Fortunately, chances are slim you will experience an employee reading you a list of 10 things they hate about you or your organization. But just because you aren’t in one of the greatest 90s teen dramas, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about how you’re turning off top performers. It’s hard to keep good people. It’s also easy to irritate people. As an HR professional, you know irritated and discontent people are more likely to move on. So how do we keep our best employees happy? It starts with respecting them enough not to make them unhappy.
Have you ever heard that rules are for the bad employees, not the good ones? As an HR professional, I’ll bet you have. But do you, as a manager, ever remind yourself of that? Or do you hold everyone to stringent rules, even the ones that treat people like children and may be silly? Rules perceived as unnecessary can drive people crazy, and out the door.
Too often an HR manager takes great strides to treat everyone equally. But should that be the goal? It’s certainly easier to treat everyone to the same standard – but everyone is not the same. Instead, strive to treat professionals fairly, helping to ensure that top performers have a little more earned leeway.
It’s no one’s business how poor performers are handled…but as an HR professional you know that human nature makes people take notice on how poor performers are handled. If they are perceived to be getting away with poor behavior and overly tolerated it can be demotivating, and worst cases chase people away when poor performers are let to slide by.
Companies that fail to recognize their people are ignoring the ever-important psychological paycheck people receive when recognized for a job well done. The best way to connect with people is to truly understand who they are and what type of recognition motivates them.
Have you ever heard that people don’t quit their job, they quit their boss? Smart managers balance being professional with being a person. Bosses don’t need to be (shouldn’t be) their employees’ best friend, but they must care – and show it.
By their nature, people want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Work with employees to understand the corporate and departmental goals. Then work with them to connect how their professional accomplishments are making a contribution to improve the organization.
High performing employees are motivated to learn and advance. If you want top performers to stay on, make sure you provide a growth path as well as intervals that demonstrate progress. Don’t just create a plan and forget about it or only address it once a year (performance reviews), but consistently discuss how the plan is going.
An interview is the first chance to show the organization’s values, make sure you not only present your best self, but an honest one. Talk about all elements of the job including the more unpleasant ones. Employees whose expectations aren’t met after starting at a job may leave quickly or feel as if they were duped into taking a job that wasn’t right for them.
Very little job satisfaction comes in an environment where an employee is constantly monitored and directed. Let your employees receive the job satisfaction of making solid decisions for themselves. Work to understand what the employee is working on and the reporting structure, then trust in them to get their job done.
Forty hours a week is a lot of time to spend anywhere if it’s not fun. No one is saying you have to become Heath Ledger or a cruise director, but there are things you can do to create an environment that’s at least enjoyable, and perhaps even a little fun!
Take steps to avoid all of these behaviors and you’re sure to not only keep your employees around longer, you’ll also have more effective and productive workers… no matter how long they stay!