Leading S.H.E. Summit has given me the opportunity to speak with thousands of corporate employees. When we talk at the conference, their guard is down and their honesty comes through, revealing the pain points of their careers.
More and more I’ve learned that the higher their potential the less likely talent is to leave their job. When they do, it’s not an impulsive choice. Their decision is intentional and motivated by specific reasons.
Digging into what’s motivating these choices is a game plan that I see too few HR departments and managers focusing on, though it’s the difference between retaining talent and watching them thrive at other companies.
To help management get a clearer picture of their retention challenge, I’ve outlined four focus areas vital to ensuring that you’re doing everything in your power to retain your talent.
Feed their soul
The hearts and souls of your staff are not inspired by paychecks or career development courses alone. The pulse of what drives talent is not motivated solely by money. Organizations must accept and embrace this truth. Most employees, especially Millennials and Gen Z, will demand that their career include some component of purpose-driven work. If it isn’t happening with you, they’ll move to meet it somewhere else. It’s imperative that actionable steps be taken to feed your employees’ spirit. Whether that means creating opportunities for them to contribute to the company’s higher mission or allowing them to create activations of their own — skip this step at your own peril- an incremental step is better than no step at all.
Seek out bad management
People leave people, not companies. From the get, as a manager or C-Suite leader, make sure that not only are the company values clearly stated but that everyone working for you fully understands and executes on those values. Bad management is a top reason that employees develop an exit strategy. Ideally, you want to tackle the issue before it becomes a problem by setting clear guidelines for company culture and modeling the behavior you seek are the best places to start.
Show your employees you value them
It’s as simple as this: if you help your employees feel like they can show up as themselves at work, and you are available to help them figure out how to navigate the barriers in their own lives, they’re more likely to stand by you. Showing them that you see their value also helps them be better employees, and they’re likely to show you a loyalty to you that is second to none.
Offer an anonymous forum for feedback
Offer your employees a safe space to share their insights or worries. An anonymous forum, whether it be a hotline or web-based submission form, allows you to hear your employees. You can’t fix what you don’t know and they need to feel safe in being honest. More information, especially constructive feedback, is important information to have and act on.
To get the best from your staff, you must create a space for connection, belonging, and growth are possible. Prioritizing this is the first step in ensuring that high retention will be synonymous with your corporation. The key is remembering that all employees want to feel seen and valued in a culture that embraces them.