families or themselves. Subjecting your employees to work-related phone calls or emails at night and even on weekends, is an unhealthy prospect and creates room for frustration, fatigue, and demotivation. Keeping people happy and productive is easier when they are given ample time to relax and get away from work.
5. Treat Them As Equals,
Because They Are.
Treating employees with less respect than you would offer a client or partner is a sure way to diminish loyalty. Cultivate a culture of open communication and true interest. Greet and allow yourself to be greeted. Create fair opportunities within your business and give diligent feedback. It’s easy to be critical when people make mistakes. In fact, it’s good management to reprimand unwanted behaviour as soon as possible. But this can’t be the only feedback people receive, or they’ll become despondent. Make sure that positive feedback is also given. Negative feedback should be given immediately and in private. Positive feedback can be given any time, preferably while the news is still relatively fresh, and in public.
6. Don’t Make Empty Promises
Even without realizing, it’s easy for a business to fall into the pitfall of making empty promises to their employees. To demonstrate a few examples:
* “We promote work-life balance.” If you are requiring employees to work long hours, take work home, and lose sleep over ridiculous scheduling, you aren’t promoting work-life balance.
* “If we do as well as we project, everyone will receive an annual bonus.” Dangling a carrot as an incentive is one thing, but if no one ever gets to taste it, there will be hostility. Don’t promise, or even dangle, what you don’t reasonably expect to deliver.
* “We will give you an opportunity to advance your career in our company.” Unless you can lay out specific goals, milestones, and rewards, it’s best not to offer indefinite promises such as this.