In a recent meeting of administrative personnel, an intriguing question was posed. "How many of you were supervisors in this same capacity 10 years ago?" The answer was surprising. Less than 10%.
What does this say about employee retention?
Several decades ago, it was "normal" for an employee to begin on the ground floor of a company and stay until retirement; whether they promoted up through the ranks or not. That level of loyalty is no longer the "golden standard" of today's society. It is socially acceptable to job hop, to change positions within a company, or join a rival cooperation without public censure. Heck, it's probably more taboo to go from Smashbox makeup to Forever Flawless and back again than it is to change jobs.
With loyalty in the hands of the internet and the next best "Huge Blow Out Sale" or new job at the click of a mouse, what can you do to improve your employee retention; whether your goal is "until retirement", "10 years" or 10 months?
5 Strategies for Healthy Employee Supervision
Quality– Supervisors need to provide quality supervision. Set down, face-to-face, with your employees. Share what you expect out of them. What actions they are required to perform. The standards by which their performance will be evaluated. Providing that clarity will give your employees job satisfaction. Ask them for feedback. Answer their questions. Ensue they understand your response. You don't expect your cat to poop in a litter box and then one throw down a Persian rug in the same spot and not anticipate a ruined rug. Well, if you do, I don't recommend it. Not a good idea. When employees know what to expect from you, they will be secure in their position and able to perform at their best.
Communication– One of the biggest complaints that unsatisfied employees have is a lack of communication between management and the lower ranks or an overall lack of understanding. When a person doesn't understand something, they are filled with frustration. People generally want to do their best, but continued failure to perform due to lack of information or admonishment for doing a job incorrectly will lead to updating resumes on LinkedIn or binge watching Sex in the City while downing a pint of ice cream. Or worse, break rooms filled with employees b*tching about their supervisors. Take the time to share what information you have. Don't hoard it to be greater than. Don't assume they understand because a cryptic email went out division wide. If you don't know the full story, tell them what you know or if you aren't allowed, explain what you can.
Freedom– Empower your staff to express their opinions and to share their ideas for improvement. This level of freedom should not extend to disrespect or calling into question the leader's abilities. It is intended to show your confidence in their intelligence and their understanding of the day-to-day operations that you might not be expected to do any longer. In that 10 years since you dealt with customer's on a daily basis, things have changed. People consume data differently. A little over 10 years ago, we didn't have Kindles, tablets, Facebook, or Twitter. How people relate to each other is different now. Call on that younger generation to unchain you from your desktop email.
Talents– To go along with freedom, we need to explore talents. Another reason people switch jobs is not being able to use their talents. People need creative outlets to expand their knowledge and grow. Few people will be satisfied working in an assembly line putting widgets into doohickeys; minute by minute, hour by hour... Do I have to go on? I'm already bored. Talk with your employees about their long-term goals. Encourage them. Capitalize on them.
Respect– There is nothing more important than treating your employees with respect. No amount of money you throw at them will keep them satisfied and willing to stay in your employment if you treat your staff with disrespect or alienate them. One caveat though – just because you give respect doesn't mean that you will get respect. It would be wonderful if that was the case. I've heard the statement touted since I was a child, but it isn't an absolute. Give your respect anyway. Treat people the way they need to be treated – individually. Not everyone will respond to the same style of management. Be flexible. Provide positive feedback. Clarify what they need from you.
Our hope is that you're able to use this information to improve your supervision strategies, make happier employees, and increase that retention rate. Happy Monday!