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Employee retention – more than just a pat on the back

I was once coaching an entrepreneur whose key concern was employee retention. He stated that new hires would stay for a few months and leave soon after, as soon as they got ‘better’ opportunities. The big question here is: why does this happen?

Over the course of our coaching conversations, we were able to unravel the mystery- employees don’t feel their contributions matter or are a part of the bigger picture.

So, what can be done?

Leaders can share positive reinforcement more often with their employees

This can be more than a mere compliment; it can be a feedback that lets the team member know how their role contributes to the company’s overall vision, and how they as an individual is making a difference.

By discussing their roles, we make them think beyond our definition of their roles. This will empower them. Thus, they will be enabled to give valuable inputs from a wider perspective with a richer meaning.

Here are a few ways you can start having such conversations, often:

  • Speak to each team member periodically; ideally once every quarter. Discuss the way their role is evolving over time and explain how their role is crucial for the growth of the business. Follow this up with a monthly review of progress.

  • Be generous with your compliments and recognition for individuals and teams. As you share more positive inputs, the motivation to do better will be greater.

  • Make it natural; this doesn’t always have to be a scheduled one-on-one meeting. You can have a casual chat, or even mention it in passing during team meetings to reinforce the idea that each person’s role plays its own integral part in the company’s vision.

After all, it is the strength of the team that shapes an organization and we want team members to deliver beyond their potential… BY BEING THE BEST VERSION OF THEMSELVES. Once we are able to achieve, employee retention is never a problem.

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