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September 27, 2017
Let me be very honest here.
I’ve cost multiple companies THOUSANDS of dollars by leaving them for another opportunity.
Part of me feels a tiny bit remorseful for not sticking it out certain places but the other part of me is very thankful I’ve had such a diverse career path. I’ve worked for three billion-dollar companies, a newspaper, and a health system.
Most of the time I wasn’t looking for another job, people just found me and offered me a better opportunity with a bigger salary and a good challenge. And while my degree is in Public Relations and not Human Relations, I’d like to weigh in on why your company is losing employees (especially those millennial types).
Here are a few ways to kick people out the door.
1. Have a sub-par onboarding process
Your orientation process should be phenomenal. This is an employee’s first real interaction with you if they’ve made it past all those interviews. Not only should you show them the basic ropes of your company but the entire training should be infused with your company’s values. You may think your business is the hero of the story but your employees help you run that ship. Treat them with respect. Show them your enthusiasm. Equip them talking points and bragging rights. Wow them.
If you want your employees to be excellent at customer services or patient care, give them a reason to be proud of working for your company. If they feel like they are part of something amazing from the beginning, you’ll have a loyal employee in no time.
2. Hope they didn’t lie about being a self-starter in the interview
While having a manager who allows for autonomy is important, most people succeed when there is a role to play into instead of a hope-you-figure-it-out philosophy. Start a mentoring program, check in with your employees at different points during the year, not just at evaluation time. Let them know they are valued.
3. Don’t listen to their ideas
Don’t you just hate it when new people start a job and they start suggesting things could be done differently? While change, or the suggestion of change, can be hard on egos, often times a new idea will give your event or process a new edge. Allow for space and time for creative brainstorming. If a good idea comes to the table, give it room to breathe and see if it takes life. Don’t squash it immediately because you’ve always done things a certain way.
4. Don’t give them a vision
People want to be the heroes of their own stories and having an exciting career is a large part of that story. We spend more time at work than at home with our families so give your employees a vision they can carry with them. How will you help them become who they are meant to be? How can you support your team? Give your employees a vision they can be proud of as they go about their days.
5. Balk at flexible schedules
Sure, let’s blame it on the millennials, but many people are starting to realize their time is finite and often more valuable than money. If you want to keep your good people, take a hard look at where you can offer flexibility. Is it four-day weeks in the summertime? Half-day Fridays? A work-from-home day for employees who are consistently doing extra?
6. Have a poor parental leave policy
America, you need to start realizing how important our little people are to this country. I firmly believe this isn’t a government issue but a private sector responsibility. The first five years of a child’s life are the most formative. If you own a business, you have a giant responsibility to the youth of this country to figure out a way to help parents. Mothers and fathers, especially in the first year of their baby’s life, need support. If you haven’t updated your leave policy yet do it before you are left behind.
7. Punish your Women for having children
What? Did I really go there? Yep. Not only do you need a good parental leave policy but you need to support your mamas when they return from maternity leave. Your employees with children may be will be frazzled. They may will have sick children. They will struggle with daycare issues. I’d like to challenge you (yes, YOU) to give your ladies grace as they transition into motherhood. Don’t punish your women (or men) for having families. What is the cost of grace when you get to keep a rockstar employee who will bring your company insane value in the coming years?
8. Don’t educate your people
Education is so important. Send your employees to conferences, bring in speakers, train your managers to be leaders. Sure, it’s expensive but the cost of losing a good employee is high. Not only in dollars but in morale, production, lost hours and talent recruitment costs. Invest in your people from day one. You’ll create loyal employees who will be ready to lead when the time is right.
9. Make their life miserable
Workplace drama, lack of boundaries, poor pay. You know what makes you miserable at a job so make sure your employees aren’t facing a barrage of issues. Create opportunities to check in and take that feedback to heart without judgment. Focus on wellness for your people. Mentally, physically and financially. Be just. Your culture depends on it.
10. Discourage communication about managers or leadership
I worked for a company I loved (and still adore) with all my heart. I had the world’s best boss who was demanding, amazing and inspiring. But then the structure changed and my marketing team was put under new leadership- a woman who was excellent at her job but had never managed anyone before. Seven out of the nine team members ended up leaving the company because of her. Educate your managers. Give them tools to use and then allow their teams to communicate in some fashion about their boss without fear of punishment for speaking up.
Is your company making any of these mistakes? If your employees are walking out the door, then it’s time to check in before it gets worse. Thousands of dollars and hours of productivity are on the line.
Want to know more about re-igniting your people? Let’s talk.