Taking Care of Your Employees is Essential
Have you ever received a resignation letter from a high-performing employee who has decided to leave your organization for better opportunities or higher pay? Most of us who have served in a management role have had this experience. For many departing employees, these are the professionally acceptable reasons to resign, but the real impetus for a performing employee’s departure more often than not never comes to light.
A question that provides us the insight we need to understand why we should take care of our employees is “Why are they looking for new jobs in the first place?” In most cases of employee turnover, the real reason is less about greener pastures and more about the negative impacts in the work environment you offer. Poor leadership practices or challenging workplace cultures may be pushing many out of our front doors. Eliminating or at least minimizing these factors will leave employees with the feeling that you are taking care of your greatest natural resource-your people.
One of the best ways to keep your employees engaged is to initiate frequent and frank discussions regarding performance expectations, teamwork, leadership styles and company performance. After all-no one likes surprises! This is not to suggest that you should not accentuate the positives. However, if you choose to ignore the challenges or avoid delivering difficult news, you are not offering a realistic picture for your employees. The end result is usually abrupt resignations or worse-the employee may choose to disengage from their work, the team and your organization. They physically show up each day, but the performance commitment is lost.
Some employers initiate generous work-life benefits for employees as a means of acquiring and keeping talent. Others do it out of genuine concern and support, which can build a culture that results in more commitment from your employees. A more calculated approach can still work if it is accompanied by an attitude of caring and respect for your workforce. Providing a benefits package to your employees is a strong signal that you care and are on the road to being an employer of choice.
As employers of choice we also need to be committed to coaching non-performers, changing the nature of job assignments and terminating poor performers. However, these practices need to be used in the right measure. Often, valued employees know before the employer when it is time to terminate an individual with performance issues. It becomes a real problem when a manager fails to act and the behavior of a poor performer negatively impacts the commitment of high-performing employees and teams. There is little to debate over such decisions when you realize the disrespect you show when you allow someone to hold a job where their self-esteem is diminished and they do not have the respect of their peers.
As you can see, there are many management practices that are within your power as a business owner or manager to implement. Regardless of whether you choose short-term, long-term, tangible or intangible solutions, you want to be sure that what you select is right for your current business situation. When your pressing concern is hiring and retaining talent, you may want to take on the challenge of taking care of your employees and becoming an employer of choice.