Are your retention strategies working?

Top Reason Why Your Retention Strategies Aren’t Working

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes managers make when it comes to employee retention is assuming that everyone views their job and the company as they do. And it’s just a matter of time before this misperception contributes to employees leaving the organization.

This erroneous assumption on the part of managers often creates a barrier between managers and employees right from the start. Not every employee has the same desires for their career or the same motivations when it comes to their job. Additionally, not all employees thrive in the same work environment.

Yet managers often make the mistake of thinking, “If it worked for me and I was able to climb up the ranks, it should work for them too.” Employees frequently cite their managers as a reason for their unhappiness at work. Perhaps the root cause of that complaint is a lack of effort to understand
their employees and their underlying work-related motivators. As such, managers must possess a desire to listen to employees in order to improve their work experiences and tap into their unique motivations at work. Otherwise, their ability to curb high turnover will be stunted.

Why Your Retention Strategies Aren’t Working

The following is an excerpt from a whitepaper, titled How To Retain Employees When What You’ve Tried Isn’t Working.

Once supervisors realize that each employee is unique, the next step of understanding each employee begins. While one individual may thrive when working in teams, another individual might be more motivated by the challenge of resolving problems on their own. This realization is the exact reason why quick fixes and one-size-fits-all repairs fail to improve retention.

Up until this point, managers may have forced all employees to work as a team. Or perhaps they required each person to work individually on key problems. Upon realizing that different working conditions might need to be established for different members of the team, a flexible alignment structure has to be taken seriously.

While managers must make a significant effort at understanding each of their team members’ unique work-related motivators, they must also be open to taking on the task of restructuring the way employees go about their work in a way that taps into these motivators.

To some organizations, this may feel like a daunting task and even a bit uncomfortable due to its subjective nature. However, a study detailing one orientation of employee motivation — flexibility over work schedules and environment — has already proven that attempts at subjective motivational efforts pay off.

In the study conducted by University of Minnesota and MIT Sloan, researchers found that those employees granted the freedom of discretionary design of their workday and environment reported greater job satisfaction and were less burned out and stressed.

Previous studies have also shown that organizational initiatives that improve employees’ subjective wellbeing also improve the bottom line: they increase productivity and decrease absenteeism, turnover, and presenteeism—which means showing up, but not being engaged at work.1

Managers should be asking:

  • What’s going to motivate each employee to perform his or her best at work?
  • How can I motivate each member of my team so that his or her inherent motivators are tapped into?
  • How can I establish work environments that support those unique motivators?

And then the real implementation begins: actually making those changes happen.

Download The Full Whitepaper

Download the whitepaper, How To Retain Employees When What You’ve Tried Isn’t Working, for more insights on a retention strategy that works.

1. Phyllis Moen, Erin L. Kelly, Wen Fan, Shi-Rong Lee, David Almeida, Ellen Kossek, and Orfeu Buxton, “Does a Flexibility/Support Organizational Initiative Improve High-Tech Employees’ Well-Being? Evidence from the Work, Family, and Health Network.” American Sociological Review 1–31 2016.