I have a secret to share with anyone who manages employees. It comes from all the dissatisfied employees that covertly come into our office wanting to map out their exit strategy. Before I can wholeheartedly endorse bolting from a seemingly bad job situation, I try to get the root of the problem. Most often it boils down to either the actual job, the manager or the culture.
When discord with the manager is at the core of an employees dissatisfaction, often there are a few simple things managers can do to regain an employee’s allegiance. The following tips all fall under the overarching theme of communication.
1. Set clear expectations. It is not uncommon that employees don’t know what is expected of them, how it aligns with bigger business objectives and what success looks like. Employees view this as an absence in leadership.
2. Regular feedback. This includes favorable and unfavorable feedback. Often employees state that they had no idea if they were in line with objectives until too many things piled up and ultimately came crashing down. Good managers communicate often, openly and honestly.
3. Be accessible and available. This starts with being approachable. Managers should create an environment and dynamic that allows an employee to feel comfortable approaching you with questions and concerns. I hear too often from dissatisfied employees, “my manager is never around or never has time for me”. Taking and making the time for employees goes a long way in employee retention and satisfaction.
The job market continues to show promise. Professionals who are proactively managing their careers are seeing that they have options. Sharing these secrets and offering these simple tips to manager will hopefully help both employee and manager alike.