... And 3 Demoralizing Drops to Avoid
Keeping your employees engaged benefits everyone. By helping them feel like they’re part of a larger culture, you can help reduce turnover and build the foundations for industry-leading institutional knowledge within your business.
Turnover is a serious problem that can have devastating effects on your company. In the home care industry, for example, the average cost of turnover has been estimated to be as low as $4,800 per employee for some positions to $60,000-plus for others. But in any industry, losing employees hurts. It’s an expensive proposition not just in the time it takes to find and train a new employee but in the ongoing loss of skills and productivity in the business.
So, how can your company avoid turnover? Here are some suggestions to help lift your employees up and make them feel like they’re a valued and respected part of a larger whole.
As mentioned before, engagement is one of the best ways to avoid turnover. This engagement has to feel real and genuine to the employee, which means it has to be genuine on the part of the employer as well. That means actively listening and interacting with every employee, and helping them feel like their views are being heard by direct supervisors and managers. And what better way to listen than by asking questions about their aspirations and desired achievements?
It’s important to help them achieve those goals, too. Employees need a sense of progress and pride in who they are. Be sure to put professional development plans, training and educational opportunities in place to help them grow, not just personally, but in a way that more closely entwines them with your business. And remember, engaged employees are happy employees, and happy employees are less likely to leave. Here are a few ways to increase engagement:
1. Get to know your employees. It sounds simple, but it’s a task many companies neglect, especially if the employees aren’t centralized in one location. But that’s not an excuse for failing to know who they really are beyond their work. Spend some time talking to them, asking about their lives and families, what they like and what they don’t, and what drives them to pursue the work they do.
2. Stay in constant communication. Having a few meetings per year to ask for feedback might not cut it. To really engage employees, you need to listen — three times more than speaking, at least — to understand them on a deeper level. If they tell you what they want to do, where they want to go, or have ideas to make the company better, you should listen to them.
3. Leverage your conversations. The time you spend with your employees is a resource, and it is valuable. Give your employees a goal to follow, and a path — like a Professional Development Program (PDP) — that can get them there. And make sure you’re helping them reach those goals in your business. That’s how you build value over time.
Actively building engagement with your employees takes work, and all the effort can be wasted if you drop the ball. Here are some common issues that can lead to demoralized employees:
1. Not spending enough time with employees. You don’t want your talented employees to feel like they’re on their own, but if you don’t spend enough time with them, that can happen. If you don’t invest your time and show them that they’re valuable, they won’t invest theirs with you.
2. Expecting employees to develop engagement on their own. Business owners can’t expect engagement to occur organically, leaving employees to develop those relationships as part of their responsibilities. It just won’t happen. Engagement has to be a goal for the whole company to achieve, and it has to be actively driven.
3. Not investing in employees over time. If support for your employees dries up, engagement will, too. That’s because people leave companies that they don’t feel are supporting them and their goals. Your people are investments that are sure to deliver dividends over time, so be sure to spend the time and money to build them up.
Building engagement and reducing turnover are not easy tasks, and they might not work for every employee. But most employees in the labor market feel like they’re not engaged at their current jobs — more than half, according to recent studies — which means companies that put their weight behind these goals will reap the rewards, and have better luck attracting new employees as well.
This challenge always sits with the employer, not the employee; companies need a leader that doesn’t just build profits, but morale across the business. That means you need to take action for your business, and follow through on these goals, guiding your team to even greater success.