Retention is a widely talked about topic in business, especially these last few years after the “great resignation” was introduced due to COVID. Retention is a topic that can be discussed and debated; so join Host and Marketing and Development Manager, Megan Spicer, and Marketing Assistant, Amanda Mulcahy, while they touch on 4 tips that have been proven to be helpful with retention.
What we cover in this episode:
- 06:38 – 4 tips for retention
- 08:44 – Leader vs. manager
- 13:28 – Communication and trust
- 18:34 – Employee appreciation
- 25:47 – Adapting to the market
4 tips for retention
There are many tips available on how to boost employee retention. Out of all of the tried and true methods, there are four that Amanda has used and been successful with. The four tips are Leadership, Communication, Appreciation, and Adaptation. The great thing about these four areas, is they can mold to any profession or person. Not all businesses are the same, so having a one size fits all approach to retention isn’t acceptable anymore.
Leader vs. manager
There is a difference between a leader and a manager; being able to define and utilize this is strategic and effective. A manager by definition is a person who controls or administers part or all of a company or organization. The main word here is control.
Being a manager means you do have control over how you run your business and how you treat your employees. However, being controlling is different and is a hard balance to find; not finding it can create an impact on your company culture.
The definition of a leader is someone who leads or commands an organization. Breaking it down to the importance of the word lead, is to guide. The utilization of both manager and leader can impact your company culture, retention, and even revenue.The days are mostly gone of projecting fear into your employees to get them to work harder or better.
It isn’t always easy to transition from a manger mindset to a leadership style mindset, or to start out as a great leader; it takes time and self-development. “You have to really be developed and not fully, but developed as a person and as a leader in order to manage correctly,” how you boost retention through professional development, is personally developing.
Communication and trust
“You have to have that trust and that trust is hard to build if you’re not communicating with them…It’s kind of ironic, but I think the way you can open the door to those conversations is by setting boundaries at the beginning…”
“Really setting those boundaries and having that conversation at the very beginning with every employee, which takes time, it takes a lot of time, but that’s just that simple investment, the initial investment that you have to put in at the forefront in order for the back end to work properly.”
If you don’t want to be the manager that has to do everything and everyone’s job, you have to learn how to let go. Part of letting go is trusting your employees to do what they need to do. Communicate, trust, and verify.
This stems from the manager equipping their employees with the proper resources, whatever those might be, to do the jobs efficiently and effectively. Creating an environment with a true open door policy and having a company culture that reflects that is part of the investment of retaining your employees.
Team building improves employee retention and creates a company culture that shows employees are not just another number, but an actual person who contributes to the business. You can boost retention through professional development with team building exercises during and after the work day. Everyone likes to feel appreciated in one way or another and finding that way for your team is crucial to the success of your business.
Employee appreciation doesn’t always have to be something major like bowling night out or an expensive dinner. Megan makes a point on not internalizing what you think. “If you think of something or you see something that someone’s doing exceptionally well, say something about it. Don’t just think the thought and then move on. You’re thinking these nice thoughts about people, but if you’re not vocalizing them they never know that you had that thought.”
One of the hardest things about appreciation is finding the correct way to say something and the correct time to say it. Yes, say what you need to say, but make sure it is done correctly. This is one of the reasons why working to be the best leader and manager you can be takes time and a lot of self development. Knowing how each of your employees receives information and how they respond can help when it comes time to appreciate them. Finding the time on how to retrieve this information, that takes time but can be well worth it.
Adapting to the market
We all hear about how the workforce market is changing, has changed and will continue to change. Employees went from going to a physical location, to all remote work, to hybrid working situations and it won’t stop there. With this comes changing employee preferences and priorities on what the employee now considers mandatory for their work environment. Being able to be proactive in certain situations and not reactive can be a defining factor in retaining employees.
One of the adaptations is how you interact with employees. Amanda touches on how she has seen the involvement of emotional intelligence and the impact this has in being a manager for an organization.
“What is emotional intelligence? Kind of the simple terms of it is the ability to recognize your own emotions as well as the emotions of others in order to empathize and communicate effectively so you can build beneficial relationships.”
“I think the main word in there is that empathize word. Because there is a difference between empathy and sympathy. And I think as an employer and a manager and a leader, you have to empathize with people and not necessarily sympathize with them.”
Understanding once again that your employees are humans that live a life everyday just as you do, makes an impact on how you react to them and treat them. Of course business is business, but finding and setting boundaries and expectations in a way that resonates with employees can be your lifeline when it comes to retaining them.
There are so many great ways to create an environment where employees want to stay. Here are the key takeaways from this episode:
- Leadership – boost retention through professional development
- Communication, foster a company culture that leads to trust
- Appreciation – team building improves employee retention
- Adaptability – change is necessary
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Failing Forward by John Maxwell
- The How of Leadership: Unleashing the Capacity of Your People by Rob Reindl