If you want to hang on to your best workers then, hang on to your hats, because 47% of your current work force is looking for work elsewhere! And a staggering 65% of your employees feel their work has not been recognized in the past year.
These numbers are according to Gallup’s research surveying over 1.4 million employees shared in the Entrepreneur mag article Why 47 Percent of Your Best People Are Ready to Leave — and What You Can Do About It.
The author goes on to say that if the managers of those feeling like their work is not appreciated were asked, that they would be surprised to learn how their employees felt. Managers often feel they are praising and recognizing work but perhaps it isn’t in a way that is registering with employees.
I remember a girlfriend of mine sharing a story about her grandfather, and yes this is relevant.
She had gone to care for him after a short stay in the hospital. She fixed his meals and saw to his personal care and kept him company. Although she assumed he appreciated her care, at every turn he was quick to criticize her and compare her to her mother.
“Your mother is much better at that than you are.”
“Your mother can whip up a four course meal without even breaking a sweat.”
“Your mother’s cinnamon rolls are from scratch, not whatever those are.”
Later she shared this information with her mother. “Gosh, Mom, Grandpa sure thinks the sun rises and sets with you.”
Her mother was shocked. He had never given her praise. Instead, he had criticized her and compared her in a negative way to her mother.
She never felt praised. She never felt appreciated. She never felt value.
Now, back to the office – how many times have you felt like your workers are doing a great job but you just assume they know you value their efforts? If you don’t tell them – how can they know? A family member will continue offering their best work even without praise because of the family connection, but will your best worker?
In the Inc. mag article What Employees Want to See Most in Their Bosses Comes Down to a Single Word, Says Research, that one magic word is RESPECT.
I believe that working with good people matters because then the work environment is good. If there is a sense of respect and belief among the people you work with, that is when good work is done. Ranbir Kapoor
Your best workers long to know that their efforts are appreciated, their ideas are valued and that they are a contributing factor to the overall success of the company. However, if we spend more time focused on what could have been done better rather than what was done well, we could very well be driving our best workers out the door, and down the street to the competition.
How Do You Keep Your Best Workers?
Remember these three key points:
- In both romantic relationships and professional relationships, everyone wants to know that they are recognized and appreciated.
- You must become masterful at finding out what each of your top talent specifically needs in order to have the recognition you give them register for them. There is no one size fits all.
- As a leader, stay aware that despite what you may think, divorce is always an option. You can never afford to take your people for granted.
As leaders, how do you know if you are showing your employees respect and how can you improve? The Inc. mag offers six great tips – here are just three:
1. Ask for focused feedback on your best behaviors from 10 people (coworkers, friends, family): After compiling the feedback, organize the data into themes. Look for patterns such as when, where, how, with whom are you at your best? Use those insights to reinforce what you’re doing well.
2. Discover your shortcomings. Identify a couple of trusted colleagues who you believe will provide direct and honest feedback. Ask for their views about how you treat other people. What do you do well? What could you do better? Listen carefully.
3. Work with a coach. Coaches can uncover potential weaknesses and unearth some of the underlying assumptions, experiences, and personal qualities that make one prone to uncivil behavior.
Bottom line – if we can believe the Gallup poll of 1.4 employees – there is a sizable number of your employees who are looking for work; maybe not actively, but their feelers are out there. Knowing that, what changes will you make to ensure your best workers feel respected and valued. It starts with you.
JJ DiGeronimo, a speaker, author and thought-leader for Women in Tech and Girls and STEM, empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract Women in Technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.
Check out JJ’s new award winning book Accelerate Your Impact by downloading three free chapters.