The average employee does a good job. If they don’t, it can be assumed your business would take the necessary steps to train them or find a more suitable employee. Therefore, the loss of even an average employee has an impact on your bottom-line. Most businesses are prepared for this sort of expense and can keep moving forward. However, the departure of a highly valuable team member can create damage that goes beyond the dollars-and-cents cost of the replacement.
In a previous article, we covered how too much, or too little work be detrimental to individual performance and satisfaction. These, in turn, can affect team dynamics and cause entire teams of your organization to underperform, or worse, leave your company en masse.
Today, we are going to dive in a little further and cover some additional areas that you should consider institutional-wide.
A disengaged employee can be very toxic to have in your company. Unmotivated or underutilized professionals set bad examples for those surrounding them and have a tendency to drag the overall workplace moral down.
Rather than jumping to removing these sorts of professionals, take the time to understand the issue before and look for new ways to reinvigorate and re-engage your employee. Sometimes this even means insisting on a small break or vacation to help return balance to the individual’s life outside of work (more on this in Part 4).
Building off of what was previously mentioned in Part 1, one of the possible reasons for a disengaged employee could be that they don’t feel they have been given the recognition they deserve for the work they have performed. They may have lost faith in the company’s ability to support the individual successes of the workers and in return the employee has lost the drive to succeed at their previous level. Find a personalized way of addressing this issue and use the tips mentioned above as a starting place. In short, pay attention to the work that individual is doing, the reasons why they aren’t at the level you think they should be at, and take into consideration any bias of your assessments. By taking the time to understand the circumstances your stand to prevent the same issues from arising with other employees and can break a cycle of frequent turnovers.
Unable to Pursue Passions and Skill Development
Talented employees can be passionate and by providing opportunities for them to pursue their passions your company will not only improve their productivity but their job satisfaction as well. Often the fear is that in order to keep productivity at its highest levels managers must restrict “distractions” and thus prevent employees from expanding their focus beyond immediate duties. That said, studies have repeatedly shown that people who are able to branch out at work experience a better sense of “flow,” and are able to better balance their tasks and duties, improving performance in the process.
Managers should be constantly listening and providing feedback to their teams so they can intimately understand the passions and skills of each individual. Every employee regardless of talent has areas that they can benefit from improvements and has the desired skills they want to expand on. By providing a supporting hand to help accomplish these your company can retain its top talent.
Few Growth Opportunities
Building on what is mentioned above, one of the leading priorities hard-working professionals have when considering an employer is their potential to grow and expand their repertoire. They want to learn and hone skills and build their influence within the workplace. By providing these sorts of opportunities you can further solidify your ability to attract these types of workers as well as their desire to stay.
One of the easiest ways to go about this is to enthusiastically support their participation in courses, conferences, certifications, etc. to build their qualifications and broaden their network. Not only is it a tangible improvement for their professional career, but it entrenches your company’s professional stature as an entity that thinks long-term and builds the future it desires.
By creating an environment that your employees feel there’s something in it for them personally, not just a paycheck, it will inspire loyalty and in turn, help with future recruitment and referrals. Even if in the process of developing educational and career advancement opportunities you build pathways for employees to outgrow your company, it is still highly encouraged. Those individuals will be positive influences out in the professional community and can direct other talented individuals to your front door.
Unsurprisingly, a healthy work/life balance is what most top professionals desire. Whether this is time to spend with family and friends or perusing their passions, professionals who work hard want and need time outside of work to decompress and stay motivated. Overworking an employee, as mentioned above, is a critical mistake to avoid at all costs, even if it means giving a top producer time off.
In the tech industry, flexible scheduling and telecommuting have become common ways to provide built-in balance for professionals with busy lives outside of work. In fact, it has become so prevalent that it is becoming an expectation in many professional circles. The ability to work a flexible schedule means a professional can better balance the demands of their life outside of work, reducing their stressors and demands that impact their professional responsibilities.
Some data has even shown that professionals are often willing to take a pay cut in order to have the ability to telecommute a portion of their time. This means that organizations who can’t compete on salary or bonuses can attract and retain elite talent by offering industry-leading remote and telecommuting options
Paying attention to your employees’ struggles to manage their work and home life is also an important element. As emphasized above, having skilled managers who engage and listen to their employees’ human characteristics will better understand the steps that the company needs to take to retain its talent. Experience has shown that it is often the little things like providing lunches or dry-cleaning service that goes a long way. Anything that emphasizes the importance of a work-life balance will help your employees feel that they’re not just disposable parts of your business’s machinery, but rather valuable assets. By constantly incorporating feedback into the culture of your company both you and the employees’ sense of loyalty and belonging will be nurtured.
Behind the Cutting-Edge
Keeping your company’s technology current will also help keep valuable employees engaged and excited about the direction the company is going. If new technology or upgrades aren’t feasible in your budget, still consider sending your employees to get trained on those cutting-edge systems and gain those skills. Even if they can’t use them in your organization it will emphasize that you value their continued education and their emerging skills.
As mentioned above, by providing an environment where your employees have the ability and freedom to experiment and play around with new skills and abilities not necessarily in line with their everyday duties, you help build their confidence and trust in their decision to work for your business. New technology, industry-leading tools, and the skills to utilize them are sought-after elements that will bolster your company’s recruiting and certainly retain the best workers.
Furthermore, tying in with the company’s direction, having a clear communication channel established to discuss the technology strategy of your company will help build excitement and engagement in your teams. Allowing them to be a part of the conversation will keep your leadership in the know of what technologies and tools are at the forefront and streamline your company’s vetting process in deciding which technologies to pursue. This has the added benefit of building loyalty long-term as many professionals are willing to sacrifice other perks to access the best tools in their profession.
Your organization’s management has the power to win over or drive away employees. Disengagement can be a big sign that critical areas of your institution’s management need to be addressed. By taking the time to consider the balance of work and skill development you can reengage good employee and create others.
At Comrise, our strength isn’t just in helping your management team, but finding highly-skilled employees for your managers to lead. Team dynamics are difficult to maintain when something is off; its one thing when a great employee is disengaged, it’s another if you don’t have the right employees, to begin with. We can help you fill any open positions and get the “right” people into your teams so your management can start developing their abilities and growing your organization in the process.