Cut turnover by teaching managers how to respect staff

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Issue: Employees who feel less respected by their superiors are more likely to jump ship.

Risk: Higher turnover, lower morale.

Action: Point supervisors to the following eight ways to show respect to their charges.

A formerly productive employee has slacked off in recent months. No one knows why. Then he quits.

Only at the exit interview do you hear that he's mad because his supervisor "didn't listen to his ideas" and ignored his complaints about his broken office chair.

Such scenarios are more common than you think.

Employees who don't feel treated with respect by their employers are three times more likely to quit their jobs within two years than those who say they're treated respectfully, says a new Sirota Survey Intelligence study of 370,000 people.

The lesson: Treating workers with respect and dignity is ultracritical to retaining good workers, especially in a hot job market.

Respect also translates into productivity. Employees who feel "very good" about how they're treated are more than three times as enthusiastic about their jobs than those who feel just "good" about how they're treated.

The main reason employees don't feel respected? It's not outright abuse. Instead, management indifference is the chief culprit.

"Management's 'sins' are mainly acts of omission (what management does not do) rather than commission, such as abuse," says David Sirota, lead author of the survey. "Indifferent treatment, such as failing to recognize and reward employees for jobs well done, has an enormous impact on how employees feel, and employers' ability to retain them."

Here are eight ways Sirota suggests employers can show respect to employees:

  1. Recognizing employees for their accomplishments and providing them with the freedom to use their judgment.
  2. Soliciting, listening to and acting on ideas from employees.
  3. Encouraging innovation and ideas on new and better ways of doing things.
  4. Providing employees with helpful feedback and coaching on how to perform more effectively.
  5. Valuing people as individuals and giving them a sense of being included.
  6. Appreciating diverse perspectives, ideas and work styles.
  7. Encouraging full expression of ideas without fear of negative consequences.
  8. Listening to employee complaints and fairly handling them.

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