For managers in any business, one of the critical challenges is figuring out how to make employees stick around and keep performing at their peak. Compensation and rewards may not guarantee retention and performance; they’ll attract a steady stream of candidates, but they don’t always ensure motivation or productivity. To stay loyal and motivated, employees need to feel valued, challenged, and optimistic about their future in the organization.
Managers deal with employees directly, and they are positioned to view culture issues at the ground level. Yet many companies fail to understand the connection between their overall performance, turnover rate, and their employees’ mental states. Even businesses that understand the connection often don’t make it a priority, and as a result, managers are left to deal with figuring out how to enhance morale and retain the best talent. They are left wondering what they can do beyond pushing their employees to meet the next deadline. Managers can take certain actions to create a challenging and engaging environment in the workplace, even if those at the top of their business aren’t fully invested in it. Creating a loyal, hard-working team can be as easy as changing a few simple habits, all towards the mindset of putting employees first.
It’s great to seek advice to solve the department’s big problems. Yet, managers should not make the mistake of overreaching when it comes to solving their employees’ problems. They need to provide accurate advice, rather than using their power to step in and solve problems. By putting employees in charge of identifying their own solutions, managers can foster independence. This is something that can come in handy when multiple projects come raining down on the team.
Every employee has a particular skill that they’re best at within their role. If managers can identify that skill in every employee, they can use it to help employees excel in their areas of expertise. That doesn’t mean overloading one employee with the same, repetitive task; it means putting them in charge of that activity and making them a reference point for the rest of the team. There’s no better compliment than to tell employees that they are so good at something that others should be learning from them. And as you may know, there’s no better way to retain the best talent than to give them responsibility. Managers should also accept that they have a responsibility to support employees and their decisions. They need to be ready to assist when employees ask for help, give credit when they succeed, and fight for them if management questions their expertise.
In general, employees are taught that solid performance will lead to regular pay raises, with title advancement every year. But in today’s market, the primary outcome of a traditional approach is giving employees a schedule for when they should think of leaving, for a higher-salary position after receiving a title bump, or for a new opportunity if that title bump doesn’t arrive on time.
If businesses can offer real career progress, like training and development programs that help employees develop new skills or internal opportunities for role change, they can become the engaging new opportunity the employees are seeking. Thus, keeping their employees focused and motivated on their business.