Running a business is like juggling a number of balls in the air at the same time …. or are we just missing the point completely? It's been said that if you keep your employees happy and engaged, they will keep the customers happy, the happy customers will buy from the business, thus resulting in the business providing for the business owner. At least that is how it works in theory.
If you can't keep your best employees engaged, you won't keep your best employees. So how do you go about holding onto those quality staff members who have a passion for their job? Statistically, one-third of quality employees feel disengaged from their employer and are already looking for a new job.They appear to be performing well: putting in massive hours, grinding out work as per usual, and saying all the right things at the right time. However, they are operating in a silent state of continual overwhelm, and the predictable consequence is ….. you've guessed it… disengagement!
To prevent the above from unfolding and those excellent employees from leaving and giving you sleepless nights, you need to acknowledge and fix the following mistakes, so that you can harness their skills and hang on to them for as long as needed.
Mistake #1 – You make a lot of stupid rules
Yes, you read correctly…. stupid rules. While rules are important for systems and procedures sometimes they get a bit tedious, especially for employees who do their job well, and then get reprimanded because they were 5 minutes late for work despite contributing on 12 cylinders all day long. This brings us to the next point:
Mistake #2 – You treat everyone equally!
Even the guy that is ALWAYS late for work and first out the door. Don't put everyone in the same box. Recognize that person that goes the extra mile for his job. Pay attention to the fact that he eats his lunch at his desk to finish his work. While this tactic works with school children, the workplace ought to function differently.
Mistake #3 – You tolerate poor performance
When you permit weak links to exist without any consequence for their actions, they drag everyone else down, especially your top performers. Don't condone bad behaviour because you don't feel like dealing with it. Have that grown-up discussion and deal with the weak links to ensure that the rest of the team is strong.
Mistake #4 – You don't recognize accomplishments
I know what you thinking……why must I acknowledge accomplishments for a job that I am already paying them to do…right? You are forgetting that you are dealing with a human being, hopefully one with emotional intelligence, and unless that person is valued and acknowledged, they will not get a sense of fulfilment, and ultimately, they will go find a place that gives them just that.
Mistake #5 -You don't care about people
More than half the people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. You need to celebrate your employee's successes, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge them to places they might not go. Believe this, bosses or managers who fail to care will always have high turnover rates.
Mistake #6 – You don't show people the big picture
It may seem the logical thing to simply hand out tasks, however leaving out the big picture, is a deal breaker for star performers. Star performers shoulder heavier loads because they genuinely care about their work, so their work must have a purpose. When they don't know what that is, they feel alienated and aimless. When they aren't given a purpose, they find one elsewhere.
Mistake #7 – You don't let people pursue their passion
If a person is passionate about what they do, it will show in their work ethic. By providing opportunities for them to pursue their ideas for the business, it will improve their productivity and their job satisfaction. Many managers and bosses want people to work within a box and handle only specified tasks. How deflating and demotivating is that.
Google's best products came from people who spent 20% of their time being allowed to do what they thought would benefit Google the most.
Mistake #8 – You don't make things fun
People don't give their all if they aren't having fun. The best companies to work for know the importance of letting employees loosen up a little. Let them attend a motivational talk as a bonus, (in office hours), buy cupcakes for the morning meeting, or meet at a coffee shop for an impromptu brain storming session, just to add some variety. The idea is simple: if work is fun, they will not only perform better, they will stick around for longer hours and a longer career in the company.
To summarise and end it off, think about this quote from Simon Sinek: "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it, and what you do, simply proves what you believe".
Hire people that believe what you believe, keep them engaged, show them the big picture and they will work for you with passion! For a very long time. ;)
Coach Bert Weenink – Executive and Business Coach (ActionCOACH)
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