How do you recapture the initial enthusiasm of an employee who’s losing engagement? Find out how you can prevent losing great talent to your competitors – which is important if you want to keep your established business or startup at the forefront of its sector.
Be present for your team…
There’s no point having an open-door policy if you’re never in the office to talk for five minutes, never mind micro-manage. (Side note: you may wish to consider delegation.)
Give yourself some time at your desk; enough to let your employees approach you with any concerns or ideas, or just to chat. Make room in the diary for regular friendly, informal chats to find out where they’re at – before they schedule a final, impromptu ‘chat’ with you.
…But not in their faces
Perfectionism has its upsides: it presents as laser-focus drive and ambition in its purest form. It’s necessary for creating work that gets you noticed, and overcoming the seemingly impossible to build a business from scratch.
However, as a trait in managers it stifles employees who are also driven, ambitious, and doing fantastic work in their own way – the work you hired them to do.
It comes from a good place; you care deeply about your work and your company, especially if you’ve started it. But employees who don’t feel trusted simply don’t care about their work, since it’s all wrong and you’re going to do it all again anyway.
Ask what you can do for them, not what they can do for you…
Set aside some time to ask what your employees want from their careers – and from you – and what they would change about their current work situations.
…But be mindful of what they can do for you
An employee’s BS’ radar is going to be more finely tuned than ever if they’ve got other attractive offers on the horizon, so be sure to lean in and commit fully to making any changes within your power that can keep your top talent with you.
The old saying goes that ‘people quit their bosses, not their jobs’. Drilling down into the reasons why someone would want to leave your team does put you in a rather vulnerable position – after all, you’re having to look in the mirror and address your own managerial shortcomings.
However, a little radical (but positive) honesty goes a long way towards turbo-charging your own leadership skills, and presents a fantastic turning point for your own long-term career prospects. You play an important part in your company’s reputation when you can give your employees reason to stick around.
Cultivate an environment of honesty and trust, and you’ll prevent the great people you’ve got on board from jumping ship.