You’ve heard the saying—people quit managers, not jobs. And it’s true. It’s the number one reason (by far, about 66 percent) people leave organizations—because they don’t like who they report to. Talented people have options. That’s always been true, but never more so than today.
The issues can be many ... the manager and employee just don’t get along, the manager uses styles that don’t work for the employee (think micromanaged or not enough direction), maybe the employee doesn’t feel appreciated or valued. Whatever the reason, retention is tricky these days, and losing your top talent can be devastating to your organization’s productivity. Because remember, if you lose your best people you still need to produce the same high-level results.
Compliance Versus Engagement
If compliance is as a swing and a hit to first base, engagement is a home run. How can managers get employees past being compliant and become truly engaged? Two ways on the top of the list are finding specific motivations that work for the employee and designing a career path together.
Thomas Edison coined the phrase, “There is always a better way.” Embracing this mindset will help keep your top talent focused and engaged. Taking to heart your employees’ suggestions for change (even if they aren’t exactly how you’d roll), can help to motivate them.
“Talented people have options. That’s always been true, and never more so than today.”
Motivation—It Must Be More Than Money
Motivation is the reason for people's actions, behaviors, willingness to dive into something and the goals they want to achieve. While easy to define, it isn’t always easy to pull out of employees.
Using a generous wage or large bonus to get people to stay in a role is just a short-term fix. Sooner than later they will look for more money to feel appreciated and engaged. Motivating people to stay for reasons other than cash is a manager must-do.
In MRA’s Principles of Leadership Excellence series (PLX), motivation, coaching and other imperative aspects are covered as they apply to employee engagement. Check out some motivators for engagement that are taught in PLX:
- Trusting your employee to work independently
- Making sure there are a variety of tasks and responsibilities
- Recognizing a job well done
- Creating the feeling of belonging to the organization
- Providing an altruistic culture
- Offering the possibility for power (read on)
A Path to (Powerful) Potential
Creating a career path as a way to retain top workers is huge. Mapping out how to get to the next level, whatever that may be, keeps employees engaged and focused on their careers within your organization. Talk to your people about where they would like to go and how they would like to get there. Then make a plan so they can achieve what they want. Be sure to check back often to see how the plan is unfolding and make adjustments along the way as needed.
Gone are the days of hiring a new employee and assuming he or she will stay for a long while. When options abound, employers need to get it right, right from the start. MRA is here to help! Visit our website for resources and strategies related to talent engagement and retention to help make your job easier.