Let's face it.
The days where employees dedicate their entire career to a single company are long gone. Business leaders spend thousands of dollars each year on recruitment only to find out the “perfect candidate” jumped ship six months later. Managers need to come up with unique ways to retain talent and create employee loyalty. Doing so would appease business leaders (who speak the language of numbers and want a return on investment) and create a dynamic workforce where employees have a vested interest in the bottom line.
These 5 steps will help you foster the loyalty needed to create a dynamic workforce:
1. Hire the right person. When a position becomes available, managers scramble to fill that position because they do not want to fall behind on productivity. The sense of urgency is understood, but if more emphasis is placed on “filling the seat” than ensuring the right person is hired for the position, then you’re going to end up with someone who will soon realize this job isn’t for them and will either jump ship or create a disciplinary portfolio. Either way, the company loses. Take the time to hire the right person for the right job. You don’t have to hire the person with the most credentials. You just need someone who has the minimum qualifications, is willing to learn, and most importantly, fits in the culture because he/she wants to be there; regardless of the direction of the company.
2. Connect with your employees. Picture this: A manager shows up to work, says good morning to the employees, then the manager is never heard from again. I remember when I was a customer service representative for First USA Bank in Lake Mary, Florida. I worked there for a year and saw my manager twice; the day I was hired and the day I resigned. I was shocked at how shocked she was that I was resigning. This step is pretty simple yet, it’s the one that is constantly overlooked. An employee’s day is made up of 24 hours. If any given day was split evenly, it would look like this: 8 hours at work, 8 hours with family and friends, 8 hours of sleep. A manager has a window of opportunity of 1/3 of the employee’s day to make a connection. There is no excuse not to! Talk to them. Ask them how they are doing. Get to know their likes, dislikes. Look at them as "Mike" or “Maria" rather than an employee ID#. Find out what kind of music, food, movies, hobbies they like. Of course, there are some employees who do not want to let anyone into their world, and that’s fine. Once you’ve been put on notice, let it be and don’t pursue further. But for the employees who “let you in,” take advantage of the opportunity and run with it.
3. Empower your employees. Not every employee wants to be the next VP of Operations. Some employees are perfectly happy doing the job that they are currently in. Meet with your employees regularly and create a career path that they want; not the one you want for them.
4. Do not micro manage. You hire an employee because they have a talent the team needs that you are willing to pay for. You have complete confidence in their ability to perform the task they were hired to do. Why violate that trust by constantly looking over their shoulder to make sure they are doing their job properly? If you have to do so because they just do not know how to perform their duties, then you need to revisit step 1.
5. Show employees how they affect the bottom line. Employees perform their best when they know the job they do makes a difference. Sometimes it’s easy for an employee to see that difference, sometimes it’s not. A manager can always see it. That’s why it’s important for the manager to constantly meet with their employees and show them how their jobs affect the big picture.
Trust me. These steps work. Doing so would create a following so strong that employees would turn down extra money from another company because they find your culture is more valuable.
How about that?