Archive for the ‘Employee Retention Strategies’ Category
This begs the question: What do Gen Y workers want anyway? And what exactly do they expect from a boss in terms of managing work efforts, effectively?
To prepare for a meeting with city leaders, I recently met with an interesting Gen Y/Xer (she’s between the demographer lines) who works in a professional staff position in my city.
Our city, like others, is attempting to understand how we can do a better job of keeping our best/brightest talent here—and not move away to your city, for example!
When this young lady shared with me how much she had enjoyed working at a previous position in Washington, D.C. (prior to moving to my city of Springfield, MO) especially how she had loved working for the management at that organization, I was really curious. I asked her to explain exactly what the management had done to make it such a great work experience.
Her answer was insightful, it also serves as a good reminder for what many Gen Y workers want today.
What Gen Yers Wish Managers Knew About Managing:
- Shed titles. Contrast that with managers who use a title (and its authority) to control others. The managers at the Washington organization weren’t interested in ‘controlling’ but in collaborating with employees more effectively, hence they shed the formality of their titles and got on her level. While they still held a title, of course, they didn’t allow those titles to create distance or tension—as in I’m over you and I’m your boss so I do as I say.
Short article #42
Unfortunately, one unintended consequence of high unemployment may be that it has given some managers the belief that they can be more demanding or controlling of their employees.
I’m hearing managers say things I haven’t heard in a long time. Things that bespeak of an underlying and troubling attitude.
- “I can have you replaced with a dozen just like you by noon if I want!” Read more »
Short article # 40
The article from BNET (link below) makes an apt point regarding employee praise, a point that should be common knowledge for any manager or leader:
- Principle: deserved praise is critical to feelings of connectedness, employee loyalty, as well as ongoing contribution of uninhibited effort.
One of my own consulting engagements closely mirrors the story told in the article: A small business client was suffering from accelerated turnover, and inexplicably, several professional staff level employees had resigned only months prior to collecting sizeable bonuses.
Can lack of praise or lack of relationship with one’s manager be a significant enough factor to prompt an employee to leave an employer, moreover, can it actually cause them to walk away from tens of thousands of dollars in bonus money? According to my first-hand experience, yes.
Short article #36 and #37 (combined)
Mainly, employees sensed that management really didn’t want their input. Two things in particular tipped them off.
First, nothing was ever acted on as a result of the input. Secondly, management never followed-up with employees later to discuss the ideas. (I realize ‘never’ is a big word… but it’s the word I most often hear from employees).
Thank goodness, many employee suggestions boxes, often located in the lunchroom or break room, went away. (I think they were turned into kindling wood, or hidden away in the closet by embarrassed managers).
Unfortunately however, suggestion boxes have now been replaced with more modern, but still largely ineffective methods for gathering employee input, such as:
- An “open door” management style which seemingly encourages openness from employees but rarely gets it.
- Employee forums. Such forums often turn into gripe sessions (at least that’s what I’m told by managers who don’t like doing them anymore.)
- Monthly or weekly staff meetings (aka “huddles” or “departmental meetings”) where the employee perspective is rarely garnered because such meetings are often monologues instead of productive, honest dialogues.
- Employee performance reviews. Too often reviews are one-way communications of arbitrary scores and ratings that have nothing to do with improving performance or building value into people. Secrets to Giving Employee Performance Reviews.
What’s wrong with the aforementioned methods for acquiring employee ideas and suggestions. Nothing! As long as, employee suggestions or ideas are handled effectively.
Highly effective managers are good at getting a steady stream of helpful, open dialogue from employees. Ideas they can use to cut costs, improve efficiencies and increase profits.
One of the best ways to start generating more useful employee input is by making sure you avoid the 6 Most Common Fumbles Handling Employee Input:
- Manager says they want input, but really doesn’t. He/she believes that the people in the company with all the answers are the people who hold titles, not the employees, because employees have a limited perspective.
