A word we are all familiar with. Thanks to the multi-slide PowerPoint presentations strenuously worked upon by our HR staff. I still remember the faces of employees in our company every time the slides on employee retention was presented and stories on how it was achieved were shared. In the fifteen years of my career, I have seen experience worth about 150 years getting drained out due to unintelligent and mindless reasons.
- Manager – We are all aware that the one most significant reason an employee leaves a company is because of the manager. As someone said, ‘You don’t work for the company. You work for your manager.’ I say, you work because of your manager. Those who blindly choose to follow anything and everything their manager says or does; definitely stand a chance to get into the boss’s good books. But work-wise, they will never be satisfied and they’ll never be able to learn anything new. You have got to question everything possible. A sensible manager will respect you for taking the initiative to know and understand the reason behind a certain decision instead of taking the load like a donkey. Thankfully, I have had the opportunity to work with three sensible managers who always chose the company’s and employee’s interest first. But even if the manager is sensible and helps his/her employees develop personally and professionally, there are other important parameters that govern your employees’ tenure at your company.
- CTC (Cost to Company) – A page or two that is prepared with a fox’s intelligence to attract innocent preys. While I completely agree that every company works for profit, I also tend to disagree with the shrewdness involved in the making of this document. The variable component which not just depends on the employee’s talent and effort but an entire workforce’s efforts, is made to look like the most handsome perk in the CTC. The bait, I call it. Most of the time, you cannot even earn half of it, courtesy someone else’s foolish decisions. While this line can help you fool many (including me) for sometime (or even longer), it cannot help you survive in the long run. You cannot always afford to exploit an employee’s loyalty and integrity. Sooner or later, you’ll lose the resource.
- Individual needs – Rules are made to be followed by everyone. Agreed. But then there must be ways to help a worthy resource in times of difficulties. If you choose to ignore listening to their needs while you happily tweak the rules for employees who wag their tails ignoring the work assigned, it’s gotta be your loss when they leave.
- Career progression and growth opportunities – Good resources love new challenges. Some managers tend to load every new role on an already overloaded employee instead of helping other employees to grow. The reason cited in most cases is the time they’ll take to learn. This cannot be an excuse. By overloading one employee and ignoring the other employee, you are slowly but surely losing both of them.
- Reward and encouragement – Many a times, an employee is not looking for monetary benefit alone. He/she is seeking acknowledgement of his/her exemplary work. Failing to highlight the same and encouraging them, will only imbibe resentment in them.
- Involvement – Every employee of your team must be given some one-to-one time and loves to be a part of greater discussions. Involve them. That’s how you help them progress. Transparency is a must for winning their trust.
- Support their development; personal as well as professional – If there are opportunities at work or outside to help your employee in learning and development, share it. Encourage them. Support them, morally and financially. Remember, an employee is the greatest asset any company has. Nurture them. Find their strengths and weakness through continuous interactions. Help them improve through learning modules and training workshops. These are not just meant for the pets, you know.
- Conflict resolution – Listening is a very important role. Be it the manager, the HR or the leadership team. The actual situation can only be evaluated by listening to your team. Conflicts between teams, between employees, between a manager and an employee, the HR and the employee, have to be assessed and resolved timely. If you do not lend your ears at the right time, there will not be any need of them a little later.
How you treat your employees decide who you’ll be able to hire in the future and how your company will prosper. The survival of any successful company depends on the welfare of its employees. Invest your time and money in them. The returns will be marvelous.