Good employees love what they do.
And good managers know those employees could just as easily love what they do someplace else.
That’s why, with so much talk these days about disengaged workers and good people jumping ship, you’ll want to be sure your organization is paying attention to these issues.
Fix ’em and they’ll quit storming out the exit:
11) No Work/Life Balance
Surveys on why good employees leave jobs often list work/life imbalance as a top reason. People have a life outside of the office. But your company still has an attendance policy only a cloistered nun could satisfy. No one uses vacation time. And to avoid missing a day, people come to work sick enough to quarantine.
It’s not enough to talk about avoiding employee burnout – you’ve got to live it.
Whether they punch a clock, log in, buzz a key card or follow the honor system, good employees want to feel valued by results, not by the time they’re technically “present.”
That goes for remote time too. Just because people can be reached 24/7 doesn’t mean they should be.
10) Perks Based On The Buddy System
Companies often hire people who know other employees. If the production manager’s cousin would be a great addition to the sales team, why not give him a shot?
Just make sure all the perks aren’t based on who you know.
Good employees notice who reaps the benefits – promotions, bonuses, corporate credit cards, extra time off, etc. Special treatment reserved for family and friends can make employees feel like uninvited guests.
And they’ll be grabbing their coats faster than you can say, “Let’s call my brother-in-law.”
9) Outdated Performance Reviews
Managers hate them. Employees hate them. So why are you still using stale performance reviews?
They’re cumbersome, they never say anything new, and they’re poor indicators of how an employee is really doing. Plus, they were drafted during the Roosevelt administration (Teddy).
Don’t depress good employees with a soulless recitation of the same stuff year after year. They want to know what they’re doing right and where they can improve.
If you provide that, they won’t yearn for more rewarding feedback somewhere else.
8) A ‘Nowhere To Go But Out’ policy
Smart employees know they have to put in time and deliver before expecting an upward move.
But when your career ladder turns into a stalled elevator, they might decide they can hit the higher floors elsewhere.
Some companies follow a “six-month rule,” requiring employees hold a job for at least six months before they can transfer or be promoted to another position. Roberta Chinsky Matuson, author of “The Magnetic Workplace,” says this might have worked decades ago, but not today.
If the company doesn’t encourage growth, diligent employees will seek a place with more open doors.
7) That Pay Freeze Is Still Frozen
Smart people know what they are worth. Pleading tough times is only going to go so far when denying raises.
Pay freezes should be explained clearly, and include some idea of when raises will be back, and how much.
Extended pay freezes will send employees looking for other opportunities.
6) Really BOGUS Rules
Most rules are made for good reasons.
But nonsensical rules that are solely the whims of higher-ups will do more than make good employees bitter. They’ll make them wave goodbye.
“Employers who stick to Mad-Men-era policies will drive their best people away,” says Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of Human Workplace, and a former Fortune 500 HR senior vice-president.
Get rid of old-fashioned, soul-crushing policies like doctor notes for sick days, mandatory holiday party attendance (Yes, you must come AND have fun!) and nickel-and-dime expense accounting.
If you trust your employees, then show them you do.
5) Hoarding Information
It’s hard to be an effective cog in the machine when you don’t know all of what the machine does.
When management keeps important information to itself, employees lose sight of how their efforts contribute to overall success.
Lee Colan, author of “Stick With It: Mastering the Art of Adherence,” argues that withholding information fosters a sense of helplessness. Employees will either find out what’s up on their own, or worse, start believing the rumors.
More importantly, silence from above chips away at good employees’ trust.
4) A Hear-No-Evil Feedback System
You know the feeling. You’ve got a problem to run by the boss. When you finally get face time, she looks like she wants to shut her eyes and cover her ears.
No one likes to be the bearer of bad news. But when employees have a problem, smart managers know to deal with it, not hold their hands up and yell, “I don’t want to know!!”
Giving good employees the impression that their concerns will fall on deaf ears erodes their confidence in their managers-and bolsters their decision to bolt.
3) They Keep Hiring Jerks
Good employees like rubbing elbows with other good employees. But not with the drones in THIS place.
Occasionally, a new hire will misfire. But if your company can’t weed out bad candidates, you might find your staff filled with too many employees who don’t fit – and the good ones you do have are heading for the door.
2) Subpar Accommodations
People don’t need to work in a palace to be productive. But there’s a difference between fancy offices and ones that look like maintenance took a few months off.
A clean, orderly workplace is a no-brainer. So why can most of us relate to working around empty cubicles stacked with dead computers and kitchens that assault the senses?
How about broken stuff that stays broken?
It might not be the final straw that forces employees out, but subpar accommodations give them the impression they aren’t valued.
Employees spend a good part of their life at work – so if the place is starting to resemble an episode of “Hoarders,” don’t be surprised when good employees can’t wait to leave.
1) There’s Just Never Any FUN!
Is it ever so quiet at your business that you think everyone went home?
Work shouldn’t always be a party – but people do need to have fun once in a while.
If your routines are TOO routine, plan something different. Hold a meeting over lunch – outside if weather permits. If you want feedback on something, grab pen and paper and take a poll rather than using email. Tell everyone to meet you for a snack break in the kitchen.
Foster ways for employees to develop genuine relationships, and you’ll notice that they seem genuinely happy to come to work each day.
The Employee Turnover Cure
A 6-Step Retention Plan That Pinpoints The 12 ‘Fixable’ Causes of Turnover And Specific Presciptions to Cure Them
There’s nothing worse than when your good people jump ship. So how do you keep them? Check out The Employee Turnover Cure Blueprint.
In a recent survey, only 53% of employees said they’d still be with their company in a year. That’s the world we live in today. But this Blueprint can help you change that. Here are just a few of the things you’ll get:
- 4 tools to take the temperature of existing employees and uncover the true reasons people leave your company
- What employees actually want – but rarely say – that determines whether they’ll stay and the simple things you can do every day to retain your team
- 10 case studies from real companies with strong employee retention
- The truth about counter-offers – and whether it’s worth trying to “save” someone
- The #1 reason why employees quit and why bad managers don’t believe it to be true