What Managers Can Do To Make Employees Stick Around

Employees will stay if you can create positive experiences
Employees will stay if you can create positive experiences
Image Credit: Hernán Piñera

So here’s some bad news for managers: right now employee turnover (employees who leave) is currently at an all-time high. What this means for you is that your team is at risk. If you don’t find a way to use your manager skills to keep the members of your team happy and engaged in their job, then guess what – they are going to leave. If they leave, then all of a sudden your life just got a lot more complicated as you are going to have to spent a great deal of money to try to replace them. There has to be an alternative to all of this.

Taking A Look At Your Team

As managers, we need to be aware of what the expectations of our team members are. We need to realize that in their personal lives more and more their unique needs are being identified and served by various services such as Netflix which can make viewing suggestions based on predictive analytics. Once upon this was not always the case and your team members had fewer options and just had to live with the way that things were. Not any more.

Note that the work environment that we are all working in has also been changing. Common parts of the manager task, such as team member feedback, used to be a once a year task. Now that has been changed and our manager training has taught us that it has become part of an ongoing conversation that we are expected to be having with all of the members of our team. The members of your team also want to have a say in how you give them feedback and when you give them feedback. Managers need to realize that things have changed and that your team member’s experiences has become a differentiating factor as it relates to their happiness and willingness to remain working at your company.

So what are your team members thinking right now? Studies have shown that employees with the most positive experiences at work are three times less likely to be searching for a new job. This is what you want. Although this is a good situation to be in, it turns out that only 10 percent of employees rate the employee experience at their job a 10 out of 10. Clearly managers still have some work to do here. In order to boost job satisfaction for our team members, we’ve got to take action.

Getting Your Team Members To Stick Around

So what is it going to take to get the members of your team to stick around? It turns out that meaningful work is the single largest contributor to an employee’s positive experience. Now this creates some challenges. We all know that there are some things that need to be done that may seem trivial to everyone involved. How can a manager make sure that the trivial stuff gets done while still making sure that that work that we give to our team members is meaningful?

The way that a manager can accomplish both of these tasks is to take the time to explain the bigger picture when handing out work. Even the trivial tasks make an impact and you need to explain that impact. It’s also important to empower employees by giving them opportunities to step into new roles. This can be as simple as having a different employee lead a repeating meeting every week in order to give them a chance to grow.

As a manager, it can be all too easy for us to lose our way. We can find ourselves getting loaded down with meetings, things that need to be delivered, and deadlines. If we are not careful, we can forget what managers are supposed to be doing. We need to keep the human element in mind when we are at work. What we need to do is to remember that managing others is a set of human interactions rather than an endless cycle of work that needs to get done. Our job as managers is to create a space where people feel valued as a member of the team and recognized for who they are as a person.

What All Of This Means For You

The value of a manager is based on what their team is able to produce. What this means for each manager is that we need to use team building to ensure that the members of our team are going to stay with the company – we don’t want them to leave. If they leave, then things can become complicated and expensive very quickly.

As managers we need to realize that life for the members of our team has changed. When they are not at work, the world is trying to determine what they want and customize the delivery of it to them. Meanwhile at work, things have changed and the annual review has gone away to be replaced with and ongoing performance conversation. The good news is that employees who are having a positive job experience will be much less likely to be searching for a new job. In order to make sure that the members of your team are enjoying their jobs you need to take the time to explain the importance of the tasks that you are assigning to them. You also have to remember the human side of being a manager and create a positive space for each member of your team.

Taking the time to think about the members of our team and what their needs are is a critical part of the manager job. We don’t want to lose the people that we have working for us and so we need to make sure that they are having positive experiences at work. Get good at doing this and you’ll be able to keep your team together for a long time.

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

Question For You: What should a manager do if a team member pushes back when you are assigning them trivial work?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

How’s that manager job going for you? Are you finding that you can use your manager skills to have enough time to get all of the things that you need to get done, done? If you are like most of us, the answer is no. You go into the office each day with a well made “to-do” list and then you come home at night with most of that to-do list still undone. What’s going on here? What’s going on is that life is knocking you for a loop. It’s all of the little things that need to be done every day that are preventing you from doing the bigger things that need to be accomplished. How can a manager get more done?