How to hold on to the great people at the workplace
I was coaching with the Head of HR of a Rs 560crs organisation and her biggest challenge was retention. What was more alarming was the best talent in the organisation, was moving away and the new ones, did not seem to want to stay longer than one year. She was perplexed. The organisation was ranked no 3 in the sector and was perceived as the great place to work in. So, what went wrong?
Some soul-searching and objective analysis, drew up interesting revelations.
The key factor being, looking for people who fit based on parameters of the past rather than the future. It’s like seeking a relationship match based on a previous marriage or relationship. People, intrinsically look for workplaces that are aligned to their life purpose, evolving quality of life, and provides a deeper connect to the community. How equipped are organisations to cut through this belief and create a workplace fit for the future than that which is chained to the past?
As a manager or promoter, you could look at ways to build human experience into the search and appointment process. Look for what makes people get excited and match them with the roles and their managers. Because people inspire people. People look for connections and a frequency that is sustainable and progressive.
So, how do you identify the ‘great people’ in a workplace?
The ‘great people’ to work with in an organisation are those who:
- Take pride in being associated with your organisation
- Do not need prodding to get things done, they are driven by the need to keep moving.
- Step forward, courageously and accept challenges with grace.
- Ask questions to seek clarity.
- Make mistakes, seek the learning.
- Ignore gossip and steer clear of blaming people.
- Are problem-solvers and lateral thinkers.
- Do not depend on luck to change things, they seize each day as an opportunity to strive ahead.
- Create sunshine with their optimism and light-heartedness.
- Are looking for ways to help and display genuine care
- Are collaborative in their approach
They are people whom organisations need to hold onto so the tribe of enthusiasts that are driven by effective engagement of a humane experience, increases.
As managers, you may need to bridge the gap by bringing in more clarity and transparency because retention is the foundation for sustainable growth of a brand.
Tips to retain the great people in the workplace:
- Clarity on expectation versus delivery. Moving the bar, mid-way without communicating it to your people can cause unrest and unhappiness.
- Quality Management is critical to retention because people do not leave organisations as much as they leave due to abrasive or incompetent managers and supervisors. It’s a relationship that requires a feedback mechanism to measure success/correction, periodically.
- Lack of clarity on career growth and earning potential can lead to dissonance. Work in all probability is about financial independence to support am evolving lifestyle and ambitions. With little or no dialogue on this front, people may mistake the organisation as uncaring and feel short-changed.
- Insufficient or sporadic feedback mechanism. Effective feedback is timely, specific, constructive and consistent and provides people the opportunity to course correct and grow.
- Inequitable treatment or even a perception of being treated with bias is the biggest cause of good people leaving. Setting the culture of fairness that cuts across segments and strata will create respect and inculcate a culture of trust and a level playing field.
- Appreciation and recognition are the food of the soul. Provide opportunities to reward and celebrate people and their accomplishments. People thrive in a culture that breeds acknowledgment of efforts. Provide a motivating environment where people ae encouraged, thanked, frequently.
- Opportunities to grow and learn. Repetitive work can get monotonous and boring. When people are in the same position, with no change or hope for change, it will, eventually demotivate even the most inspired and ambitious people. Where learning and development are incentivised, people thrive in the workplace. Motivated people look for challenges to stay ahead of the curve. Learning gives them the ammunition to feed their ambition with a challenge that facilitates growth.
- Feeling acknowledged, individually. People feel isolated or unrecognized in an ocean of workers and desire to be noticed. They want their work to be acknowledged and praised. When senior management looks to them as individual contributors instead of just a part of a team, it elevates their sense of belonging.
- Allow people to speak their mind, freely. Open door policy with transparency in communication, builds trust and stops the water cooler chatter and brings down politics.
Business growth depends on the quality of people you employ and retain. And, how you shape the work environment can affect the mentality of people in the workplace. Be warned, people are unpredictable and unique therefore, no single strategy can be the panacea, so choose what works best for the majority.
Suffice to state, the great people, by far are the brand endorsers of your organisation. Their retention feeds productivity, creates a community of superstars and drives client growth.