Happy wife equals happy life, and the same logic can be applied to your employees and their retention: in other words, happy employees equals retained employees. Unfortunately, many companies fail to realize this, which is most likely the reason a whopping 75% of US employees are open to or actively looking for new jobs. Let’s say you have a staff of 100 employees; well, that’s 75 potential farewell parties you need to start planning.
We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume you’d rather not plan any farewell parties – mostly because parties can be costly and also because you’ll have to start looking for employees to fill the positions that are abandoned by their former holders. Which, of course, is a very time-consuming and, again, costly process.
If that’s the case, you might want to take a good look at the following seven behaviors because if you can relate to any or all of them, chances are you’re losing great people on a regular basis.
1. You Overwork Them
As a manager, you want to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible, results are delivered, and everyone is working hard toward achieving a common goal. But, it’s quite easy to overwork employees to the extent that they feel like you’re punishing them for excellent performance.
To avoid this, encourage employees to take regular breaks (productivity app DeskTime says that workers should work for 52 minutes at 17-minute intervals for optimal performance), avoid taking work home with them, and leave work on time. In fact, Stanford University researchers found that working long hours makes you less productive: employee output falls dramatically after a 50-hour workweek and completely dies after 55 hours. In other words, employees who work 60 hours a week end up producing nothing during those five extra hours.
2. You Don’t Recognize Contributions or Reward Good Work
Everyone enjoys a little pat on the back, and it’s very easy to underestimate the power of a seemingly small gesture. Eighty-two percent of respondents to a 2014 BambooHR survey said they felt they weren’t being recognized for their hard work as much as they deserve, and that it was a major deal-breaker.
As a manager, it’s your responsibility to recognize and reward employees for all the hard work they put in – whether that comes in the form of a bonus, a raise, or simply being acknowledged in front of their colleagues – and you’ll reap the benefits of doing so. In fact, companies which actively recognize their employees for a job well-done experience lower turnover, improved reputation, and better financial performance.
3. You Don’t Take the Time to Listen
Everybody has issues – and we’re not talking about the ones you go to your therapist about but rather the ones you go to your manager about. Whether an employee has concerns about a specific policy, project, or situation, you should make it your priority to hear them out. Even if you can’t change a policy, taking the time to hear their concerns rather than dismissing them will work wonders in the long run. When your employees provide you with feedback, listen to them, and really listen – these are the people on the frontline, and they often have a better idea of what’s going on in the organization. So, don’t just laugh or shrug off their concerns; after all, they could help you save your company from certain death.
4. You Hire and Promote the Wrong People
In a bid to lower costs, many companies will opt to hire someone to do a job for half the price or less than hiring from the top end of the pool would. But, we can all see the drawbacks that go hand-in-hand with such a (bad) business move. Not only will this affect the quality of work and, ultimately, the company’s reputation, but it will also demotivate the people working alongside this new and incompetent individual, especially if they don’t get along with them. Moreover, if you end up promoting the wrong people to a position that many of your existing employees had their eye on, then you run the risk of conducting a string of exit interviews.
5. You Don’t Pay Them Enough
Who would have thought that crappy compensation could force good employees to quit? If you’re that clueless, the following statistic will come as a real shocker. According to staffing firm Robert Half, 38% of employees are most likely to quit their jobs due to low pay. That statistic, however, becomes more frightening when we take into account the 3.1 million US workers who voluntarily quit their jobs in December last year alone.
As can be expected, money is the top reason employees leave their jobs, especially those who have spent a great deal of their careers in a company that hasn’t rewarded their dedication and hard work with the slightest salary increase. And while many companies shockingly assume that employees won’t leave because the job market is tough, this is an approach you’ll want to distance yourself from as much as possible.
6. You Suck at Managing
A 2015 Gallup report suggests that employees leave managers, not their jobs. In fact, half of the 7,272 adults who responded to the survey said that they quit their jobs “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.” This means that there’s a 50/50 chance you suck at managing. Whether you blame others for your mistakes, you take the credit for everybody else’s hard work, or you hover over employees’ shoulders for the entire duration of the workday, it’s enough to make even the most patient worker cringe and hand you their resignation.
7. You Don’t Offer a Light at the End of the Tunnel
It’s true that employees only view jobs as temporary and simply as stepping stones in the greater scheme of things, but offering them no opportunity for growth and development in your organization is a surefire way to see them walk out the company door much faster than expected. If there aren’t any growth opportunities, if there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, employees might feel like their careers have come to a standstill and will, therefore, turn to better opportunities.
In fact, Catalyst found that an employee’s perception of limited opportunities in their company greatly affected their decision to leave. They also found that 30% of men and 33% of women in senior-level positions would consider leaving their company to pursue greater advancement opportunities elsewhere.
Are you regularly losing great employees? Perhaps you’re the cause and have been driving them away by doing the things we’ve listed here? Tell us in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share this article with fellow entrepreneurs who may be struggling to retain great employees of their own!