Employee retention is one of the most important issues for modern HR departments, but ensuring all staff are happy within their role is much more complicated than it may first appear.
Job satisfaction will largely depend on the individual, and finding out what really matters to them, rather than assuming. To keep employees happy within your organization you need to ensure you're doing everything you can - within reason - to keep them happy and fulfilled in their current role.
This, of course, means making them feel valued through progression opportunities and offering the right employee benefits, but it can also mean changing your behavior and that of your line managers.
Research from BambooHR has highlighted some of the most common reasons why employees become unhappy with their employers' behavior.
Here are six simple ways you can ensure you're not devaluing your staff:
1. Give credit where credit's due
There are few things more irritating in the workplace than giving everything to a project only to have your manager or another colleague take the credit. If you speak up, you look like an immature, self-absorbed employee who isn't a team player, but letting it go could see you being overlooked for promotions in the future. This is why it's important that HR instills a culture of giving credit to the employees behind the success, not just the managers claiming it. Celebrating achievements - whether it's that of a Director or an entry-level employee - will ensure everyone feels valued for their hard work.
2. Encourage autonomy
No one likes being micromanaged. It wastes the time of managers and makes employees feel undermined. If you're not careful, it can also encourage a major lack of confidence from staff, which can lead to a whole host of other problems. Instead, you need to encourage employees to use their initiative and go with their gut. Of course, superiors will still be needed in certain situations, but trust them to know when that is.
3. Be clear on inappropriate behavior
It may shock some HR departments, but the research from BambooHR found that many employees look for jobs elsewhere because they've experienced inappropriate behavior in their current role. It's important that your policies are clear and that you allow staff to communicate with you in a way that makes them feel comfortable. For example, forcing people to go through their line manager to register a complaint isn't appropriate if their manager is the perpetrator.
4. Offer support
Staff need to feel as though they have the support of their employer. Whether this is in their day-to-day role or through challenging times, you need to make it clear that you are behind your employees. This involves creating policies for sick leave or other times when your team may need to take unexpected time off work, as well as ensuring managers are helping staff to achieve their progression goals.
5. Make promotion and progression clear
Another key issue among employees is that they feel the wrong people get promoted. Make sure your progression and promotion policies are clear. It's also important to identify any areas where there might be bias in recruitment or promotion activities and take measures to remove them. This will allow employees to see your company as a fair employer that gives rewards based purely on who is best suited for the job, and nothing else.
6. Have achievable goals
Employees hate bosses that constantly move the goalposts and it's easy to see why. You need to ensure that managers are communicating goals to their teams, looking at the ways to measure success and empowering them to reach them. Neglecting any of these could lead to employees feeling demotivated in their role, or that their manager - and the company as a whole - wants them to fail.
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