It's not them. It's you.
Losing employees is expensive. It's also stressful, time-consuming, and frustrating. From productivity to team culture, any time a person leaves it affects all areas of the company. As a leader, everything you're currently working on has to be put on pause as you're forced to rehire and rebuild.
Loyal employees are at the core of successful companies. With an understanding of the company that could only be acquired through experience, dedicated staff feel a stake in the company's growth and success. It's no wonder devoted employees go above and beyond for their jobs, often becoming leaders themselves.
Unfortunately, this type of passion can't be bought with generous salaries or vacation perks. Loyalty has to be earned. That's why leadership plays a key role in fostering longevity and retention amongst your team.
So how can you ensure they're in it for the long run? It starts from the minute you look at their resume. Just like marriage, the honeymoon phase doesn't last forever. That's why you have to continually work on your relationship. More importantly, you have to question your personal leadership style and how its affecting those around you.
Here are three questions to start with:
1. Are you hiring correctly?
How many jobs have they had in the past year, two years, five years? If there's a continuous pattern of job-hopping, it may be a sign that they're in the wrong field or career path. If that's the case, even the best leadership won't be able to prevent their next resignation letter.
In the interview process, ask questions that dig into their character and values. What's an example of when they went above and beyond for a project, and what made them do that? What are they most proud of, and what was the process to achieve this accomplishment?
Ask about their future goals and what they want out of a leader. They may be great on paper, but fitting into the culture is much more important, especially if you want to build loyalty and longevity.
2. Are you passionate enough?
Everyone gets burnt out. Running a team is a big job with often very little praise. It's easy to feel defeated. It's also easy to forget you're communicating this to the team, whether you're aware of it or not.
People will only buy into the company's success if you do. Therefore, you have to set the example. Communicate that you care about them and their stake in the company clearly and consistently.
The easiest way to do this is by celebrating the wins, no matter how big or small. Bring a cake into the lunch room, host happy hour, or hold a ten minute company-wide meeting where you thank everyone for a job well done. It may seem trivial, but any signs of appreciation will have a lasting impact on employee retention.
3. Are you transparent enough?
We all need to set our sights on the big picture. Why else would people train for marathons, compete for an Olympic gold medal, or try to set world records?
Without knowing why or what they're working for, employees will feel like outsiders rather than part of a team. As a leader, it's your role to set that transparency. Everyone needs to feel included, otherwise boredom and resentment sets in -- soon followed by a resignation letter.
Be honest about the company's wins, losses, and future goals. You have to make employees feel like they matter, and in order to do so, it requires inclusion.
Transparency sets the foundation for trust. Only once that's in place will you start to work towards building loyal employees.