Importance of Retaining Employees
Whether or not your employees are leaving, the world is moving and changing, and retaining employees continues to be a major focus. Studies show that the number one reason employees leave a job is because of their manager. According to a Gallup poll of more than one million workers employed in the United States, people leave managers, not companies. Turnover is mostly a manager issue. The poll also found that poorly managed work groups are on average 50% less productive and 44% less profitable than well-managed groups. These are staggering statistics in evaluating how effective management skills can contribute to the success of an organization.
“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
– Richard Branson
Cost of Not Retaining Employees
The bigger shot to the wallet is the expensive price companies pay to replace new managers, who lack the skills and training for engaging and retaining employees. According to the study, There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees published by the Center for American Progress, the average cost to replace a worker is between 10% and 30% of the worker’s annual salary. The more complex the position, the higher the cost to replace the employee; however, generally a worker earning a $35,000 salary will cost anywhere from $3,500 to $10,500 to replace. Even on a low scale, these costs have a significant impact on the organization.
The new manager skills gap can have a substantial effect on the everyday lives of people across an organization. Investing in new managers and their initial (and long-term) leadership development will not only serve to retain new leaders recently promoted into their roles but but help with retaining employees and developing talent within the organization who report to new leaders. These investments will have a dramatic effect on reducing the often-hidden costs and effects of unskilled and untrained new leaders.
These current trends and employment practices are no longer negotiable. Find ways to implement each of these to maintain team members and business development.
Provide your managers with training, support, and positive reinforcement while they keep their teams highly motivated and productive. Teach your managers to be goal-focused and outcome-driven vs. micromanagers. If people are not thriving under one manager, partner with the manager and develop them to be better for the team.
Offer opportunities for ongoing learning by investing in your employees.
- Core skills. Provide development for managers to have the core skills to be excellent in their roles and create great teams.
- Coach Key Leaders. Provide executive coaching to continue the advancement of key leaders, provide certificates as they move from apprentice to subject matter expert.
- Technical Training. Invest in additional technical training to advance the skills of your team.
- Leadership skills. Give your managers the leadership skills necessary to move the team and the company forward. For a cost-effective and proven way to level up your team, connect to the programs at synthesisleader.com.
Shake It Up
Provide opportunities to work on different teams, support the community, brainstorm new solutions to old problems and assign mentors for growth. And remember morale with activities like cookouts, celebrating achievements, noticing what is going well, and reinforcing it.
Look at the current structure of your roles and define whether it takes years to get promoted to a new job title. The nature of the current workforce is the desire to learn, grow and develop into new job titles that show progression and pay increases to match. Many companies are creating additional job titles within one pay grade to match the desired need to show growth and forward momentum.
Don’t wait until an employee leaves or is being recruited to address pay. If you have people who are sought-after in this job market, consider salary adjustments to match current market demands. The average cost of recruiting and replacing staff can range from $4k – $300k depending on the job and impact.
Have individual meetings with your team members to define what is working and what one thing you can add or change to make the work even better. Ask them if they were in your position, what are the top three things to focus on to not only improve the work environment, but the company. After the interviews, develop a priority list of changes and recommendations and begin to implement them. Share regular communication and appreciation for the feedback and input on the progress made.
Skip Level Meetings
Meet with the individuals who report to your management team. Keep a pulse on the team to ensure conversations are open, fluid, and good change is made. Ask them:
- What works well in their teams and what could be changed to better support them in achieving the company goals?
- About their personal growth goals and what they would like to learn next?
- What one change could make their job amazing?
Identify the kinds of employee events and benefits that create good company synergy and momentum. Here are a few ideas:
- Validate what is important to your employees.
- Create options for the different needs of your team members.
- Explore what other companies are doing to remain competitive in today’s world and assess how you could do the same or come up with different options to retain and attract employees.
Consider how you can flex the work schedule to provide more options for employees to choose from. Could you offer a four-day workweek? Is it possible to offer remote? Might you offer part-time at home and part-time at the office? What might seem hard to do, could mean a huge benefit to others and result in your organization retaining employees.