Is your organization suffering from revolving-door syndrome, where it seems like there are new faces every other week, only to leave to be replaced by another new face?
Do you have more open positions than you do people currently filling seats?
Hiring the right people for the right seats can certainly be a problem, but you first need to focus on your existing people.
Actually, it’s not about the people you already have. It’s about how you treat them and the culture of your organization.
You can have the best people in the world – Rockstars, we call them. But if your organization is not a rockstar organization itself, then you won’t keep them. Additionally, you could have potential A Players (another name for Rockstars), but because you’re not doing the seven things below, they’re showing up as B Players – or leaving altogether.
Pay attention to the 7 ways to not lose your best employees. How many of these are you doing – or NOT doing?
- Give feedback. Humans in general crave feedback. If you’ve ever had a massage, your massage therapist asks for feedback. That crucial information tells them if they’re going too deep or not deep enough. If they’ve spent too much time on one problem area or not enough. Same with your workforce. 65% of employees say they want more feedback, and 40% of employees are actively disengaged when they receive little or no feedback.
- Involve them in the organzation’s mission, purpose, and vision, as well as that of the particular department/team they are on. If they don’t understand why their role and even their daily tasks are important to the overall functioning of the organization, they have no skin in the game. I know the sports analogy can be overused, but every position on a team, whether it be football, soccer, basketball, etc. is necessary for the potential of winning the game. Help your employees feel like they’re a necessary part of a winning organization.
- Have regular conversations with them about their own mission, vision, and goals. What do they want? What is their purpose? How can you help support them and help them get to where they want to be? 83% of workers participating in a mentoring program said their experience positively influenced their desire to stay at their organization. If they feel like you’re part of their personal team, then you’ve just scored loyalty points (sorry – there’s that sports analogy again).
- Build and maintain a positive, collaborative culture. This includes functional communication that moves things forward, where everyone is working together. It doesn’t mean nothing ever goes wrong, or that there aren’t problems. But those problems are handled with respect, empathy, and outward communication. No gossip, passive-aggressiveness, or inauthenticity. You may have heard “Direct is kind.” We amend that to “Being direct while being civil is kind.”
- Understand that your employees are humans. They have a life outside of work. Someone is surly in the Monday morning meeting. You have no idea what kind of weekend they had. Maybe they’re struggling with their fourteen-year-old who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Or maybe they have aging parents, and they’re looking at having to become that sandwich generation. Work is only one facet of our lives. If you have a culture where people aren’t allowed to be people with lives (i.e. it’s frowned upon to discuss your personal life), how sustainable is that when people crave more meaning, purpose, and intentionality in their relationships?
- For those employees who do leave voluntarily, conduct exit interviews. Why are they leaving? What could you as a leader and as an organization done better? It’s not always about a higher salary, although that can be a standard excuse. Make it easy and impartial (they don’t lose anything by telling the truth) for them to say what they really feel about their experience.
- For those employees who do NOT leave, conduct stay interviews. Why are they staying? What’s important to them? What do they like about working at your organization? What do they wish was better?
Your employees and staff are the lifeblood of your organization. If you’re losing good employees, you’re sacrificing profit, customer retention, and morale if you don’t get a handle on this problem.
Of course, some of these steps require organizations to walk the talk. You can ask for feedback and you can conduct exit or stay interviews, but if you don’t follow through or make an effort to improve, then your employees will see it for the sham it is. Don’t just check a box. Truly work on creating a positive culture where your employees feel valued and acknowledged.
Then, you can focus on finding more of those Rockstars!