There is only one feature that will separate your company from all of your competitors: The people. One good employee can help you keep customers for life while one bad employee can push customers away. So it becomes important to every business to retain employees, but only the right employees, not all employees. Retaining poor employees is a drag on company growth and profitability.

The key to building a company of quality employees is to focus on your employee retention programs. Approximately 40-60 percent of working Americans will be searching for a different job within the next twelve months.

What are you doing to retain your key employees? An important question you should be asking is, how do you best reduce the flight risk of your best employees?

Let’s start by reviewing ten circumstances that increase the risk of losing desirable employees.

  1. Poor communications between management and employees; employees feel they are in the dark.
  2. The company is performing poorly, wages have been reduced, and morale is low.
  3. The employees are working more overtime than they desire due to mismanagement and poor planning.
  4. Organizational changes have been made by management that limit future employee advancement.
  5. Employees feel they are not appreciated and valued.
  6. Employees do not believe in management’s ability to effectively lead the company.
  7. Employees do not feel they are learning new job skills or utilizing their existing knowledge to their fullest potential.
  8. Employees are stressed about job security or money.
  9. The benefit package is not consistent with what other companies offer.
  10. The employee has a poor working relationship with his or her immediate supervisor.

How management conveys job security is rated high on the list to reduce employee turnover. The quality of the relationship between management and the employee is also key in determining the retention of an employee. Worthy relationships require openness of communication, sincere listening, engaging employees to contribute ideas, and voicing recognition of job performance.

To ensure you do not lose your best people will require skilled managers who know how to build trusting relationships with your employees. The following are the outcomes employees expect from their supervisors:

  1. Supervisors who know how to respond positively to an employee mistake rather than reacting negatively.
  2. Supervisors who create a fun and positive work environment.
  3. Supervisors who model a positive attitude, strong work ethic, and ethical behavior.
  4. Supervisors who respect all employees equally.
  5. Supervisors who admit their mistakes and teach from their own failures.
  6. Supervisors who admit when they do not have the answer.
  7. Supervisors who know how to positively use employee’s mistakes as teaching moments.
  8. Supervisors who know how to offer sincere recognition for a job well done and make the employee feel appreciated.
  9. Supervisors who look for small employee victories and outwardly celebrate them.
  10. Supervisors who regularly communicate with employees, making them feel connected to the company.
  11. Supervisors who conduct periodical employee reviews, discuss career goals, individual aspirations, advancement paths, and develop road maps to help them to get where they want to go.
  12. Supervisors who offer continuing education and training to support the learning of new skills.
  13. Supervisors who do what they say they are going to do; supervisors who honor their commitments.
  14. Supervisors who solicit employee ideas and sincerely listen to them.

Supervisors who possess the skills to manage people effectively will offer a company the best chance to reduce turnover. But keep in mind supervisors must be well trained themselves in how to properly manage others. Supervisors must be well versed in helping others set goals, teach, how to communicate in an encouraging manner, and offer recognition.  Supervisors must understand employees stay for intrinsic reasons – employees have a desire to be heard, be involved in the decision making process, feel valued, and feel attached to the company

An insightful tool to learn more about what your employees are thinking is to use  opinion surveys. In the opinion survey, ask the employees a series of open ended questions about their supervisors as well as where they would like to improve job performance and learning.  If you don’t ask your employees you never learn what they are thinking.

Last, get rid of poor supervisors. Nothing will degrade employee morale and increase turn over faster than supervisors who do not possess the skills to properly motivate employees. It is impossible to develop a company culture that fosters employees being valued and stretched to grow when supervisors lack the necessary skills.

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