HR 101: 5 Simple Keys to Keeping Your People Engaged

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Aug 28, 2018

Your people leave for various reasons. However, thanks to Gallup Research which collected data from more than 195,600 U.S. employees, we now have a #1 reason people say, “Peace, see ya later”:  They don’t feel they are encouraged or supported to do what they do best.

This finding also supports our research on the topic. We surveyed employees and our readers, and asked if they were looking for a new job. A whopping 65% said yes. Their #1 reason – bad leadership. Bad leaders don’t often support their people in doing what they do best.

The cost to replace an employee can exceed 1.5 times their annual salary. When your employees are unhappy, your customers are likely unhappy, too. It’s an endless cycle that repeats itself over and over, costing you unnecessary expenses in recruiting and customer acquisition costs.

If nearly 2/3 of your employees are looking for work elsewhere, you could have a really expensive problem on your hands. One that not only impacts revenue, but brand image as well.

Organizations are leaving money on the table by not recognizing or acknowledging the talents and strengths of their employees and encouraging them and supporting them to use those skills. At the end of the day, everyone wants to do what they do best. And be acknowledged for a job well done. By pigeonholing your employees, micromanaging them or treating them like they’re a dispensable commodity, you risk reductions in revenue and damage to your brand.

So how do you reduce the unnecessary expenses in recruiting and customer acquisition costs? Try these 5 things to support your people in doing what they do best:

1. Listen

People can’t do what they do best if you don’t know what it is they really do best. I’m not talking about just what you hired them to do or what is written in a job description. Employees have plenty of skills they bring to work and not all are part of the job description. To really learn what it is your employees do best, you need to engage with them, talk to them, and most importantly, listen to them. What are their needs? What additional skill sets do they bring? How do they want to be challenged? You need to listen and then make tweaks to your style and their duties appropriately. Encourage ideas and innovation. Help them leverage all the skills they bring to make a difference.

2. Communicate

People can’t do what they do best if you don’t communicate with them or they feel they can’t communicate with you. Be open, honest, and transparent about what is going on within your organization. Share the strategy. Share the goals. Show them where you want to take the organization. Provide constructive feedback. Give employees the info they need to succeed. Don’t let them feel blindsided or feel stupid. Be congruent. If you say something, mean it. If you promise something, deliver. Understand what it is they do best and communicate to them how they can do that to play a role in helping achieve success.

3. Challenge

For people to do what they do best, they may need or desire new challenges. New skills to add to their toolkit. Learning and growth opportunities. Adapt goals to specific roles and responsibilities as well as tie them to strategic priorities. It’s not a one size fits all. Allow for personal goals for each employee as well so they can achieve things they feel valuable to their career. Once you know what an employee feels they can do best – support them to get even better. Help them help you.

4. Support

People need leaders, so lead! For people to feel they can do their best they need to feel their leadership has their back. Don’t micromanage. Support your people. Don’t throw them under the bus should something not go exactly as planned. Don’t box people in or discourage new ways of doing things. Don’t steal credit for good ideas when credit isn’t yours. Build trust, don’t break it. Employees need to feel safe and supported in encouraging innovation. Support your employees and they will support you.

5. Agility

Agility is often required for people to feel they can do their best. Trying new ideas. Adapting processes. Navigating the hierarchy. Executing on the tasks employees feel can enhance success requires flexibility, not rigidity. Family stuff can arise. Health stuff can arise. Things can happen that may require revisiting job duties, role, or schedule. Provide flexibility and remain agile, not just in regards to how work gets done, but also in regards to understanding. Life happens.

Show your people – your #1 asset – that you consider them more than just cogs and drones and they’re more likely to work harder at their current job, and less likely to work harder looking for a new one. It’s important to keep your employees happy. When you make an effort to support your people – they’ll make an effort to support your business.

Ths article is reposted from Tolero Solutions.