Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Elizabeth Heron. Her opinions are her own.
Employers may be more out of touch with their workers than they’d like to admit. That is, every year most employers are losing about a third of their best employees. Employee standards are changing and for those who have many options on the table, toughing out an unenjoyable workplace isn’t something they are willing to settle for.
A major contributor to a successful workplace is management style, yet many outdated management styles still linger causing harm to the workplace environment. We all know the type, a rigid unengaged boss that most employees try to avoid.
Your employees are your most valuable asset as a manager, so engaging with them should be the most important part of your job. Let’s see if we can clear up some of the mistakes managers are making that drive their top employees away.
1. Lack of recognition
Let’s face it, top employees always end up picking up other’s slack. Generally, their extra contributions go unnoticed. It may be “expected” of them to work harder and fill in the gaps. What’s even worse is when the employee receives no praise for going the extra mile. Don’t take for granted the value of even the slightest praise. Employees who receive expressed gratitude from their employers feel valued and set a high standard for the work they produce.
Treating an employee this way may lead to the employee’s internal resentment for their job. As this discontentment festers inside, the employee is more likely to look for new employment opportunities. While they remain employed by you, their level of work may start to drop off. Even the best employees can become disengaged if they are dissatisfied enough with their work circumstances. Disengaged employees lack passion and motivation. Take employee satisfaction to the next level with these tips.
2. Acting in a cold manner
Employees who feel a sense of loyalty to their boss, co-workers, work, and the company will hold themselves accountable, maintaining integrity in their work. They will also be more likely to stay at their job longer than those who feel no sense of devotion. The reason is simple, at the base of human nature exists the need to belong. By treating your employees like a part of the group, they will partially fulfill this need and not feel inclined to look for work elsewhere.
Employees are more than workers, they are people with lives that need to be respected. For instance, allowing your employees to take off requested vacation days, not being harsh when mistakes are made, and being sympathetic when unforeseen circumstances interfere with work will help your employees feel supported and safe in their working environment. Overall, the most effective managing style is a combination of an authoritative and affiliative approach, combined these styles set boundaries while valuing employees.
3. Keeping employees in the dark
Some companies are still following the outdated model of withholding information from their employees. This method isolates employees and detaches them from being able to really care about their work. Disclosing information to employees makes employees feel trusted and also gives them something to be responsible for.
Employees need to be reassured that their work has a purpose, otherwise they will lose intrinsic motivation to work hard. Mere extrinsic motivation through pay is not enough to encourage excellent work. Furthermore, disclosing information to your employees does more than just imply you trust them, your transparency also helps them trust you.
4. Overlooking current employees for promotions
There is nothing more frustrating than watching an undeserving individual receive the promotion you’ve been working hard for. Recounting the stories of top professionals, this often leads to resignations. Employers often make the mistake of bringing on a new employee to fill a position that a seasoned loyal employee could have filled. Current employees possess more company-based knowledge than outsiders. Hiring in-house is strongly encouraged when feasible
5. Not giving yearly raises and reviews
Yearly reviews help employees reflect on their performance. Allowing them insight into their perceived strengths and weaknesses will heighten job performance. Employees who continue to grow in their work roles, taking on added responsibilities and developing their workplace knowledge need to be compensated.
Employees who strive to strengthen the workplace should be rewarded, otherwise, they will look for an increase in pay elsewhere. By delivering your employees review and raise-rate at the same meeting, you can clearly lay out what your employee’s raise is based off.
6. Overworking employees
Being overworked burns employees out and eventually leads to them looking for new job opportunities. Overworking employees can be the result of more than one dilemma.
- Unevenly distributing work;
- Being understaffed;
- Forcing employees to correct their peers work;
- Not acknowledging your employees’ workload or being unaware of how much they’ve taken on;
- Others slacking.
All of these causes can be prevented and corrected by being a conscientious manager. Honestly evaluating how work is being distributed is the first step to making things fairer. It is often the case that an employee is being overworked at the fault of their manager. Therefore, to correct this issue absolute transparency is necessary.
Involving all employees in a meeting to disclose their honest opinions about their workloads and inviting proposed solutions will relieve some of the tension that may be lingering. Taking your employees opinions into serious account while creating an honest dialogue about effective solutions may prevent top employees, who feel burnt out, from leaving.
7. Stifling employee creativity
Employers make a huge mistake by maintaining a rigid work environment that allows no room for flexibility and change. No system is perfect and a system that does not allow employees to take a pragmatic approach to improving it is deeply flawed. Trusting your employees by allowing them to take chances and explore their own ideas will lead to greater satisfaction for employees in the workplace. In addition, the company benefits from employee’s discoveries.
As a manager, you want to create an environment where employees aren’t afraid of being reprimanded for failure. By doing so, employees will be more likely to take chances. Taking chances leads to the best discoveries! When we examine what the nation’s top tech companies are doing to attract and keep brilliant minds around, the formula always involves allowing employees to be creative.
8. Not providing enough job support and training
To an extent, employees want to be autonomous in their work. For example, they want their work and input to be valued and trusted by their bosses. However, being absent in your employee’s work is not the same as supporting their independence. As the boss, providing helpful feedback and guidance is a part of your job. Your critiques help your employees grow and allow them to view their own work from a different angle.
Disengaged managers often fail to provide adequate continuous job training for employees. All workers, including managers and employees, need continual training throughout their careers to keep their current professional skills sharp and to develop new ones. Top employees who don’t feel like they’re gaining any new skills from their position end up feeling stifled and discontent.
9. Hiring slackers
Employees feel discouraged when forced to work alongside slackers. Research shows that the happier employees are the more productive they will be. This dwindles overall moral amongst employees and may even push some top performers out of the workplace in search of peers that boost them up.
Finding the right people to hire for the job is time-consuming and challenging, but by settling for unsatisfactory employees, you may detour your best employees from sticking around. Building a team of employees that all bring something unique to the workplace will help distribute the work evenly, further preventing the previously mentioned issue of overworking employees.