Employee retention rates across industries are alarming. The engagement and retention rates of employees have never been lower than they are currently. Client-side employee attrition rates today range anywhere between 18% to over 50%, while most ad agency employee attrition rates hover between 35% to over 80%. These are staggering employee turnover rates.
While companies care about and put emphasis on employee contribution and productivity, employees care equally about feedback and career planning. Talking with employees on a regular basis about how they are doing and mapping out a career plan for every individual on your team, are crucial to employee retention. Not only is this good for the employee, but it’s good for your team and your company overall.
Providing regular feedback and coaching can sometimes prevent an employee from going down the path of poor performance, simply because they aren’t being course corrected and given guidance on their path. If you are the leader of the team, you have to remember that in most cases, you have more experience than the individuals reporting up to you. One of your primary roles as a leader, is coaching and development of your team members.
While many things have been said about the Millennial generation joining the workforce, one thing for certain, they are almost demanding feedback by their response in the workplace. If they don’t receive regular ongoing feedback, along with any other factors that make them feel unsure about staying, they will start looking and find another opportunity. Millennial retention across industries is the lowest of any generation in history.
If you think about other healthy, working relationships that you have in your life, regular communication and interaction is a requisite for staying engaged and growing with that relationship. Work relationships are no different in that regard.
One of the best lessons I learned early in my career, was to be the kind of boss that I would like to have myself. By having poor bosses or leaders off an on throughout my career, I learned how ‘not’ to be, once I was put in that place of leading my own team.
I have always made a point to have a clear understanding of where my direct reports saw themselves in five years. That allowed us to craft a plan for experiences that would set them up for success in achieving their goal. The other great benefit about doing this, is that many people do not think five years out. By encouraging your employees to do that, you are showing a leadership skill present in only the top 10-15% of most leaders.
Show sincere interest in your individual team members’ careers and where they want to go, and you will foster a sense of respect and appreciation toward you and the company. Even if they are unhappy with the company and still choose to leave for some reason, you can still show great leadership skills. You also have the opportunity to develop relationships that can last the rest of your career. I know that is true for myself.