You might want to check out Jason’s article on motivating and building the morale of remote employees, I found it pertinent. He offers up a number of useful ideas especially if you have employees scattered about. See: ON A BUDGET: Motivating your team, bolstering loyalty & elevating morale. (Full Series) « “Life as a Remote User”
Motivating, managing distance employees presents a few unique challenges like…
- Less face time to create open dialogue about work goals, problems, feedback, updates, etc.
- Communication is relationship and distance can impact building relationship and trust.
One industry, healthcare, has all but escaped the draconian impact of the economic recession. However, healthcare is, as other industries are—battling low employee morale.
According to a survey by CareerBuilder (referenced in this article: Healthcare employers battle low employee morale | Healthcare Finance News) nearly 4 of 10 healthcare employees report low motivation and 1 in 4 say they have no loyalty to their employers.
Losing good employees costs the leaders of any organization dearly. This is especially true in healthcare where job knowledge and experience is valued so highly (or it should be).
What can healthcare employers, or any employer for that matter do to ramp up morale:
Get innovative about employee incentives. Think in terms of low-cost but meaningful rewards. Don’t stop your recognition program just because the budget doesn’t permit you to reward like you once did, instead revamp.
Recently I was asked in a media interview whether losing employees was something businesses really needed to focus on that much, today. The reporter (from CBS) was curious whether or not employees, given the current 10 percent-plus unemployment, would really be looking around that much for another job?
I told him, “There’s always the threat of losing your top performers, they’re more marketable, and savvy competitors may be waiting for the right opportunity to lure them away.”
I also shared with him that businesses simply cannot afford to lose better employees, the cost is exorbitant and the damage left behind can be devastating to the bottom-line with a ripple effect sent throughout the team.
Here are four of the points he and I discussed in that interview (see what you think about them and comment back if you like):
Lost expertise. When good employees leave you, they take their ideas, knowledge, problem-solving abilities, relationships, and creativity to another employer.
Saying ‘Thanks’ and/or giving praise doesn’t come as naturally to some managers as it does for others. I started out thirty years ago in my career being one of those managers who found giving ‘praise’ harder than giving correction.
I’m better at it today, and yet, I’m certainly not perfect. The results of improvement have been remarkable—especially in how it helped me create a more positive tone and relationship with others at work, or in my personal life.
It helps to have a few reminders of how easy praise (saying ‘Good Job’ or ‘Thanks’) can be when we pause to look for it, then share it with our associates.
- Thank you for backing my leadership on this project, I really appreciate it.
- You project enthusiasm to our customers for their business… and I really appreciate that.
- You have a lot of qualities we admire around here, like…
- You did a great job on that project, you got it complete under an intense deadline!
- Let me compliment you on how well you calmed that customers down, you did it with professionalism and a whole lot of tact.
- You do a great job on follow-up, I never hear a complaint from anyone in the company about the communications coming from your area.
3 Tips on Revving Up Praise:
- Be sincere. When you see something praiseworthy – praise it. On the other hand, if you don’t, then avoid feeling like you need to come up with something that won’t be in earnest.
- Don’t wait until something’s perfect before you acknowledge it with appreciation or praise.
- Be timely. If you wait to say it later…you may forget. When you see it, say it.
10 Ways to Say “Good Job”…
- You’re catching on fast, I like the effort you’re putting in.
- Super job on that report, it was exactly what I was looking for.
- Thank you! Your input was really helpful for me to hear… I like other viewpoints to consider.
- Actually, it doesn’t bother me when you challenge the status quo around here, because you do it without being confrontational. I know your purpose is to help us grow, get better.
Take time to look for good behavior as well as good attitude, then recognize your employee for it.
Good behavior or good attitude doesn’t have to be recognized with $$money. A verbal or written praise/thanks is especially meaningful, and it lasts.
Mark Twain said, “I can live for three months on a good compliment.” Here are 10 ways to say “good job”…
- Thanks for getting back so quickly, you saved me some time.
- I really appreciate the questions you ask, it shows you take genuine interest.
- Your work on that project was nothing short of Fantastic!