Most reasons the most talented and productive people flee a given workplace can be avoided. Here are common mistakes, along with better alternatives.
9. Tolerate mediocrity. A-players don't have to or want to play with a bunch of C-players.
8. Have dumb rules. I did not say have no rules; I specified dumb rules. Great employees want to have guidelines and direction, but they don't want to have rules that get in the way of doing their jobs or that conflict with the values the company says are important.
7. Don't recognize outstanding performance and contributions. Remember Psychology 101: Behavior you want repeated should be rewarded immediately.
6. Don't have any fun at work. Where's the written rule that says work has to be serious? If you find it, rip it to shreds and stomp on it, because the notion that work cannot be fun is actually counterproductive. The workplace should be fun. Find ways to make work and/or the work environment more relaxed and fun, and you will have happy employees who look forward to coming to work each day.
5. Don't keep your people informed. You've got to communicate not only the good, but also the bad and the ugly. If you don't tell them, the rumor mill will.
4. Micromanage. Tell them what you want done and how you want it done. Don't tell them why it needs to be done and why their job is important. Don't ask for their input on how it could be done better.
3. Don't develop an employee retention strategy. Employee retention deserves your attention every day. Make a list of the people you don't want to lose and, next to each name, write down what you are doing or will do to ensure that person stays engaged and on board.
2. Don't do employee retention interviews. Wait until a great employee is walking out the door instead and conduct an exit interview to see what you could have done differently so they would not have gone out looking for another job.
1. Make your onboarding program an exercise in tedium. Employees are most impressionable during the first 60 days on the job. Every bit of information gathered during this time will either reinforce your new hire's "buying decision" (to take the job) or lead to "Hire's Remorse."
The biggest cause of "Hire's Remorse" is the dreaded employee orientation/training program. Most are poorly organized, inefficient, and boring. How can you expect excellence from your new hires if your orientation program is a sloppy amalgamation of tedious paperwork, boring policies and procedures, and hours of regulations and red tape?
To reinforce their buying decision, get key management involved on the first day and make sure your orientation delivers and reinforces these three messages repeatedly:
- You were carefully chosen and we're glad you're here;
- You're now part of a great organization;
- This is why your job is so important.