We recently attended SHRM New York City’s annual conference. One of the breakout sessions discussed the future of work and the workforce. This session largely broke down the changing motivations of today’s workforce, and what is valued in a job.
It really struck me when the speaker mentioned that the number one reason people leave jobs is because they feel they aren’t valued, or able to contribute the way they would like to.
Not that they’re overworked, but that they would like to do more - and aren’t given the support, tools, or opportunity to do so.
This is unfortunate, because it’s something that can so easily be changed. Engaging employees, valuing them, making them feel included, and offering opportunities for growth is something all companies can do and should be doing.
Investing in your employees has proven benefits, including increased engagement, increased performance and retention.
Here are some simple things you can do to lean in to the changing values of the workforce, and keep employees happy:
1) Highly individualized leadership - Seek to discover every employee’s potential. Remember your team is made up of individuals. Every employee brings different experiences and attributes to the table. Treating everyone the same does a disservice to your organization, and your employees. Tailor conversations and reviews to individual’s interests, goals, and personalities.
2) Don’t focus on past performance, focus on contributions - This point is pretty self explanatory, but checking off tick boxes in generic performance reviews has limited value. Focus instead on positive contributions individuals have made, providing concrete proof of their value. This method of feedback has been shown to increase moral, makes employees feel seen and heard, and most importantly - lead to future development and growth.
3) Be transparent - Employees experience their organization through their direct leaders. In many companies, there is not direct access to the C-suite. The further down the ladder you get, the less engaged an employee is, frequently do to the lack of information and inability to see the bigger picture. Transparency is a unifier and helps grow relationships and employee investment. Keep employees in the loop with what’s happening in your organization and give them an opportunity to get involved in new initiatives and projects.