There is one truism that all managers need to know about all employees in all industries. There have been countless studies around the world, and they all tell us the exact same thing:
The single, biggest reason people leave companies is because they feel underappreciated.
This is both good news and bad news. It’s bad news because, given the amount of employee turnover most organizations have, the loud and clear message is that we pretty much universally suck at adequately conveying to our employees that we appreciate them. The good news is that, for companies that want to retain their good employees, it’s totally doable.
So, what does ‘appreciating your employees’ look like? Here are the basics:
1. Compensate them fairly
2. Talk with them. Listen to what they have to say. Take action if they identify issues that need to be addressed
3. Have empathy when good employees are having challenges
4. Be flexible. This can be a challenge in some environments (such as unions), but as much as you can, try not to let your policies and processes get in the way of the right thing to do
5. Create a happy work environment. It all starts with you, and if you don’t make a personal effort to make your workplace enjoyable it sends the message you just don’t care about your team
6. Keep your team informed. It’s amazing how many managers talk about wanting employees to “see the bigger picture,’ but then fail to show it to them. Keep your team in the loop. If you can’t trust them…well…you probably shouldn’t have hired them in the first place.
One thing that’s always important to remember – your employees are conceivably spending more of their waking hours with you than they are with their own friends and family. The manner in which you treat them is a very important part of their lives.