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Hey CEO, Wake Up! You’re Losing Your Best People to the Competition

Learning How to Keep Your Hard-working Employees

It is late in the evening. Everyone else has left for their homes but you are still in your mid-town office at the twenty ninth floor. You have been working late to finish an important project. You stand by the window of this corporate tower with all the city below you; but you hardly see a thing, ‘cause you are lost in your business’ future.

Your sales manager walks into your office and breaks the silence; she tells you she has been offered a better job. This is the same employee you handpicked, trained, and just recently gave a pay raise.

“There are others thinking about leaving too”, she says, just as she turns to be off. You are stunned. You notice you have not been listening, just as the door clicks shut behind her.

What went amiss? How will you manage to finish this project? Others leaving too! Who? The fright is stepping in and the office appears larger than you have ever taken notice of.

This is the situation faced by many employers the world over. The difficulty in finding and sustaining talented people is having a dreadful impact on several organizations in different industries throughout the globe.

Surveys show that at least one among three employees considers quitting their current job each year. This is added to the expected retirees who walk out with their rich experience. This way, employers lose their best and most experienced staff to the competition or to the outside retirees’ world.

The biggest headache is on finding a replacement; one that will perfectly fit in. This can only be guaranteed in a perfect world-one we do not have.

It is clear that company CEOs may have no means to avoid losing workforce at retirement, but they certainly have a way to go about the young and ambitious staff; with rare talents that any organization would give anything to own.

Whose oversight? It is time to begin asking. Perhaps you should cast an eye back. Reevaluate your methods, your language; your organization’s culture.

Many a times the problem is with us; the top management! You come every morning, lock yourself up in your office, and leave late in the evening. You hardly have time to speak to people, leave alone your own employees.

When will you sit down and reflect? How will you solve any problem ailing your organization when you do not have time to find out!

Employee turnover

Many corporations spend billions of cash each year recruiting and replacing their employees with the assumption that turnover is unavoidable. They hold a clouded opinion that there is little they can do to prevent it. Most of them experience a turnover problem yet hardly dig to the bottom of this dilemma.

The employment landscape is getting radicalized by a new generation of workers. These are the younger workers who place their needs for instant gratification before anything else. They are also the most innovative but so impatient; which is the part many CEOs have a problem understanding.

The source of their gratification is never always selfish as many top management personnel may assume. These people are dreamers, and their drive comes from the need to change the world; their main source of gratification is to be recognized. In certain cases, these creative minds come up with suggestions; some of which are admittedly crazy. So, what does the CEO do? “Let’s put that idea aside for a while, and focus on the bigger picture”!

In other words, the management is telling the young employee that his new idea does not fit within ‘the bigger picture’. Worse still, the ‘a while’ never comes to an end, because the CEO never remembers to return to this employee to hear out the idea.

As a result the worker is de-motivated and stops making any further suggestions knowing that the management will never adopt them. Their entrepreneurial spirit is killed or hushed until an opportune moment when a willing organization offers them a position.

A corporate entrepreneur is someone who identifies an opportunity where none has seemingly existed. They see possibility where others do not notice it. It is in venturing into these uncertain possibilities that a difference is created. This is where the verdant minds come in.

Smart corporations are keen to observe creativity in the ‘crazy’ ideas of the young entrepreneurs. They immediately step in to implement the ideas and as a result, they always stay ahead of the competition. They easily lure the talented employees who are very eager to propose new ways of doing business. These organizations provide shape to the big dreams held by the young workers through adoption of their ideas. Immense gratification is realized in seeing one’s idea implemented and recognized.

Majority of businesses do not have in place a formal retention program. Key among the things most employers are yet to understand is that employee retention does not mean you keep everyone. Get rid of the lazybones. Workers say one of the main reasons they stay is because they like the people they work with-those that can be counted on.

CEOs must understand that successful leaders are never those who are the best, but those who work with the best. Truth be told, some of the most recognized entrepreneurs in the world today for their great businesses have taken credit for ideas which were never their own brainchild.

Motivate your employees

motivate your employeesMotivation, be it your own motivation or that of your employees, is the trigger to perform. It is not universal for all. Motivation comes from within a person.  A good leader therefore needs soft skills in practice to create an environment that accentuates employee motivation.

Interpersonal skills are a critical element to every successful organization with a high workforce retention culture. People want to feel that management cares and is concerned about their welfare as individuals. Most unbeaten corporations have strong bonds between the top management and employees. The CEOs relate with their staff at a personal level and listen to them. Their main worries do not go unattended to.

The leader must learn not to be too critical to the others. Strong criticism may kill employee enthusiasm. You should practice acceptance; of the abilities you bring to the table and recognize your achievements, alongside the contribution of the other workers. A transparent environment where good work is appreciated is friendly for all. Be a team player and allow your employees to do the job they were hired to do. Recognition for a job well done is strong employee motivation.

A flexible working environment is a good fuel for every corporate entrepreneur. Allow your workers flexible conditions and schedules that are adapted to their needs as individuals; whether they are single parents, those who care for aging parents, older workers, younger workers, part-time workers, or telecommuters; they will be most productive when the conditions are optimum for their individually unique personal lives. Workers will likely drift to a company that provides for these conditions to fit in.

There are simple cues to achieving a motivated work community; by bringing all employees together in a room for a meeting you will be on your way to a team environment. Seeking their opinions, asking them for contributions and sharing information with them will demonstrate a down-to-earth personality, which every worker would like to see in their executives. You empower them to see the company as their own and share the urge to see it excel.

When you share results of the period with them and ask for their observations and recommendations, you obtain a wealth of information while giving them the responsibility over success and areas that could do with adjustments.

In every event that the top management comes together with the staff, no idea suggested should be disregarded outright. Rather, there should be room for discussion. The management ought to maximize on seeking the input of the rest of the staff.

The value of seminars and workshops should not be overlooked. It is one powerful way of empowering the workers ideologically. These are avenues where new entrepreneurial skills are discussed and new concepts are born as people begin to see things in diverse perspectives.

With this kind of employee community in place, new comers will meet a culture of positive comments that will seldom let them think otherwise about the organization. You can make their integration process easier by creating an employee adoption program. Starting them off on the right track is incredibly important, and maintaining consistent standards and keeping strategies fresh and creative is the immunity against uncertainties.

Everything looks taken care of, right? At the time of implementing plans the workers took part formulating, is their likelihood of resistance? Placed in this kind of a working environment would you consider leaving; going away to the unknown? I highly doubt.

About the author

Noam Tamari-Wekser

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