Posted by Toni Simpson
on 15 January 2015
A recent article in NZ Herald shared some great tips for those heading back into the work groove who may be suffering from the "work blues". Taking responsibility for their own work life balance, focusing on health and wellness, planning ahead and going back to work refreshed is a great start. But what if your staff really just don't like their job? Heading back into work after a holiday break can often be the impetus for employees to start looking for another job. There are many reasons that this happens early in the New Year - they have just had enough of being overworked with little or no recognition, there is no challenge anymore, they are dealing with a manager they don't get on with, or a work environment that may be toxic. Don't be surprised if some of your staff are using this time now to look on SEEK and Trade me Jobs as they ponder their career in greener pastures !
What happens when your best employee hands in their resignation and you didn't see it coming? Often it's too late by this stage as they have already "checked out" and made their decision to leave. But there are some practical initiatives you can do NOW to prevent that situation from occuring:
Arrange 1:1 catch ups with your team - Don't just wait till that "March performance review" it will be too late by then! Spend half an hour now talking about what your expectations are; asking them for their suggestions (and understanding) and offering support they may require to do their job (e.g. updated systems; coaching; external training)
Provide feedback as and when it happens - But if you didn't tell your employee last December how impressed you were with the project that was bought in on time, the report to the Board that was completed; or how appreciative you were when they coached a junior staff member for a month (even though they were incredibly busy) - then do IT NOW!
Review job descriptions - Ask your employee to review their job description to make sure it accurately reflects what they do. Get them to offer their suggestions as to how it may be improved. This gives them buy into any changes that may be required, and what a great way to refocus them on the importance of their role in the organisation.
Business/Strategic planning - if you have already spent time around the management table agreeing on the way forward - then communicate this to the team! if they know where the company is going over the next 6-12 months and how they play a part in achieving this - then you are on your way to lifting their motivation and engagement!
But if you do get that resignation from your STAR employee:
Genuinely consider a counter offer and put it in writing quickly. It's not just about money however, there may be other benefits you can offer (flexible work hours; bonus incentives; more responsibility) that will make them reconsider. Can you afford for them to leave the organisation with their IP, clients, and positive work ethic?
Conduct an exit interview if they won't talk to you, then ask them to nominate another manager or person who they feel comfortable sharing honest feedback with, including their REAL reasons for leaving. If any improvements are suggested - then genuinely consider them. Don't just file it away in a drawer. Really listen to what is being said and what can be changed for the better.
To find out how to retain your star performers contact us straight away. We'd love to share our tricks of the trade.