So, one of your best employees just handed you their resignation letter and you have literally begged them to stay with no avail. Where did you go wrong? Don’t let this happen to you!
Losing a great employee can have a major impact on the bottom line, employee morale and your clients! So what do you do? The key is to put steps in place BEFORE your star employees start looking at other opportunities.
Here are some tips:
Career plans: Have you ever asked your employees what their career goals and aspirations are? Do it! You don’t have to promise them that they will have that particular position/career in the company, but you can support them in their desires to grow. Sit down with them annually to discuss their thoughts, help them plan, touch base with them now and then to see how they are doing and watch for opportunities to mentor, guide and provide them with additional projects that might assist with their plans. Don’t get me wrong, the employee runs this show…you are just there to touch base and see if you can assist them along the way, in turn they see that you are interested in their success, growth and future.
Ask, Listen and Act: Ask your employees for feedback on how they are doing, suggestions for improvements around the office, have regular check-ins with them, gather feedback. When they are giving you feedback, LISTEN. It is extremely important that people feel heard, that they were not interrupted or “shot down” for their thoughts, ideas, and comments. Then…ACT. If there are items that need to be addressed, act upon them. Your action shows commitment and that you care and value their feedback. When you don’t act, especially when you say you will…it speaks volumes and not in a positive way.
Praise: No, I am not talking about bowing at their feet every day and kissing the ground that they walk upon, but when your employees accomplish something notable, ensure to recognize it. Note it in the employee newsletter, at your team or company meeting, send them an email, get them a gift card or a card. Notice their accomplishments.
Mentor, Coach and Look for Learning Opportunities: If there are opportunities to provide mentoring or coaching to your people, ensure you offer this. Look for these types of opportunities to spread knowledge and guide your people to learn and grow.
Special Projects: Is there a pretty cool project coming up? Put your star employees on this project. Show them that you believe and trust them!
Don’t Micro-manage: This is important, by micro-managing you are “squashing” creativity, growth and the ability to learn from mistakes. Let them flourish, reign them in when you need to but allow them to make some decisions and have some autonomy.
Compensation: If you want to keep your good employees, ensure you are paying them well and even look at paying them slightly above your competition – though salary isn’t everything, it certainly is part of the package. Don’t wait for their resignation then try to pay them more at that point. Even if they accept the offer – they will probably not stay long as something compelled them to look elsewhere – it could have been money, but in most cases there is more to the story. If you are willing to pay them more when they are on their way out the door, why can’t you pay them more now?
Know your people, be in tune with their needs, act on their concerns where appropriate, engage and grow your stars and you should help secure their future with your company. They are indeed your most important asset.