The sudden departure of a handful of skilled employees is detrimental to any business. The impacts are wide. Employee morale takes a hit. Immediate workload redistribution is inevitable. Projects are put on hold. While leaders attempt to maintain operations at the same level, customers are impacted as a result.
Despite the increasing pace of automation, people remains an essential resource that every business needs. Talent retention is a priority and a competitive advantage. A key difference between a job to make a living and a great place to work is the management culture. There are four areas for improvement.
- Develop vs. train
Numerous studies have shown that employees are more loyal and committed when they feel that they are valued. This means businesses need to do more than providing training which focuses on building skills and knowledge. Progressive employees want to have a meaningful career in a company where they could learn, take on more responsibilities and make an impact. For the business, this is an investment to foster employee growth which in turn leads to higher employee loyalty and engagement.
- Guide vs. judge
Most employees drag the annual performance reviews. The negative perception about performance evaluation arises from how companies use it to penalize people. To change the perception, use the opportunity to provide guidance instead. Better yet, have frequent conversations to check in on progress, identify what’s not working and coach the employee to make positive changes. For the employee, it is less intimidating to have informal chats. This also builds a better connection between the manager and the employee.
- Align vs. comply
Organizations have policies and rules with the goal to attain consistency in how work is done. In many companies, the number of policies and rules are overwhelming. To many employees, some of these rules serve no purpose or are redundant. Further, when employees are reprimanded for not complying, it builds animosity and grudge over time. Certainly, it is important to minimize irrelevant policies and rules. At the same time, it is more effective to communicate the business values that the company strives to support. An alignment of these values makes it easier to encourage compliance. An action performed willingly beats ineffective reinforcements.An action performed willingly beats ineffective reinforcements. Click To Tweet
- Collaborate vs. direct
Autonomy is a valued flexibility by all. It is also a reflection of trust. There is always room for autonomy in each job role. Directing how a task ought to be done could backfire especially when the circumstance calls for deviations. By creating a collaborative mindset, employees would consult others for valuable inputs in making an important decision. In doing so, employees feel they have the flexibility to manage their own work. This enhances employee commitment and engagement.
These changes require a shift in how to support and develop employees, and how to foster a value system that will perpetuate. To retain talent, it is essential to develop the proper management culture so that employees are valued, trusted and have the room to grow while making a positive contribution to the business.