One of my recent articles explored the Great Resignation of 2021. If you remember correctly, several reasons are cited for future turnover:
1. Employees who transitioned to working from home because of the pandemic now enjoy the quality-of-life increase that remote work brings, and will seek employment that affords that opportunity, and are now unwilling to return to the former workplace commitments,
2. The best workers now have the “pick of employment” that affords that work from home opportunity.
3. Other workers used their down-time during the pandemic to develop new skills or passions, and now want to find roles that allow them to incorporate those interests and/or passions into their day-to-day work, and personal lives.
If you are an employer, or interested in business, as we are, these “reasons” beg the question, how might one stem the tide of departures, then hire and retain our human talent?
“Boss Magazine” ran a recent editorial that “happy” employees are more productive. I would like to better state happy as “satisfied.” These satisfied employees would not be as inclined to leave as unhappy (dissatisfied) folks.
The editorial suggests that employees need to feel valued. If we think about it, what does it take to communicate that an employee is valued? Much of this is basic common sense. When I was teaching new supervisors, I stressed two words: “Use Please” and “Thank you.” Often, those words are forgotten when giving work directions. Managers should make those two words as a must every day. Gee, I wonder if we tracked how many times you said please, and thank you on a daily basis, what the number might be. Common courtesy can go a long way to getting things done. In the grand scheme of things, it does not take much. People want to be treated decently. I once had a manager take me to task in a staff meeting. He apologized to me later when I was alone. He got it backwards. A stressful discussion must be held in private. Needless to say, I never forgot that experience.
Promotion of personal and professional growth is another “satisfier.” I remember seeing where Johnsonville (great brats) insisted that every employee have a certain number of hours where the individual learned something. No restrictions on whether the learning was for business or personal reasons. This type of approach reflects much about the company. I like seeing the “no restrictions.” Brave on the part of this company.
Any employee, when heard, recognizes that their thoughts are valued. Preparing a response to an employee before they are finished, becomes a recognized failure in the communication process. This will ultimately destroy future attempts at communications. I once heard a successful consultant say that his approach was to ask employees what needed to be done, then turned around did just that. It certainly would have been much easier, and less costly for the business. Have you asked for a suggestion lately? This would help my heart!