Once you have your dream team it’s your job to inspire your employees to stay with you.
The benefits of retaining staff over the long term are enormous. You get to develop long-standing employees and build stronger teams. Stability enables you to implement long-term plans and develop sound corporate knowledge. Recruitment is expensive, especially when you have high degrees of churn.
The big questions to consider are:
1. Why do employees stay?
2. Why do employees leave?
We talk to candidates daily who tell us why they’re disgruntled with their jobs. Here are the top reasons they’ll ditch you as soon as they can, or stay with you for a long time.
1. Dislike their manager or supervisor
Employees want managers who:
- respect them and listen
- have vision and communicate that vision
- are true leaders
- drive an excellent internal culture
- are positive
- lead by example
- make the hard decisions
- are prepared to take quick and fair action to diffuse issues and resolve them.
Employees don’t want managers who:
- micro manage
- display bullying behaviours
- are disrespectful
- favour some team members over others
- aren’t willing to invest in training, development and mentorship
- don’t do what they say they’re going to do
- aren’t prepared to motivate and reward
- talk ‘at’ them instead of ‘with them’.
2. Growth and progression
Employees want managers who will:
- give them genuine opportunities to learn, develop, grow
- trust them to take on new challenges
- work with them to develop a career path for the short and long term.
Employees don’t want managers who aren’t:
- imaginative when it comes to cross training or motivating
- able to think laterally about introducing them to new projects, tasks or initiatives
- capable of being creative with rewards and recognition.
Employees want managers who understand and support:
- flexible work arrangements and are innovative in applying them, including with part-time, flexible hours, job sharing
- that flexibility means different things to different employees, and can include working for home when a family member isn’t well, taking an hour off to attend an appointment, or starting later and finishing later on some days.
Employees don’t want managers who are:
- old fashioned and rigid
- untrustworthy when it comes to flexible work arrangements
- determined to force employees to work a standard ‘9-to-5’ day when the job doesn’t require it (of course, standard hours vary depending on the industry).
Employees want to work with managers who:
- openly recognise a job well done
- have measures in place to provide recognition, including, for example, a thank you email, an early mark, a lunch out, gift vouchers
- are prepared to consider what employees want for recognition—some might want time off in lieu and others financial compensation.
Employees don’t want managers who never recognise efforts:
- because they believe their employees are getting paid to do their job and so that’s enough
- of one employee in front of others
- in anything but a token way.
5. Company culture
Employees want to work under managers who:
- lead the way and are prepared to invest in building a culture
- instil a dynamic, positive and uplifting company culture
- back company culture through fun, laughter and celebration.
Employees don’t want managers who:
- can’t be bothered with culture or communicating culture.
Employees want to be:
- paid fairly for the level of work they perform
- remunerated when acting in a higher level position (in line with their Award)
- covered off with salary increases at a minimum in line with the Consumer Price Index
- paid higher than others if performing better than others.
Employees don’t want to work with managers who:
- ignore the importance of wages
- expect them to work longer and harder without any compensation, treating them like slaves
- refuse to pay for higher performance duties.
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