The Great Resignation shook up many company leaders and recruiters. They didn’t expect to lose key employees over festering dissatisfaction with their work exacerbated by COVID stressors. Holding onto remaining employees is a top concern for both companies and teams today.
Here are some ways to encourage and foster longevity in your employees.
Foster a Positive Work Environment
There’s nothing that can drive employees away from your company faster than a negative work environment. Many employees look for positive work environments when they get jobs, but they’re not always easy to see from the outside.
A positive work environment cannot be forced, but there are adjustments you can make to improve your work culture. Giving employees the benefit of the doubt, especially with conflicts or problems that arise, is a good place to start. You can also keep criticism constructive and avoid phrasing things in negative ways.
Really Know Them
An important aspect of a positive team environment is having genuine interest in knowing each member of your team and getting to know them as employees and people. Ask questions about their interests outside work, their favorite things, or their families and loved ones. Listen to them when they talk and share some of your own interests with them.
Regardless of your opinion about friendships at work, people can rarely resist developing bonds with others who shows real interest in knowing them or that have their best interest at heart. People like to be around others who show interest in them, and they’ll think twice about breaking the bonds that have been created.
Do Regular Check-Ins
Whether your employees are remote or work in-house, checking on them regularly is a good idea. However, it’s important to do this in a way that doesn’t make it seem like you’re checking on them.
A check-in differs from checking up in that the purpose of a check-in is to see if the team members need help, not to see whether they’re doing their work the way you want them to. When team members work remotely, it can be difficult to get them the help they need to be successful. Check-ins open the doors to these opportunities and plug employees into more resources if needed.
Give Them What They Want (When Possible)
An employee getting everything he/she wants from you will not think much about leaving. To the extent you can, granting requests for flexible schedules, pay increases, or other concessions will show you value individuals as employees and that you want to keep them.
If you can’t give them what they want, sit down with them and explain honestly why you can’t. Maybe you can give them a taste now and revisit the rest in another six months to a year. Compromise can be successful and show them you’ll take their requests seriously even if you can’t give them everything they want right away.
Advance Their Careers
Besides promoting from within, look for ways to advance the careers of team members by offering training for new skills, expanding team responsibilities and tasks, and offering tuition reimbursement where possible.
Another way to advance team members’ careers is to offer clearly delineated career paths so there aren’t questions about how to reach the next levels. Having a sense of control and knowing what to expect as you navigate their career path will help cut down on frustration that could lead to a resignation.
Appreciation and rewards for a job well done are not only powerful tools for retaining workers but sharing your appreciation with employees and rewarding them are acts of decency.
Employees are more likely to stay in jobs where they trust and respect managers and employers because they know them to be decent people, so whatever you can do to show your decency and goodness is a positive thing.
Feeling appreciated is a major need for most people. Those who feel unappreciated at work are likely to seek out better environments and may even take pay cuts to do so. What good is a lot of money and perks if you fell there’s no purpose to your work? Appreciation is part of this picture.
Address Quiet Quitting
The other side of the resignation coin is a phenomenon known as quiet quitting. It’s when employees keep showing up for work but puts in minimal efforts required to keep their jobs. Quiet quitting may be the first sign of an impending resignation.
If you notice any signs of quiet quitting, you should meet with the employee and try to find the source of their dissatisfaction so you can address it appropriately. If you can fix the problem(s) that led to the quiet quitting, you have a good chance of keeping the employee around long term.
There’s a lot you can do as a leader to encourage team members to stay with you long term. The Great Resignation hasn’t been so great for a lot of employees in the end, and long-term prospects at many jobs are now looking better than they have in a while.
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