Engage Employees or Lose Them

Engage Employees or Lose Them 
– by Coach Colle Davis

Managers in today’s volatile marketplace should stand in front of the mirror every morning and recite this mantra to themselves ten times, “Pay attention to my people, or I will lose them.”

According to research noted in Entrepreneur Magazine May 8, 2017, “Employee engagement as a retention tool makes sense on an intuitive level, but data from Glint backs it up: The attrition rate of disengaged employees is 12 times higher than for highly-engaged employees over a year-long period.”

Rewarding the quality of an employee’s work, so they feel empowered in their job is a full-time activity for managers and leaders, but it must be done in acceptable ways, or it diminishes its effectiveness. Letting your people do their job to the best of their ability and rewarding the behavior you wish to encourage, produces a staff of top performing employees.

‘The best fertilizer is the footsteps of the farmer.’  Japanese proverb

It’s easier to treat people you like with respect. A manager has favorites for a reason because this special group is the most productive and require less time and energy. Showing them you care about them ‘as people’ requires paying attention to details about how to reward them, as individuals. When a manager shows appreciation for an employee’s behavior, they are demonstrating their loyalty because they know that is where the group’s direction and productivity resides. It’s up to a manager to learn exactly how each employee needs to be nurtured. Do they need occasional flex time to work away from the office? Do they need public acknowledgment? Time with senior executives to brainstorm their ideas? More responsibility in their department?

The trick to retaining employees lies in retraining your managers in the fine art of people skills.

The main reason employees leave is because of a non-caring manager who they believe doesn’t value them or their work. Retraining managers is an option for upgrading unenlightened managers, if (big ‘if’) here, the manager is trainable and willing to adjust their behavior to produce more productive teams. If not, find managers who can get the job done. 

Here is a caveat for complementing a person: Compliment an employee’s behavior, never compliment their appearance. Compliment their work. Never tell them you like the way their skirt or pants fit. Avoid personal compliments such as, ‘your hair looks nice today,’ or ‘you’re so handsome.’ For more help on languaging this difference contact us today. 804-464-3532

According to Harvard research, employees who are doing a good job and are praised and rewarded, want to work for their manager and support the company. Cultivating these workers is the manager’s top job, their only job and it is imperative company leaders learn how to support and encourage their reports ensuring their employees know they are supported and appreciated.

Allowing your people to work on and complete tasks assigned to them in the best way they know how to do is a gift to both of you. Letting them accomplish the task their way, on your budgeted time frame and you look like a hero. They are doing their job, and a nice ‘atta-girl’ or ‘atta-boy’ or a public notice or a trip to Paris becomes their reward.

Think of the manager or leader’s role as the supplier of resources. When your employees know you are there to make sure they have everything they need to accomplish their tasks, they will seldom approach you with more needs. The relationship allows you to anticipate their needs ahead of time because you know where the project is and what they will need at each step. The utilization of resources as needed results in the highest possible productivity. Then to praise and reward the workers for a job well done, adds to your status as a hero boss.

For more tips and tricks for empowering your staff, call or write us today. cdavis@mycoach.com or 804 464 3532


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