This could be the most important employee retention tool!

 

Take a quick poll of your employees. Make it in writing, and ask just this one question:

“Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?”

Let them mark one box: yes or no; and return it anonymously. Then take a close look at the results.

Gallup’s highly successful organizations all have one thing in common: engaged employees. And engaged employees – not those just doing their jobs adequately, but those individuals who “work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company,” spell success.

One key indicator of the level of employee engagement is how they answer this one question. It gives us as managers pause to think about how we influence the answer to this question.

Do we know each member of our team individually: their family, pets, living situations?

Do we celebrate when something significant happens to them – and not just in monthly batched birthday “parties?”

Do we include their spouses/significant others and children on occasion in work-related gatherings?

Can we tell when they’re struggling or when they’re particularly excited? Do we do something concrete to acknowledge it?

When I first started working as a manager I was taught that work and friendship should never overlap. We were to have strictly professional relationships with the people who reported to us. Talking about personal goals, families or problems was never appropriate. Encouraging friendships at work was also viewed as negative – disciplining one person could result in all of her friends’ work suffering, too.

Today we know that work and personal life are much more closely connected. We meet our best friends – and sometimes our life partners – at work. We share births, illnesses and deaths. We often spend more waking time, after all, with our work mates than our family.

My goal as a manager has always been to hear each one of my team members say, “I love my job!” and mean it.

Obviously, taking a personal interest in their lives is one way I can help them achieve this level of engagement. It will make this a better place to work, and it may even be the most effective retention tool I have as a manager.

7 Responses to “This could be the most important employee retention tool!”

  1. Kari

    While I agree that managers must take a real interest in their employees, we still need to remember we are the bosses and there is a line between the levels. The line may be dotted, but it is there. I had a great mentor for 27 years. You have to know your staff, their family members, likes, birthdays etc… Pay attention to them.

    Reply
    • amanda

      I’m not sure what you mean by levels. Are you saying that as managers, we are on a higher level than our employees? If so, not true. We merely have a different job to do, we are not always on a higher level. (In fact, I have some co-managers that are on a lower level than some of our staff.) I treat every employee equal. No matter if they are the executive director or a dcw. I give them respect equally, and after 30 years it has never failed to work for me.

      Reply
  2. Cheryl McClure

    There is too much of a me mentality to have a truly effective retention program. We have a core staff of approx. 25 excellent CNA’s but we have noticed over the past 6 months new staff coming on have a lot of “baby mama drama” as I call it. They have too many (self created) personal issues. There are really great individuals that have good work ethics but more than none people don’t get it. We have awesome programs, only promote from within, have great employee recognition programs and pay higher than industry average. None of this matters if an individual cannot manage their own life. They lack self respect and our Public and Governmental agencies have actually, unintentionally helped create this. It is exhausting to continuously have to stroke someone’s ego.

    I have been an HR Manager for 30 years and I have steadily watched the decline of our workforce. I wonder what they will be thinking 50 years from now when they are on the receiving end?

    Reply
  3. Nichole

    I agree that all staff, management included, should feel appreciated and valued. Yes, it’s true that happy employees make for a happier and more productive working environment. Unfortunately a lot of the time staff equate value with compensation. To an extent they are right, but we can only provide so much in raises, and we have budgets to contend with. I wish my company would budget in staff appreciation to better accommodate it instead of saying it’s out of your pocket, or, at the end of the year we will see what the numbers say. I know we can write thank you notes and acknowledge accomplishments individually but when you want to be able to really show staff appreciation with a thoughtful gift or get them engaged in activities with prizes etc, its hard when there is corporate telling you no, and the staff feel that.

    Reply
    • joyce

      Nicole I agree with your statement. I’ve worked as an In Home Care Nursing Supervisor and Director and the owners did not want to show appreciation for the girls that worked out in the field. I tried to tell them the CNAs were the back bone of their companies. They would reward the office staff but not the girls working in the homes. If you respect them you will get their respect as well.
      Management must understand what it means to be a team player.

      Reply
  4. Nicole Hannah

    Employee retention is very important and caring about the person as a whole and not just as an employee helps keep employees on the job long term. Is it so hard to ask “How are you feeling?” or How is the family?” We also need to be honest and keep our word. Trust goes along way. If you want to retain employees we also have to show we are willing to be apart of the team and not just a dictator. I also feel once in awhile it doesn’t hurt to give incentives and it can be as simple as a Thank you card.

    Reply
  5. Nicole

    Employee retention is very important and caring about the person as a whole and not just as an employee helps keep employees on the job long term. Is it so hard to ask “How are you feeling?” or How is the family?” We also need to be honest and keep our word. Trust goes along way. If you want to retain employees we also have to show we are willing to be apart of the team and not just a dictator. I also feel once in awhile it doesn’t hurt to give incentives and it can be as simple as a Thank you card.

    Reply

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