A business owner recently said, “I think I have a great opportunity and I pay well but I still have people leaving my company. How can I stop them from leaving? The answer to this question is important. Get it wrong and you will continue to tread water always trying to catch up. Get it right and you have one very important component for taking your business to the next level. If you manage a team of people, or are charged with human resources in your organization you know how important it is to retain your best people. So why do so many employee leave, or worse, why do they stay and become a drag on the organization?
Here is a sobering fact. Employees do not leave companies, they leave supervisors. Many supervisors believe that if only the pay and fringe benefits were better their best employees would stay. I would not deny the compensation is important. However, people who are truly engaged with their company and their team have a sense of belonging. They will not leave for a slightly better offer.
On the other hand, employees who are disengaged with their workplace and with the work they do can drag down team performance. Employees who are disengaged show up for work, but they leave their hearts and minds somewhere else.
The book "First Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently" by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman used data collected over 25 years with a million employees to identify the basic roles of a great leader/manager. They identified 12 questions which have been used by the Gallup organization. The potential effect of great leadership was summarized in the 12 questions employees ask. How do you feel about these questions?
1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
5. Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person?
6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
10. Do I have a best friend at work?
11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
12. This last year, have I had the opportunity at work to learn and grow?
I presented results to a client recently. The response was, “Wait a minute that’s stupid. I pay very well I expect loyalty. And remember, I am the boss.” Well, how has that been working out for you? Is it time to stop wasting all the money on things that don’t work? Is it time to keep your best employees from leaving?