Why Your Employees Are Leaving you – and What You Can Do To Stop Them!
By Laura Kemp
Ever found yourself left frustrated wondering why your best employees are often the ones that leave?
It is important to retain good employees for so many reasons. Financially it is costly to recruit a replacement. Not only do you have the costs of potentially placing an advertisement on internet job boards or in a newspaper, but there are the additional costs spent training when you have recruited someone and even a possible dip in profits depending on the vacant role and your time spent away from your own job. Recruitment is definitely a costly business!
By retaining your employees it not only saves you money but can create you money as staff can become more upskilled and efficient the longer they work with you. As a business with low staff turnover you are in turn likely have a better reputation and consequently attract the best staff to want to work for you. This helps you to build a knowledgeable and effective workforce which can help your business grow.
There are many reasons why your employees could be on their way out the door, but frequently it seems to come under one of three categories as will be discussed below.
This is unfortunately an all too common issue and the importance of good relationships is often underrated.
No-one wants to sit next to the person who talks all day long about what they did at the weekend. Likewise who wants to be surrounded by those that take every opportunity to complain about Sam from accounts, or Zoe from marketing? This negativity hardly creates a good working atmosphere!
However, if no-one speaks to anyone there is no relationship and therefore no loyalty. A degree of camaraderie is essential – it certainly helps to face the days when it feels like everything is going pear-shaped, it is amazing what can be achieved if everyone pulls together.
Poor relationships can also include those relationships with the manager. Too frequently the manager is completely unaware that their employee is unhappy until their letter of resignation lands on their desk. Having an unapproachable boss can lead to a whole host of problems. It often leads to small issues being ignored and left to grow into large concerns, which could be prevented if dealt with and tackled head on.
They feel you don’t care about them
I’m sure we’ve all had moments when we have wondered if anyone would notice, or care, if we disappeared for the afternoon. In most cases the answer is yes of course it would be realised, however if the employee doesn’t believe this it can lead to them disengaging themselves from their role.
It is imperative that each individual feels that their contribution is recognised. This can be done in a number of ways, however it doesn’t require a big gesture. A quick email to someone who has come up with a good idea, contributed to a meeting, or perhaps gone out of their way to help another college can have an amazing impact.
Try to keep all employees engaged by involving them with the business objectives. Often you may be surprised at the importance of the contributions that they may have. Frequently the feedback gained from those individuals who are most actively involved are the most insightful.
Make your employees feel that not only do you care about them, but you actually trust them. Take a look at your company policies and procedures. Is it really necessary to have signed approval to be able to order new paper for the printer, or would it be best just get the paper ordered? Giving colleagues a little more independence can help to increase moral and motivation by surprising amounts.
Be sure to pick up on the signs that your employees may project that demonstrate they are feeling that you don’t care. Whilst you may think that an employee is a serial complainer, they are actually giving you the opportunity to fix the problem before it is too late. Think carefully about your response to this, after all, would you rather you didn’t hear anything until that letter arrives?
You’re just a stepping stone to greater success
Leaving your employees unchallenged can result in them being bored and looking for employment elsewhere. If your employee feels that their current opportunity lacks progression or any opportunity for growth they are likely to get the most out of their current role then move on.
It is important to encourage this drive in an individual, rather than try to supress it for fear of them moving on elsewhere. If an individual works hard and s good at what they do, there should always be a way in which this can lead to some kind of extra challenge. Perhaps they could be given a lead role in running a particular project or even the opportunity to supervise or manage their own team.
I was once in an interview and I asked about what potential career progression there was available. I was told that anything is possible, and all employees are encouraged to want his job. This was the reason that I moved to the company, because knew then that internal progression was encouraged so I would be able to work my way up without the need to switch companies.
There are many reasons why you could lose a talented employee, but there are also ways this can be prevented. It is key to get to know your employees to understand what motivates them. It may be because they love their team, they feel valued, or they can learn more and progress in the business. Whatever the reason, create a loyalty by giving them a reason to stay.
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