No matter how perfect your staffing program may be, or how easily you attract top talent, your hiring strategy won’t work and won’t bring long term company success if you can’t retain your amazing new recruits. If you can’t keep your brilliant employees, it doesn’t matter how brilliant they are; they’ll step in the door after an expensive hiring process and step out a few years later, taking your training investments with them.
But at the same time, you’d like your talented employees to work hard and give their all as long as they’re on your payroll. So how can you help them find a balance between hard work and burnout? Here are a few moves to consider.
Recognize the signs.
There are two sets of signs you’ll need to watch out for as a manager or company owner: signs of individual problems and signs of systemic problems. You’ll be able to spot individual problems easily, but only among your own direct reports, and only if you’re paying attention. An employee who’s struggling with personal problems, health issues, general exhaustion, or low morale will require special attention. Look for telltale signs like disengagement, poor posture, missed deadlines, or resentment. Systemic problems will need to be brought to your attention by others. Listen closely to complaints, requests for help, or concerns expressed by lower level managers regarding their own employees and teams.
Create and enforce streamlined policies.
Create a connectivity policy that clearly outlines when employees must be present in the workplace or reachable by reachable by phone, text or email. Of you want employees to disconnect during vacations (which you should), then do not allow managers to contact absent employees for anything less than serious emergencies. If your salaried employees are expected to work from nine to five, don’t encourage or praise those who are still in the building at 8:00. Send them home.
Actively shape your workplace culture.
Do you want yours to be a culture of competition or collaboration? Keep in mind that “both” is not an option. Make your choice, and then take active steps to educate your managers and push for the behavior you’d like to see on your teams. At the same time, make a choice between innovation (which will require employees to take risks, fail, and challenge the status quo), and convention (which will reduce risk, decrease error, and diminish change and growth). Again, “both” isn’t an option. If you push employees to take risks without ever failing, or push them to drive change without stepping away from the status quo, you’ll fan the flames of resentment, burnout, and turnover.
Karma is very real, especially within the corporate sphere. If you treat your vendors, clients, shareholders and employees with respect, you’ll increase your odds of receiving respect in return. Turnover will drop, your bottom line will rise, and your reputation will speak for itself. Reach out to burned out employees and provide the support they need. For more on how to make this happen, reach out to the staffing experts at CSS.