Employee turnover is a scary thing for business owners. According to Gallup, it can cost an organization between one-half to twice the amount of an employee’s annual salary to replace them. So, it makes sense that employers are naturally reluctant to discuss an employee’s career aspirations since it might mean they’ll eventually want to leave for a new job. However, this is a mistake.
It’s common knowledge that employee engagement directly affects retention rates. And while employers can do a lot to keep employees engaged, like showing them appreciation, giving them autonomy, and offering flexible schedules, a big piece is missing.
Nine out of ten times, if you ask an employee whether they’d be working for you if they were a billionaire, they’d say no. It’s not because they don’t like their job or even because they’re not fulfilled, but because people have jobs to create stability in their lives, grow their wealth, support their families, and pursue their interests. And none of this is a bad thing—in fact, it’s about as natural as it gets. While finding satisfaction, fulfillment, and value in a job is equally important, it’s only half the story.
The value in facing the whole truth
If business owners and leaders embrace the fact their employees have aspirations that could eventually lead them away from their organization, they open the door to building mutually beneficial, long-lasting relationships.
By uncovering your employees’ aspirations, you create an opening for them to explore themselves and for you to discover their strengths and desires. You gain insight into what lights them up and gets them excited, and align their role to fit with their personal goals. Consider how engaged and energized each of your employees would be if they felt they were actively moving towards their dreams while working within your company.
When you participate in your employees’ personal goals, you can create an open dialog with them that builds trust, loyalty, and stability.
- You can identify when opportunities come along that would spark the interest of specific employees.
- You can provide learning and development opportunities that align with the individual goals of team members.
- You can maintain a better handle on if employees have their needs met within their roles and make informed adjustments to their annual plans.
- You can build relationships with employees that last beyond their time with your company and provide value long after they’ve moved on.
Creating value for everyone
Engaging employees personally, empowers them to reach their fullest potential while demonstrating that your company is committed to their overall success. This can lead to employees coming full circle, leaving for a time, and returning to your company later in their careers. It will positively impact your employer brand, and create employees who feel excited, empowered, and supported by their organization—all while positioning your company as an employer of choice.
The best way to build solid and long-lasting relationships is through trust, openness, and mutual support. By embracing employees’ personal goals and providing them with opportunities to pursue them, you will create a team that’s as dedicated as you.
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