How Managers Can Prevent Team Members From Leaving

Managers need to find ways to keep their teams together
Managers need to find ways to keep their teams together
Image Credit: worak

Congratulations: you’ve finally built the team that you need in order to be successful. Now comes the hard part: keeping your team together. Turnover is a problem in every manager needs to find ways to deal with it. Our goal should be that having built the team that we want, we should know how to go about keeping it together. It turns out that this may actually be easier than we originally thought. It all has to do with upskilling.

How Can Managers Keep Their Teams Together?

One of the best ways to for a manager to retain your current employees is to give them the skills they need to succeed elsewhere. Yes, I know that this may sound a bit crazy, but trust me, it’s the right thing to do. In the era of pandemics and the Great Resignation, more and more managers are investing in upskilling as a tool for keeping their teams engaged. A survey showed that 90 percent of respondents, representing 1,000 American workers, consider strong training and upskilling programs an important feature of companies that they wanted to work for. For tech workers, that figure jumps up to 98 percent.

For managers this should make sense. The tech industry, after all, is especially prone to a low employee retention level. It turns out that the average tenure for a software engineer at a large tech company falls between 14 to 18 months. By investing in worker training, managers can help team members progress in their careers or even make lateral moves – without necessarily losing those workers to the competition. We need to understand that people stay at companies when they’re still learning,

How Managers Can Help Team Members Become Constant Learners

Managers need to find ways that they can adopt existing-employee apprenticeships. What can we do if we can’t find the workers who have the skills we’re looking for? If you find yourself in this situation, then it’s time to commit to on-the-job training. You can make this happen by establishing apprenticeships: paid, entry-level opportunities that have learning built in. We all know that apprenticeships (like internships) have historically been used to recruit new talent to companies. Right now the number of companies that are using apprenticeships to re-skill existing employees has been increasing dramatically. Companies are using the programs to re-skill employees, up from just 5 percent prior to the pandemic.

Managers have another way to ensure that employees stay: make investments in learning continually. Managers shouldn’t necessarily view training and education as a means to a specific end. If we start to think about education as part of the employee’s journey from onboarding to upskilling to retention, we can create a longer-term relationship with our employees. This is especially true for tech employees who may value learning things like different programming languages. If we provide access to self-paced educational resources it can help workers keep their skills sharp, while allowing them to meet the company’s evolving needs. Another benefit of doing this is that it can stave off boredom, as workers can deploy their newly formed skills in different roles. We need to understand that it allows for greater fluidity of our workforce.

We have to remember that we want to make it not feel like homework. Your team members likely want to advance their skills so they can progress in their careers. However, it’s important that upskilling opportunities don’t feel like they are doing extra work. The promotion of education options can be critical in this way. Whatever platform you choose to use, managers should ask team members to target their specific career goals and help them understand what kind of skill development can help them reach those goals. What a manager wants to do is to create a mindset that their personal professional development is actually beneficial for the entire organization. Managers need to view team members as assets. When you invest in your assets, they become more valuable.

What All Of This Means For You

Managers spend a great deal of time working to build their teams. Once we have been able to create a successful team, our next job becomes to find ways to keep our team together. This can be a real challenge to do. Managers need to understand what steps we need to take in order to keep our teams together.

A somewhat unorthodox approach to retaining team members is to give them the skills they need to succeed elsewhere. Surveys have shown that this is what workers are looking for in jobs. Learning causes workers to stay in jobs. A great way to provide workers with the learning that they are looking for is to use existing-employee apprenticeships. We also provide team members with access to self-paced educational resources. The key to make sure that new learning opportunities don’t feel like homework to team members.

Once somebody has joined our team, we would really like them to stay. There are many things that we can both do and not do that will create an environment that they want to remain a part of. However, it turns out that providing our team members with an opportunity to keep learning is one of the simplest ways that we can go about making people want to remain a part of our team. Managers need to start to search for ways to make continuous learning a key part of being on their team.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How much learning do you think that a manager should provide to the members of their team?

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