5 Tips for Keeping Your Best Employees

Ah, April. The “longest winter ever” is nearing an end. Hooray. Time to get out and about, and so I had coffee yesterday with a friend.

We talked about our families and summer fun — “When are we going to get out on the golf course?”  "Where will the July 4th celebration take place?" 

And then she told me about losing some very valuable employees at work.

“It’s the economy,” she remarked. “People are hiring again and employees are moving.”

She is right. The job market has picked up, more businesses are hiring and workers are looking. Especially those who have been unhappy.

Many businesses don’t bother with creating a healthy work environment. They fail to think about how to keep their key people engaged and loyal, which is especially important in an era when we’re demanding they do more with less.

What about you? Are you a good employer following best management practices.

The thing is, your most talented performers always have options — even in a slow economy like we have had — and they will find other employment. In an unhealthy workplace, some less-talented employees with fewer options might also leave. Not physically, but emotionally. In other words, they’ll give you less than 100 percent of what they are capable of doing.

April is a good time to consider employee retention efforts. For one thing, employees have spent the holidays and winter vacations away from their jobs. During that time they may have assessed their careers and work, family and health issues, and made some plans.

By now, your employees have also received their W-2s and annual benefits and total compensation statements. It’s likely that has triggered considerations about whether to continue their careers with you or to look at other options.

So how do you develop a healthy work environment? Here are five tips you may find helpful:

1) Communicate, communicate, communicate
In today's business world, those who prosper share information with those who can make effective use of it. Where information is not shared, suspicion, mistrust and resentment grow.

Therefore, develop open communication. Let your people know where your organization is going, how it plans to get there, how their jobs play a role and why they are key to your success. Spread information liberally to give your people an "I'm-on-the-inside!" feeling. It's difficult to leave something that has you on the inside.

Additionally, actively seek and welcome ideas for improvement.

2) Develop and foster cooperation
To develop an attitude of cooperation, think give and take and establish policies that show you are prepared to meet your people halfway (or more!) in balancing their work and personal lives. Consider anything that makes it easier and more practical to work for you than for anyone else — flexible hours, compassionate leave, sabbaticals, teleworking, childcare facilities — in short, anything you can afford.

3) Take a sincere and active interest in your employees.
Most management experts advise us to actively engage with our employees. They suggest managing by walking around and getting to know employees as human beings.

4) Show respect
Treat all employee concerns with genuine concern and care. Follow up on all employee complaints, questions and emails.

Above all, follow the Platinum Rule, “Treat others they way they want to be treated.” The Platinum Rule forces us to treat others with respect. To follow it, you need to know them first. (Looks like we’ve circled back to our number three tip!) 

5) Develop an atmosphere of trust
If you want people to trust you with their jobs, careers, and development — their very lives — you have to trust them. Believe me, no one is more flattered than when they are trusted implicitly.

To develop an atmosphere of trust, create a workplace where management automatically expects the best of its team members. You'll find that your employees will respond. Further, if you give them a good reputation to live up to, they won't let you down.

Here’s the bottom line. Your workforce is a crucial investment. If you want to meet your business goals, keeping your best employees should rank with sales, operations and financials as a key strategy.

Now, get out and enjoy the weather. Go for a cup of coffee.

Your Solution Toolbox: Tool to Help You Keep Your Workplace Healthy

Building a psychologically healthy environment requires skilled front line managers who understand the dynamics of their relationships with their workers. Managers who recognize where their perspectives are similar and where they differ from their subordinates. Managers who identify areas they themselves need to develop and strive to become more competent managers based on those relationships.

A suggestion then: Use Profiles Managerial Fit™ to determine supervisor-subordinate compatibility.

Profiles Managerial Fit™ is a manager assessment test that measures critical workplace compatibility factors between managers (executive, director, supervisor, team leader, etc.) and their employees.

Understanding this compatibility will help your managers work more effectively with your employees and keep your workplace psychologically healthy.
If you are interested in learning more about Profiles Managerial Fit™, call me today at 952-322-3330 or send an email to mgorski@mgassessments.com.

HR Consulting
Call me, too, if you are looking for professional assistance with your personnel questions. We’ll help you learn how to:

 • Understand your workers’ strengths, weaknesses and interests
 • Match people to job demands
 • Increase employee performance throughout your organization

Let's Talk! We offer a no-obligation consultation to informally assess your current policies, procedures and practices. This may help determine what's missing in your current programs. Again, call 952-322-3330 or send an email to mgorski@mgassessments.com

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