It’s no surprise that people leaders play a significant role in employees’ experiences and their desire to stay or go. In fact, fifty-two percent of employees who voluntarily left their jobs say their manager or company could have done something to prevent employee turnover.
To help alleviate this, we put together some practices for managers to engage their employees in a manner that can boost retention and reduce turnover.
As a people leader, both formal and informal conversations with employees are key. Almost 50% of workers reported receiving feedback from their manager only a few times per year or less. And just over 50% of exiting employees say their manager did not speak with them about their job satisfaction or the future of the organization in the three months before they left.
More feedback leads to more engagement, and more engagement leads to a trusting employee-manager relationship. Employees are much more likely to speak to a manager they trust about being unsatisfied with their job, especially when asked about it directly. Together, manager and employee can discuss possible solutions and action steps for making the job less stressful and more fulfilling.
Informal conversation can help build a positive rapport with employees. It is also a means of better understanding your team and creating meaningful connections.
Of course, a major aspect of empathizing is good ole’ fashioned listening.
Individuals with managers willing to listen to their work-related problems are 62% less likely to burn out. In addition to listening to problems, empathetic managers can also brainstorm solutions and organize their workload in a manner that makes it feel less overwhelming. And it never hurts to remind them, “I’ve got your back!”
Put yourself in your employee’s shoes. Then ask yourself, “Do I find purpose in my work and feel connected to my team? Am I treated fairly and is my opinion respected?” Observe and listen to make sure your employees answers to each of these questions would be a resounding “Yes!”
The top reason people leave their job is frustration with career progress. Ultimately, if an employee cannot envision a future with the company, they are going to quit. So it is up to managers to influence how employees perceive their own potential future and development within the company.
Coaching conversations should include reminding employees of their strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses; Highlighting obstacles as opportunities for growth; Bringing to light corporate programs or possible mentors; and paving a path forward that is both fitting and inspiring for that individual.
To get the most out of these conversations, research shows that you should be engaging with your team members at least once per week!
Inspire your employees to keep moving forward with frequent recognition and encouragement. Gallup consistently finds that feelings of connection and belonging drive engagement, and engaged employees are more eager to go to work and ready to give it their all.
Micro-recognition and acknowledging the everyday efforts of a team can make them feel as though their work truly matters. By connecting successes (even if minor!) to the overall mission of the organization, managers can help employees see their purpose and impact.
So here’s what we know: Employees that feel appreciated, valued, and connected to a company are less likely to leave. And how can people leaders help employees feel that way? By talking to employees on a regular basis, asking questions, listening thoughtfully, and weaving recognition into conversations. Through these actions, your people leaders will create more connections, drive more engagement, and lead to less turnover for your organization.