Good employees are hard to find, and great employees are even harder to come by. When one of them leaves, it hurts. And we’re not just talking about your feelings.
Employee turnover hurts productivity, morale, and your bottom line. Busy HR managers end up with more work dumped on their already full plates in addition to dealing with the cost and effort that goes into hiring and training someone new.
All of this can be even more aggravating when you thought you’d hired that perfect fit.
But even the most dedicated employee will consider leaving under the right circumstances. If you want to hold onto your most dynamic and productive team members, it’s worth noting they need a couple of key things.
1.) Inspired leadership
Go-getters like other go-getters. If you hire someone for their awesome skills, outgoing personality and can-do attitude, and then place that excited new hire with a negative boss or in a stagnant department, the honeymoon won’t last very long.
Even if they truly love company product, goals, and/or mission, your gold-star employees will soon feel disillusioned if they aren’t given the tools and the leadership necessary to succeed.
So what does inspired leadership look like? Let’s break it down to 10 key leadership attributes.
- Lead by example
- Are open to new ideas
- Empower staff to succeed
- Make themselves accessible
- Create an inspirational vision
- Provide guidance and support
- Communicate openly and often
- Trust their teams and processes
- Recognize and reward hard work
- Value their employees as people
In this kind of environment, most employees will feel supported and successful.
In addition to giving you their best and sticking around for the long haul, they may even refer other fantastic people to your team.
If there’s a lack of organizational or team leadership, the very same people in the very same jobs will have a very different experience. Instead of being excited about working for you and inspiring talented friends and colleagues to join them, they’ll be asking their friends about their workplace cultures and leadership styles. And potentially jumping ship.
Don’t let lackluster leadership be the reason your hard-earned hires leave. Commit to great leadership and your employees will be more committed to you.
2.) Career development
Not every employee is interested in taking on more responsibility, moving up the food chain, or even learning new skills. But you can bet your best and brightest are. Often, these are the same people you worked really hard to get and have invested a significant amount of time and resources in.
So how do you make sure your career-driven employees view your company as a viable, long-term option rather than a short-term stepping stone or resume booster?
If you have clear and visible career paths in place, you’re definitely on the right track. Make sure your new hires know about these opportunities from the beginning. As time goes on, discuss where and how your team members fit into the bigger picture and ways they can work toward selected goals. Even better if you talk about these things outside the context of review time.
The more you get people thinking about the possibilities available to them within your organization, the less likely they will be to start looking for opportunities elsewhere.
If you’re running a smaller company, or one with very low turnover, new positions and promotions might not always be available. That’s okay.
You can still give your employees some exciting personal and professional development options by doing one or more of the following:
- Creating a career mentorship program
- Offering cross-training across departments
- Supporting employee education and skill building
- Providing opportunities to work on new projects
- Soliciting input and participation on company initiatives
- Encouraging informational interviews and job shadowing
- Allowing staff to attend professional conferences and events
- Considering tuition reimbursement for career-related classes and degrees
Bottom line: A dead end job isn't going to entice career-motivated individuals to come on board or stick around.
And that will eventually end up affecting that other bottom line. Yours.
Recruiting and retaining employees is easier when you can proudly offer a comprehensive benefits plan that makes your team members feel as valuable as they are. At Raffa, we build cost effective, long-lasting employee benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health. Get in touch to see how we can help your organization become a local employer of choice.
Photo by HONGQI ZHANG