From the blogs and articles I am reading it would appear that Managers are not necessarily doing the things that matter most, for example building effective working relationships with their team members, to build an engaged team and retain their talented players. Let’s be clear, talented employees ALWAYS have a choice whether or not to work for you, or work for your organization. Even in a tough hiring market they are not “trapped”, they have choice.
Here are five simple steps to ensure you are sending the message that you value your talented employees:
- Pay attention to your talented players. Make sure that you spend more time with your star employees than your troublesome employees. Find ways to involve them in projects and other parts of the business that might not otherwise be available to them. Remember, your best employees ALWAYS have options and will be the first to leave; they have a history of success.
- Conduct a ‘stay-interview’. Many organizations conduct ‘exit-interviews’ when people are leaving a company, but by then it is too late, your talented employee has already made the decision to leave. Instead, get ahead of the game, and sit down with your team members TODAY and find out what motivates them; what their career aspirations are and what frustrates them. Ask why they choose to stay with the company and what might cause them to leave. Identify how you can help and involve them in creating a development plan that keeps them in your organization.
- Tackle poor performance immediately. Before an employee becomes ‘actively disengaged’ there are usually tell-tale signs and symptoms that indicate all is not well; results may drop, attitudes become cynical. Ensure that you clearly articulate expectations and hold everyone accountable for both the results they achieve and how they go about achieving those results.
- Take a talent snapshot. Are you leveraging the strengths of everyone on your team or relying on just a few ‘go-to’ people? Identify opportunities to develop your team members through on-the-job experience, coaching, changes to assignments or team roles. Give your employees the opportunity to do their best work and ensure that they look forward to coming to work every day.
- Develop the leadership and management skills of first-line managers. Best-in-class organizations provide training and tools to managers to help them better engage their employees. Gallup’s quote that ‘people join companies, but leave managers’ is as true today as it has ever been, research continues to demonstrate that a person’s immediate line manager is the single biggest influence on their engagement — and whether they decide to stay. Given that employee turnover can cost between 35% -250% of annual salary, it clearly makes good business sense to help managers keep their employees engaged.
What steps are you taking to keep your talented players engaged and growing your own leaders? What additional advice do you have?