In a recent webinar on achieving employee retention success, Randy Goruk outlined four things that leaders must do if they want to serve their team well and encourage them to stick around long term.
1. Listen REALLY Well
The best leaders do more listening than talking. But in order to have anything to listen to, you have to ask for feedback.
Ask new employees about their experience right after they’re onboarded—both what was good and what was bad. Ask those who leave the organization what you could have done better and what would have made them stay. Most importantly, make space and time on a consistent basis for current employees to voice concerns and share feedback about all aspects of their employment.
In the webinar, Randy gave the following tips for being a good listener:
Be available to listen.
If you're always on the go, always on the phone, always involved in meetings, always traveling—do you really have time to listen? What are you doing to make time to listen?
Be approachable to listen.
Are you cranky all the time? Are you miserable around the shop? Are you anxious or frantic whenever you’re working? These behaviors from leadership make sharing feedback difficult, if not altogether frightening.
Be present to listen.
The longer you've been in your career, the easier it is to get into the trap of thinking you always know what to do. To really hear someone, you need to listen long enough that you truly understand what people are trying to tell you. Listening means not having a conversation in your head while the other person is talking.
2. Inspire your team to make a difference.
In the video below, Randy gives an example of how to lean on your company's mission and vision as you remind employees of the greater purpose for doing their jobs.
3. Empower Your Team
Empowering someone means giving them the authority, power, and assurance they need to do something. Randy says that it’s crucial for employee retention because it builds trust, and when you trust your employees and they trust you, that’s something valuable that not all employers can offer. It’s a competitive advantage that will keep people with your company.
Randy likened it to being a kid and helping your parents bake a cake or change the oil in the car. You probably didn’t complete the whole operation yourself, but they found a way for you to be involved (like licking the spoon, pouring the batter, or tossing a wrench) and to learn in the process.
That same type of empowerment builds confidence in independence on the job. And when it does, employees feel their contribution is much more valued. And if they're feeling much more valued, they're going to stay because they feel you want them, need them, and like them.
4. Developing the Skills of Frontline Supervisors
This isn’t just about keeping current with certifications and classes to be compliant on the job. This is about developing the management and communication skills of company leadership at all levels.
“Let's develop their ability to interact with people, not just be the boss of people. How your managers treat and teach people is a direct correlation to whether or not people want to stay,” Randy said during the webinar.
“Let's teach them to be respectful of people. Let's teach them to treat people fairly and consistently, and how their behavior is important when it comes to being consistent. Let's teach them to be authoritative without being overbearing. Supervisors are key to retention. We've gotta teach them how to be great supervisors.”
Want more ideas for employee retention? Randy also told us about the three most important leadership strategies for employee retention and the four biggest leadership mistakes that impact employee retention. Or, you can watch the whole webinar on-demand.