Thanksgiving already? I think most of us would agree that time seems to accelerate at this time of year and so it’s good to take a quick step back and make sure we understand what employees are really thankful for, and how it impacts their engagement and retention.
Of course, many employees are probably happy just to have a job, but with unemployment still declining (slightly) there is the growing promise of new possibilities on the horizon. This leads some employees to start balancing career satisfaction against the potential opportunity for change. If you asked your employees why they are thankful to be working for your organization right now, what would you hope they would say?
“I’m thankful for the opportunity.” – Remember that opportunity comes in many forms. For some it’s the opportunity to learn something new, for others, it’s the opportunity to develop as an individual. In either case, most of us still use the term “career” seriously and want to progress from where we are today to what we could be tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be complex or overthought, but every employee should have an area of growth or development built into their job description. In our own experiences, those employees that are “invested” in like this have retention rates that are 2-3 times higher than other employees.
“I’m thankful for my manager.” – I still hold this at the top of my own personal list for why employees stay or leave. An effective manager can have a huge impact in employee satisfaction and retention. So what are you doing to invest in manager training/coaching and the development of teams and their managers? Of course, this is near and dear to our heart and is one of our most recommended simple strategies to managing and retaining highly productive teams.
“I’m thankful for the money.” – I would hope that this is the last thing that you would think your employees would say. Unless you’re a volunteer organization, we’re all getting paid something and numerous studies have shown that compensation is normally low on the list of critical employee retention factors.
Whatever you think your employees are thankful for, make sure you take a moment to step back this season and listen to what they really care about and how you can maintain, or add to, the factors that will set the foundation for a successful 2015.