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THE competition for good talent in the lamb and wool industry is always high, and no business can afford to lose good employees.
Even the most loyal members of your team have breaking-points that will make them want to look for a new job.
And worst of all, sometimes when key employees leave, it often happens in waves, meaning you may lose more than just one person at a time.
People leave bad managers, not jobs, which means as a manager, you have the power to prevent many of these losses within your team.
Avoiding these pitfalls will put you well on your way to retaining your team. If you’re a good manager or leader then you probably already know most of this, but it is worthwhile reminding ourselves of them now and again.
Avoid the points below if you want to retain your most dynamic, highest-potential employees:
Hire for the past, not the future.
Choose talent based on what worked before, not on where the company is heading. Emphasise candidates’ narrow past experience over a more generalised, adaptable approach to the growing and fast-changing industry.
Don’t follow up
Not following through with commitments to your team will quickly build resentment. That resentment will lead to complaining amongst team members behind your back and a lot of frustration and distrust that can hamstring your team’s productivity. Instead, use a to-do list or other system to track your commitments to your team to make sure nothing slips.
Don’t have one-on-ones
If you’re not scheduling individual meetings with your staff, you don’t know what they’re really thinking. One-on-ones are a huge opportunity to have a private line of communication with each of your reports. You can learn tonnes of different things based on the questions you ask in a one-on-one, and fix a lot of problems before they blow up.
Ignore their Ideas
Are your employees trying to tell you something? Do they have ideas to improve the way they work or a system around them? There is a gold mine of ways to make your company better and make your team happier. Yet, many ignore this and see people instead get frustrated by a lack of change in areas they think are important. Use part of your one-on-one time to ask questions about ideas they have to improve the company, the team, and their own work environment.
Don’t treat them like adults
If you can’t trust them you may not have the right team. Good people, especially those with long tenures, expect some transparency into what is going on outside of the team. They also want to be trusted with their work instead of being micro-managed.
Have some of your staff grown in their roles and are now significantly outperforming their compensation? Have you moved a team member to a position with greater responsibility without properly increasing their salary? Any of these, as well as disparities in equity, can lead to a lot of resentment. Plan ahead for managing people’s compensation, especially for people taking on more responsibility or rapidly progressing in their role.
Don’t praise, recognise or reward good work
Do you reinforce the good work done by your team? Do you tell them specifically why the work was great? If you don’t recognise good work, your team will not be as motivated to repeat those efforts again. Take time to recognise people for great work. If it’s really awesome, recognise it in front of their peers. Also give them specific reinforcement over email and in one-on-ones.
Don’t align their work with their goals
Do you know what the goals of your team members are? Does their work put them in line to accomplish those goals? Are they growing? If an employee isn’t achieving their goals, they will feel stifled and likely grow bored with their job. When a person’s job doesn’t help them achieve their goals, they’ll be motivated to look elsewhere to reach them.
Embarrass them in front of their peers
This may seem like an obvious one you would never do nor allow in your business, but it might have happened without you realising. Don’t be the one to do these sorts of things and shut down anyone you see doing it as well. If you’re treating your team like adults, then embarrassing peers is a childish behaviour you should not tolerate. If it does happen, apologise and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Don’t help them make progress regularly
The feeling of progress is crucial to people’s satisfaction. They need to feel like they’re progressing on their work and that their work matters to the business’s bigger picture. When people aren’t making progress, they start to burn out. Nothing is more devastating to a great employee than burn-out. It saps them of their abilities to be a productive, skilled team member. Make sure team members have projects that are broken into small enough chunks that they can regularly make progress on them.
These are just a few common mishaps, but the good news is that usually people leave for more than one reason. Which means an occasional slip up will be forgiven, while breaking many of these will have your team looking elsewhere for work.
Source: AWX – Partners in People.