The top three reasons for employee dissatisfaction (and how to fix them)
You’re throwing away the best thing that ever happened to your business. No, worse, you’re dropping it off on your competitor’s door step with a cute little card that says “Please take my business.”
How can that be? The only thing you have that your competitors don’t isn’t technology, marketing or collateral – is your people. And if you haven’t noticed, hundreds of them are walking right out your front door. According to Forbes magazine, recent research shows that as many as 85 percent of American workers expect to be employed by a new company within 12 months. So why are they leaving you?
- Management: Often times the problems your employees are having with their direct managers aren’t apparent until it’s too late. The manager who performs perfectly on paper can be a terrible people manager. A large portion of management complaints relate to perceived fairness. When employees feel that managers play favorites, demand too much, or don’t give credit where it is due employees feel slighted and are exponentially more likely to lose enthusiasm for their work, and may even quit.
- Compensation: Employees ultimately want to be compensated with a reasonable wage and benefit structure that is equal to their peers. Regardless of company policy, employees will talk about their wages.
- Stability: Having an appropriate work-life balance is important to anyone and everyone. When there is a lack of clarity around decision making employees often become anxious around fundamental issues like job security and company direction. Keeping employees informed will result in a feeling of inclusion and personal ownership in the company’s success.
Here’s how to keep them around
- Focus on retention: We’re not talking about knowing your turnover percentages or even making a last ditch effort to keep your employees around when they have one foot out the door. We’re talking about a radical reorientation of company policy and procedure that keeps retention of employees at the forefront of every employee’s mind from the day their application is received. An exit interview is too late. Annual check-ins to evaluate job satisfaction and regular performance reviews for each employee are a great place to start.
- Find great leaders: It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, having the right people managing people and processes is one of the most difficult things to do. Leaders need to be a good culture fit for your company at the hire. It’s a mistake to think someone can be trained to “fit in” or understand such fundamental aspects as brand and culture. Either they get it or they don’t. If a manager really gets your culture, they’ll understand how important employee retention is to the success of your company, and the rest should be easy.
- Consider the workplace: By focusing on a few key areas, you can drastically improve workplace environment at every level.
- Level the playing field: Having an open door policy provides an open an honest feedback loop. Leaders and managers should be accessible for anyone, regardless of position.
- Don’t lie: Honesty is always the best policy. Keeping your employees in the loop will yield candid feedback in return, and avoid anxiety around job security, company policies and personnel changes.
- Be grateful: Everyone likes a pat on the back. Something as simple as a thank-you note or public recognition can go a long way to boost morale. Employees will know their performance is monitored and appreciated.