If you’re finding it difficult to keep employees, then it’s time to take the kids’ gloves off. It’s easy to be ignorant or to downplay the internal weaknesses of your business. When it drives team members to leave in droves, however, it is no longer acceptable. It simply costs too much to have to keep replacing them. You need to look at the hard truths and figure out what exactly is driving them all away.
You’re providing nothing but dead ends
How much opportunity for development and growth is there in the positions that make up your business? Are you able to offer training or internal promotion that you haven’t before? If people get passed over or they start to realise their job is taking them nowhere, they will eventually look elsewhere. Of course, some businesses simply do not offer as much opportunity for growth as others. If that is the case, then you need to identify if it is something that can change or simply something that you should begin to factor into your long-term plans. The simple fact is that people are going to look for some momentum to their career at some point.
You’re not taking your duties seriously
The contract between an employer and an employee goes a lot further than just offering money for labour. You have responsibilities to fulfil certain rights of theirs. Two of the most important are their right to a safe working place and their right to fair treatment. We’re going to assume that you would never willingly mistreat an employee. The truth is that the minefield that is human resources can be a very difficult one to navigate. If you’re having trouble deciding the best course of action or you can’t find how to get compliant, it might be a good idea to use services like Ellis Whittam’s HR consultancy. Otherwise, not only are you more likely to make decisions that upset the workforce, but you could land yourself in some real legal trouble, too.
There’s no work-life balance
Meeting your goals as a business and making sure that the team is productive is one thing. However, push too hard and you’re not only risking pushing employees away, but you’re risking being responsible for serious stress and mental health issues. It might not be your life, but it’s still your responsibility to consider their work-life balance. Even those who seem entirely willing to accept overtime might be doing it simply because they believe their job is in trouble if they don’t or that you will hold it against them in some other way. Employers have to be careful of the demands that they make of their team.
They don’t fit
This is a problem that simply arises from the very beginning of a team member’s employment. They just don’t mesh. It might be a clash of values with the business or the work they do. It might be that there’s an established team that you just keep finding the wrong fits for. Whatever it is, it’s solved by being a lot more thorough in their interviews. Ask them about their values and what kind of role they hope to play in a team. Get an idea of another job they might like to see themselves in. Make sure they’re working in a role that they have some passion for. Otherwise, the allure of employment will wear off before too long.
The company is sinking
Sometimes, employees are scurrying away from a business like a sinking ship because the business very much is a sinking ship. It’s not unheard of for the owner to be one of the last people to realise something like that. Even if your finances look good, there could be other indicators that your business is in trouble. For instance, you should be looking at the rate you gain customers compared to the rate you lose them. If you find yourself unable to keep as many people working for as many hours, that’s another sure sign. Make sure to take a deeper look at how the business is performing using key performance indicators and get to the bottom of whether it’s truly starting to fail.
You’re not showing the right respect
All too often, business owners make a very grave error regarding respect. They confuse their authority with it. They think that said authority means they are owed respect without having to give it the other way around. Take a closer look at how you interact with your staff on a daily basis. Are you listening to their needs and promoting communication, or are you communicating over them? Are you praising in public and criticizing in private, or do you dress them down before their co-workers? Do you take the responsibility or pass the buck? As the boss, you have to work harder to show respect because you have more opportunity to not do so.
You’re taking advantage of them
Again, assuming that you’re an ethical employer, you might not think you’re taking advantage of your position. But you might just be doing it while trying to make the best out of your business. For instance, look at how you introduce new business processes to the team. Do you make sure people receive the right kind of compensation and recognition when they take on a duty that wasn’t previously in their job description? If not, you’re taking advantage of them. Just as you are taking advantage of them if you make promises to talk about pay changes, extra breaks, or development opportunities without following up on them. You need to hold yourself more accountable because it’s harder for them to do it for you.
Failing to retain employees is a symptom. As dangerous as the symptom can be, you should be focused on finding the root cause. More often than not, that is where the existential danger to your business can be found lurking. Start asking those hard questions of your business now and make it a place where people are glad to stay.
Do you employ people and have any of the issues above? Or perhaps you are excellent at retaining employees? Share your wisdom below!
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