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8 little things managers can do to retain the best

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Firing,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers

When good employees leave for greener pastures, it makes a manager’s job much more difficult. Managers can prevent this syndrome by doing what they can to make their own pasture the greenest.

While compensation helps, it’s not always cash that makes pastures greener. When salaries are equal with the marketplace, other factors take priority.

Here are eight easy-to-plant “seeds,” according to a new KEYGroup report, that help keep employees growing and content:

1. Keep them engaged. Bored employees are neither happy nor productive. To keep your employees engaged and satisfied, present them with challenging assignments and opportunities to grow and develop. Consider ways to provide opportunities for employees to improve on their skills or learn new skills they can use in their jobs.

2. Give praise where praise is due. If someone does a great job, let the person know. It’s that simple. And then let his or her co-workers know. Then let the customers know! Recognizing a job well done isn’t an expensive proposition, but it will mean the world to your employee.

3. Be aware of employees’ changing needs. As your employees progress in life, their needs change. After having a child, an employee may want to travel less. As your baby boomer employees get older, so do their parents. They may need to take time off to care for the health needs of their mom or dad.

By recognizing these changing needs, you show sensitivity to what’s going on in their lives. This builds loyalty and helps bring stability to their personal lives, which means they can focus better at work.

4. Realize that great employees thrive under great leaders. Employees won’t leave for greener pastures unless you drive them. The buck starts and stops with their leaders.

Employees of great leaders will go to the ends of the earth to do a good job for them. The flip side is that employees with poor leadership will simply go.

5. Conduct regular “stay” interviews. Rather than exit interviews, use regular “stay” interviews to provide an opportunity to compliment high performers on their work and inspire them to do more.

Use these interviews to gauge how well you are meeting employees’ needs. Seek out their suggestions on what you and the company can do to improve.

6. Create an environment where people can do their best work. By allowing employees to develop and implement their own ideas, you’ll keep them passionate about their work.

Make sure they have the right tools and equipment they need. Nothing frustrates employees more than not having everything they need to get their jobs done.

7. Create an environment of trust. Employees are happier and work harder when they trust their leaders. They decide which leaders they can trust based on how their fellow employees, company vendors and customers are treated.

As a leader, it’s important to ask yourself: Do I treat people at work with respect? Do I behave ethically and hold others accountable for their actions?

When an employee sees his or her manager treating someone poorly—whether it’s a vendor or a fellow employee—the employee’s level of trust in the whole company diminishes and he or she cares less about doing a good job.

In addition, remember that trust is a two-way street. Your employees need to feel that you trust them as well.

8. Rid your pasture of weeds. The weeds are those poor performers and negative employees who stifle the good attitudes and high performance of their co-workers. If you’re not pulling out your weeds, they’ll choke out your best performers. Obtain consistent feedback and keep good documentation so you can sort out employees.

The bottom line: Striving to keep employees happy and engaged is not just a “nice” thing to do. It’s the only way to create a successful business.

And it’s not just a matter of trying to retain people to avoid the high cost of recruitment. Engaged employees are creative, productive, motivated and brimming with good ideas. Not only will they stay, but they’ll be fully committed to their jobs, to you and to the company’s success.

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