Anytime an employee leaves a mix of operational setbacks can ripple throughout your organization. However, when a great employee leaves, someone who was a “difference-maker,” business can really suffer. Team dynamics shift, timelines get altered, and hiring procedures pull managers away from their divisions. Beyond the day-to-day duties, the associated time, and thus costs, to refill positions can pile up, especially if turnover continues to happen. For this reason, it is important to reduce unnecessary turnovers and keep your team dynamics optimized and fully functional.
For many industries it is hard to find qualified talent; hiring the right candidate for your team dynamics, therefore, is even harder. Any amount of struggle to attract and onboard a highly skilled employee to step into the shoes of your lost talent will have exponential effects in the form of lost productivity, morale, and leadership.
With these circumstances ubiquitously acknowledged across all industries, why is it still a common narrative among so many businesses? Why do good, talented employees leave?
This series of articles will cover a variety of elements to consider when critically evaluating your organization’s turnover. Is it at an acceptable volume? Are they happening too frequently? Our goal is to provide you with some ideas and fundamental parameters to improve employee retention, reducing the costs associated with high turnover.
The first few parts on this topic of why employees leave your company focus in on the individual dynamics of your employees. Are you pushing them too hard, or not enough? Are you giving them enough attention or too much? These areas can be fickle to adjust but are essential to the process of improving employee relations, productivity, and long-term satisfaction and retention.
With the amount of time people spend working or performing related activities, they should enjoy what they do. If your employees don’t enjoy their work, then it becomes a burden that they will quickly look to unload. By challenging your employees, you can prevent them from getting bored or resentful, and in turn, walking away.
Rather, engage your employees and tap into their creativity or talents. Talented employees often seek to improve their surroundings and can find new, innovative ways around problems. If you don’t encourage and support your employees you essentially remove their ability to change and improve the company from within, not only limiting your corporate culture (more on this in Part 4) but you create a sense of resentment for the status quo in your office. This doesn’t just limit your employee it limits any unforeseen improvements that could result from your employee’s actions.
Great organizations challenge their employees and give them the tools and support to accomplish things that may have even been inconceivable at first. Instead of only setting mundane, incremental goals set lofty goals that push beyond comfort zones (more on this in Part 3). Then, have managers do everything in their power to help employees succeed and encourage them to participate outside of the lines of their black and white duties. When talented and intelligent people find themselves involved and engaged (more on this in Part 2) they will stick around to continue their efforts and bear witness to the fruits of their labor.
On the opposite side of the “unchallenged coin” lies overworked or overburdened employees. This can be a difficult balance to maintain as you want to give your best performing employees more work to spread their influence throughout your company. That said, suffocating them should be avoided at all costs.
An overworked employee’s productivity will sharply decline once they reach a threshold, something that varies person-to-person. Skilled managers that pay extra attention to the well-being of their teams will be able to spot the difference been good work/productivity balance, and overloaded/underperforming employees.
By avoiding pushing your employees to the upper levels of their productivity you will nix the perception that individuals performing well are being punished with more work. It will also help deter resentment of other individuals with less on their plates and the idea of purposefully performing at sub-par levels to avoid extra duties.
One way to justify increasing the workload of your talented employees is to improve their status within the company (more on recognition and promotion to come). Raises, promotions, and title-changes are all ways to support and reward your top performers. Simply increasing the workload without a form of compensation will only push them to look for other opportunities where they may feel more appreciated.
Lack of Recognition
Not recognizing the work and contributions of your employees is a fast way to ensure they seek alternative employment. Beyond promotions, raises, and title changes, your company, and managers need to be involved and bear witness to the successes of your employees; recognizing positive outcomes and performance along the way. Managers that communicate with their teams and understand what motivates each person to push for performance goals are the most successful at providing meaningful recognition.
Often, top performers are intrinsically motivated, and reassurance of a job well done to those employees is sometimes all that is needed to prevent a negative perception of the management of the company (more on this in Part 4).
For many professionals, a lack of independence can be a big crack in their satisfaction with their employer. Professionals who are independent in their responsibilities have a greater sense of confidence, feel trusted, and can be more reliable to perform.
To hold on to your best employees, give them the responsibility of being more independent and for those who aren’t there yet, provide them with the support and tools needed to reach that point. Don’t drive away good employees simply by micromanaging them or treating all employees as the same ability level. Variation in abilities is natural and provides a balanced, collaborative team dynamic.
By providing direction and unwavering support, and the ability to act without a sense of someone constantly looking over their shoulder, your employees will focus more on their duties rather than their management.
While the dynamics of how much is too much can be difficult to get right in the short-term, it is important to have skilled managers in place who understand that adjusting the throttle for each of these areas is a process that takes time and patients. It is also important that they have the necessary skills to communicate with their teams so that throughout this process they don’t turn hard-working individuals towards the door. While this can seem like a daunting task, the long-term benefits of improving in these areas are worth the added attention.
At Comrise, we know that finding these types of managers can be difficult, but with our highly-skilled recruiters and ever-expanding network, we have the ability to connect you with the top-tier talent to help guide your organization into positive directions. Moreover, we can help you fill any other open positions and get the “right” professionals through your doors; helping you gain traction in any areas you may need to improve.
In the next part of this series, we will expand on the areas above and cover more involved areas of employee dynamics such as Disengagement, Skill Development, and Growth Opportunities.