Are you mystified by the number of employees who have resigned from your company? It’s true that not every employee will remain with your company for the duration of their career, but it’s important to do everything you can retain your best employees.
One way you can do that is by putting an end to some organizational or managerial practices that may be driving employees to quit. Let’s take a look at five things you may be doing to undermine your retention efforts – things you may not even be aware of:
1. You’re Engaging in Collaborative Overload
Collaborative efforts are largely beneficial in our global economy. But even though interdepartmental efforts can contribute to company success, collaborative overload could be causing your best employees to leave the company.
“Collaborative overload” is exactly what it sounds like: an excess of collaboration. Company meetings, group brainstorming sessions, email correspondence, and daily consultations with colleagues can monopolize everyone’s time, reducing both productivity and innovation. Eventually, the burden of too much collaboration can cause your employees to seek a different kind of work environment.
The old adage, “If you want something done, ask a busy person,” has been ingrained in the Western psyche. There is truth to this statement, but some work environments rely too heavily on a few busy people – more precisely, 3-5 percent of the staff in some cases.
One way to prevent collaborative overload is to begin reevaluating the effectiveness of meetings, email communications, and other activities that may potentially hinder productivity. If certain efforts fail to propel the company forward and also place undue strain on a small percentage of your workforce, you need to either alter them or remove them altogether.
2. You’re Being Selfish
Yes, they are your employees. But employees are individuals with personal and professional goals of their own. You’ve hired them to complete a certain set of tasks, but you’ve also hired them for what they bring to the table.
Integrating your employees’ professional goals into your company tapestry is more helpful than harmful. It’s more likely that you’ll retain exceptional employees when their job responsibilities align with their skills and career trajectories.
Instead of narrowly focusing on what you hope to gain from an employee, loosen the reigns and allow great employees to flourish on their own terms within your organization.
3. You Shun Autonomy
Sometimes, the best solutions are unorthodox. However, in fear-based work environments – where a manager or leader seems to rule with an iron fist – some of the best unorthodox solutions are kept under wraps.
Instead, employees who were once engaged begin to do what they can to survive the workweek – and survival often calls for mindless conformity. Eventually, stellar employees search for more liberating work cultures, and then resign from your company when they find them.
Establishing a work environment in which employees feel heard and respected makes them less likely to withhold innovative insights that could potentially solve company problems. Furthermore, when employees respected rather than dominated, they are likelier to stick around.
Autonomy frees creative individuals to do their best work. Your best employees desire the freedom to experiment, take risks, make mistakes, and then reapproach problems with positive support from senior staff.
4. You Consume All of Your Employees’ Time
Late night emails and weekend conference calls communicate to your employees that you don’t value their time. Many employees will meet or exceed these expectations in order to retain their jobs, but that doesn’t mean it won’t take a toll on them over time. Employees should feel free to spend time with family and friends or to cultivate other interests outside of work without feeling guilty.
When you have great employees, you don’t have to worry whether or not they’re committed to project completion. Therefore, encroaching on their time is unnecessary and largely ineffective.
Your company structure may vary; weekend work might be required. But the workday must end at some point, and this point should be clearly communicated without intimidation.
5. You Offer Few (or No) Growth Opportunities
Your best employees often desire to progress within the company. Progression might involve a higher position, but it can also include skills development and lateral moves within the company.
In either case, lack of advancement opportunities was one of the top three reasons nearly 10,000 employees chose to quit their jobs in 2015.
Researchers found that promotions are one of the best ways to retain exceptional employees. But how do you retain employees when there’s little room for growth within your organization?
You either create opportunities for long-term growth so that these opportunities are available when the time comes, o, you offer other incentives relative to your budget and company structure.
Over to you: In what ways have you inadvertently made great employees quit? What did you learn and then do differently to make sure your new employees stay on?