The Dreaded Resignation Letter
4 ways great managers retain talent
A colleague recently sent me this quote, “Millennials need more than free Panera to stick around” from a popular LinkedIn article “Why Millennials Keep Dumping You: An Open Letter to Management”. The author provides a witty first person account of why top performing Millennials (really people of any age) leave organizations. Her article was shared by over 26,000 people and elicited 8,000 comments.
Why it resonated? 4 Reasons.
She succinctly and boldly points out four things managers do that drive her and her cohort crazy. Gallup validates her feelings in their latest report “Designing Your Organization’s Employee Experience”. According to Gallup, the manager-employee relationship has THE most significant influence on the employee experience at EVERY stage of the employee lifecycle.
As the author eloquently points out and Gallup data backs up, there are four things (outside of more money) behind almost every resignation letter. Great managers understand the triggers and what’s needed to retain and motivate their top talent.
1. Regularly recognize each employee’s role in the company’s success
Millennials want managers who engage in goal setting, give meaningful feedback and communicate the impact of their role outside of just meeting their numbers (ROI). Millennials in particular will leave if they don’t feel a connection between what they’re doing and how it is impacting customers, the community or company. Great managers make people feel their job is important. This connection makes even the most routine tasks more tolerable and meaningful.
Fact: According to Gallup, less than half (41%) of U.S. employees strongly agree that their job description aligns well with the work they’re asked to do.
2. Recognize when action is needed
People perform best when they work with colleagues they trust will get things done and do a good job. Great managers try to understand and support struggling performers but aren’t afraid to have the tough conversations when things don’t improve. Two things happen when underperformance isn’t addressed: your performers stay and become Donna-Do-Littles or they leave. Neither is a good ending. Don’t Let Lazy Managers Drive Away Your Top Performers.
Fact: 54% of employees say low performers contribute to a lack of initiative and motivation, resulting in a work culture where mediocrity is accepted.
3. Recognize culture is more than ping pong tables and free Panera
A high ceiling, brick-walled office and bean bag chair is not a Culture make. While free perks and a cool office are nice to brag about, that alone won’t keep your top performers. Great managers know this and know their company’s competitive advantage depends on creating a positive culture where people feel recognized and appreciated. Great Places to Work studies demonstrate this… companies on this annual list outpace peers on a wide range of metrics, including growth, profitability and stock performance.
Fact: 79% of employees who quit their jobs said “lack of appreciation” was why they left.
4. Recognize and really care
Society is obsessed with health and wellness but companies need to do more than pay lip service. Even the largest company can create a culture of caring by putting people first with more flex time, recognize and reward great work more often, mentor and develop careers.
According to Gallup, managers who focus on 5 aspects of their employees’ well-being – providing purpose, social interactions, financial stability, physical health and sense of community – create positive employee experiences and more engaged workers.
Source: Gallup’s 2018 Designing Your Organization’s Employee Experience Report
Fact: Engaged employees increase your knowledge capital, lower turnover and are on average 22 per cent more productive.
Want an easy way to share these time saving tips with your managers?
Managing others is not easy. As HR professionals, developing programs for managers is also tough given time is such a scarce resource for both groups. It’s a big hole in many organizations.
Senior management sets the strategy but often the worker bees are managers responsible for engaging their people while also needing to get their own jobs done. It reminds me of this famous Canoe Race story.
According to Simon Sinek, Millennials more than any other demographic need to work for managers who care. Learn why in his short video excerpt (that has over 10 M views) on “Millennials in the Workplace”.
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Download this handy wall chart for your management team and other FREE posters that remind others to appreciate and recognize. Stay tuned for next week’s blog with more recognition tips for busy managers.
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