How to Re-Engage Employees Who Are Ready to Leave

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How to Re-Engage Employees Who Are Ready to Leave

Do you currently have an employee who has one foot out the door? There are endless reasons for voluntary turnover, and data from 2018’s NorthCoast 99 Top Performer Survey specifically identifies four of the most commonly cited sources of disengagement.

Employees are likely to chase after new advancement opportunities and more competitive compensation, while fleeing from a lack of flexibility and a lack of organizational support.

Once employees become disengaged, it can be a struggle to change their minds in a way that makes them want to stay.

Consider the following 4 ideas to re-engage those employees who could be on their way out.

1. Keep Lines of Communication Open

If regular employee-manager conversations don’t occur, you might find yourself quite surprised when you hear a top performer express intentions of leaving the company. Listen to all concerns intently and take them seriously. Consider preventive measures such as conducting regular “stay” interviews or employee engagement pulse surveys. Keeping your employees engaged requires continuous communication.

By maintaining an awareness of how your people are doing and how they feel about their work and roles in the organization, there will be more time and opportunity to engage your talent base.

It could be easier to remedy employee issues as they come to surface, rather than continuously cycling through the talent attraction and hiring process as a result of turnover.

2. Get Them “Un-stuck”

Give disengaged employees somewhere to go within the company. When you give them the opportunity to re-engage they feel less inclined to take their talent and knowledge elsewhere. Advancement opportunities allow top performers to feel continuously challenged and in charge of their learning, which not only serves to fulfill their needs for growth, but also benefits an organization’s competitive advantage (Deloitte).

Take note of the knowledge, skills, and unique attributes your organizational talent pool consists of, and figure out how you can better utilize your employees’ capabilities.

When they feel ready to move on to an external opportunity, offer to move these individuals into a new set of responsibilities in which they can flourish. And when you add new work to their plate, make sure their compensation is adjusted accordingly.  Having a talent-management system in place can facilitate this process. (Ultimate Software is an ERC Preferred Partner offering succession planning and talent development services.)

3. Recognize and Reward

A number of employees could be on their way out because they feel unappreciated for their efforts, and are no longer motivated to work for an organization that doesn’t recognize their contributions.

While no employee is likely to turn down a bonus for a job-well-done, money alone is not an effective long-term motivator (Harvard Business Review).

Showing appreciation can take on many forms, such as giving public recognition during staff meetings or interoffice email, awarding extra paid time off, or giving employees the chance to work on challenging projects that provide more work autonomy.

4. Support Work-Life Balance

If organizational policy is rigid and forces individuals to choose between work and family, employees will likely recognize that they have options that will better suit their needs (that don’t include their current employer).

Granting employees more robust benefits such as flexible work schedules, generous parental leave, telecommuting opportunities, and unlimited bereavement leave, is a way to communicate to employees that you recognize they are holistic humans and not productivity machines.

Don’t lose your best people to the competition by hanging on to traditional workplace practices that hold them back from living an enjoyable life.

In the end, if you feel unwilling to put in the effort required to re-engage departing employees, consider whether you can truly afford to lose this talent and adjust accordingly.

 

Interested in learning more about engagement surveys?

Submit your contact information and receive instant access to a brochure that overviews what is included in ERC's engagement surveys and our process for conducting and assessing.

View the Engagement Brochure

 

3 Insights on Employee Motivation

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What makes some employees pour themselves into the work they do? That's the heart of the question behind motivating employees. Here are three (3) insights on employee motivation.

What makes some employees pour themselves into the work they do?

1. Limit using carrots and sticks to employee motivation.

One of the most well-known motivational concepts is the 'carrot and stick' approach which uses rewards and penalties to motivate others to produce desired results. Believe it or not, this method is still used quite a bit in organizations, despite its lackluster results. Employers continue to rely on rewards and incentives as well as discipline and punishment to motivate their employees.
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8 Ways to Get the Employee Behavior You Want

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8 Ways to Get the Employee Behavior You Want

Behavior is central to a productive and successful workplace. It affects how we pay people for what they merit, who we promote, and what we recognize and reward. And, ultimately, how our employees behave day to day ends up significantly affecting our culture and business.

Because of this, it’s critically important for organizations to make sure that their employees’ behavior matches what is needed in the organization. This includes the basics (respect, honesty, etc.), but also the behaviors that are crucial to the business' success (creativity, initiative, risk taking, etc.).

Much of what we try to do as managers is steer employees to behave in the ways that we want them to. We want them to stop complaining, take more initiative, produce better quality work, improve their performance, serve our customers better, act like leaders, and the list goes on. Essentially, we want them to change their behavior, and we're often stumped (and sometimes even baffled) over how to do it. Influencing and changing behavior is tricky in the workplace. Fortunately, there are some "tried and true" ways to do it.

Here are eight ways to get the employee behavior you want.
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What Truly Motivates Employees (Besides Money)

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Leaders want motivated employees, but often believe that money is the main motivator. Misunderstanding what really motivates employees can have negative consequences when it comes to engaging employees and motivating higher performance.

For example, researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer interviewed over 600 managers and uncovered that the widespread majority of managers misunderstood what motivates employees. Managers viewed making money and receiving raises and bonuses as the primary motivators, when in fact, upon analyzing over 12,000 employee diary entries, the number one work motivator was actually emotion and not financial incentives. Positive emotions were linked to increased motivation. Meanwhile, negative emotions were linked to decreased motivation.
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How to Motivate Employees in 3 Easy, Surprising Ways

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In “Drive, The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” author Daniel Pink suggests that using only traditional rewards and punishment (“carrots and sticks”) to motivate employees is no longer effective and does not suit the greatest needs and challenges of our organizations.

Win a free copy of this book!

Pink explains that historically, most work was algorithmic. Many of the tasks carried out were routine and a formula/series of steps produced a correct solution. Traditional rewards were effective in motivating people to perform well on those tasks. Nowadays, however, only a small percentage of job growth is in algorithmic work, with the majority of job growth lying in artistic, empathic, complex, technological, and service-oriented work. This work tends to be less routine and more creative, enjoyable, and self-directed; but the same traditional rewards do not motivate high performance for this type of work.
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