Mar 21
How We Can Improve Employee Retention

Unhappy, Bored & Stressed: How We Can Improve Employee Retention

If a company has a low staff turn-over, you probably want to work for them. People stay in jobs where they feel safe, happy and are benefiting, not just financially, but physically, socially and emotionally. There are many reasons why people leave their jobs, but also many why they stay, grow and gain valuable career and life experiences. It’s always worth taking a closer look at what your company is doing to retain its top talent.

Looking at the world today, unemployment is at an all-time high, and employers are choosing to outsource and hire part-time staff in an attempt to claw back and save cash. But regardless how much the economies are struggling, or how much jobs are valued and tough to come by, a record number of employees are choosing to quit.

So Why Are People Leaving?

Before looking into how to increase retention and engagement in the workplace, it’s worth understanding why people are leaving their jobs in the first place.

Here are the top six reasons we found:

  1. Too Many Responsibilities:
    Being overburdened and overtaxed leads to a stressed out and unhappy employee.
  2. Too Bored:
    An employee with too little tasks – or too many tasks which are menial and repetitive – will lead to a bored and disengaged worker.
  3. Too Micromanaged:
    Employees need a bit of freedom in their job in order to make it their own.
  4. Too Undermanaged:
    The “drive-by” manager who is seldom seen is just as detrimental as a micro-manager.
  5. Too out of the Loop:
    Employees who are unaware of what is happening with the business won’t know how they can personally work towards bettering the company.
  6. Too Lost:
    If an employee has no direction in his or her career, he or she is less likely to hang around and wait it out.

I have always found these guidelines helpful to reassess any management related opportunity. If you feel any of these apply to your current situation, don’t worry, it’s never too late to turn things around.

How to Win the Hearts of Your Employees

You would think that money is what retains talent. But it’s far more instinctual and raw. Any job can give us a pay check, few can penetrate the needs of our psyche and the basic drives that make us feel safe, appreciated and understood. As humans we depend on healthy interactions to sustain our sanity, therefore feeling safe sets an important precedence of what we do and what we provide professionally. Those in leadership roles not only have the task to drive productivity, but to ensure their employees are physically, emotionally and mentally equipped to carry out their responsibilities. Author Simon Sinek who coined ‘the golden circle’ explains how ensuring a safe work zone ultimately shapes the very fate of productivity:

‘’When there is no circle of safety, we force our employees to expend their energy to protect themselves from each other, and as such, they’re less productive. ‘’ – Simon Sinek

If we want a productive workforce, we need to engage with our employees on multiple levels. Engagement lets your employees know you see them, you hear them and you are watching out for them. Even when work gets a bit turbulent, positive employee engagement loosens the kind of pressure that divides a team against one another, and instead, entrusts an ethos of support to push forward – together. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Open Communication

When your employees are cut off from the company vision, they won’t be able to relate to the impact they are making on an individual level. This lack of certainty will inevitably obstruct the zeal to produce the best results and thus productivity will suffer. By keeping an open and transparent communication alive you will earn their trust, loyalty and enthusiasm to actively support the goals of the company. #winwin

‘’Trust is something earned, not given. It’s also not a one-way street. And you can’t expect employees to trust you if you’re not open and honest with them. If someone feels trusted and valued by management, they usually give trust in return.’’ – Tom Gimbel, CEO of the LaSalle Network.

A Supportive Team

An employee who feels as if they belong to a team rather than being another cog in the company machine has a far greater chance of staying with the company than bailing out. Create a company culture that fosters trust and is able to support and recognize the successes of others and you will see just how much productivity and employee happiness have in common.

Fostering Relationships

“People in organizations need to work together. So, managers and employees need to foster collaboration, trust, personal relationships, fun, and support.”
– Harvard Business Review
We all Need Friends at Work.

There is no doubt that having a positive and meaningful relationship with management has a large impact on employment engagement and happiness in the workplace. Start by creating the right environment and support the players that will foster healthy relationships where productivity can flourish.

Support Your Employee’s Career Path

Every exchange you have with your employee is a deposit in their career bank. Every moment counts towards what propels or dismantles their ambition to succeed in the business opportunities and experiences you have laid out for them. Providing the right contribution pays off not only upon productivity but towards the impact you have made on someone else’s life, and like this, our actions can change the world and build a culture of innovation.

Here are several ways leadership can step up and show their support:

  • Meeting with your employees regularly (quarterly, at a minimum) to discuss their plan. Leadership can use this time to also share their own experiences and feedback.
  • Providing employees with suggestions as to how an employee can develop themselves and help set realistic time frames.
  • If obstacles are met, leadership should be there to help guide the employee so that they can successfully overcome the challenge.
  • Monitoring the employee’s progress and making changes as necessary.

Hiring & Nurturing your talent

If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears. – Simon Sinek

It takes a lot more then you think to secure the best talent. Hiring is one thing, nurturing is quite another. A huge emphasis is on sourcing our candidates, putting out job postings, or hiring professional agencies which all launch new faces into our workforce. No doubt it takes a lot of work and organisation to bring in talent. But that’s only half of it. Another journey is just around the corner. By becoming interested in our employees on a regular basis, productivity will naturally take over. Your talent will enjoy a safe haven to expand ideas, break down obstacles and initiate new victories.

Take advantage of your talent, and they will sail with you to the very end.

About The Author

Natalie Heilling is an International Executive Search Consultant and Co-Founder of Research Partners running various recruitment campaigns across Europe, North America, and Asia while helping clients reach their hiring targets with peace of mind. Natalie has worked in Technology and eCommerce for the last 20 years and helped US companies confidently establish themselves in Europe and emerging markets.

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