As Wayne Outlaw, author of Smart Staffing, rightly points out, “You can demand obedience because of your rank, but you have to earn trust and respect.” And the only way to accomplish that is to show trust and respect to your employees. Many bosses fail in this effort because of their need to micromanage. In particular, managers who are used to keeping tight reign on their projects, sometimes find it difficult to give their staff the freedom to succeed.
Provide your employees with necessary information and support, but trust them to do their jobs successfully; no competent employee likes to be micromanaged when it’s not necessary. By being a guide rather than a dictator, your chances of retaining staff greatly increase.
Good Managers Mentor Their Employees
Your obvious duty as a mentor is to take an active interest in the professional development of your staff. Encourage them to take training classes, introduce them to potential allies in the company or chemical industry, and help them map out their own career paths. The easier you make it for employees to advance professionally, the more likely they’ll stay with your department or organization.
On a more general level, mentoring means putting the best interests of your employees above everything else—even if you have to question company policy occasionally. One manager asked for and received permission to give each member of his team a raise above the stated maximum because they had completed a critical project successfully. Such shows of support can dramatically increase your staff’s loyalty and retention rate.<
Good Managers Care About Their Employees
If you view employees merely as workplace resources, you’ll always battle retention problems. It’s essential to support and value your staff as people, especially during times of personal crisis. The work/life balance is difficult under the best circumstances, but when an employee is dealing with situations like illness, death, or divorce, he or she needs to know you are an ally.
Everyone can be motivated, just not in the same way. One employee works hard to be promoted, another for bigger bonuses, and yet another for the sense of accomplishment. You can provide perks ranging from recognition awards to achievement bonuses. Yet if these “benefits” are not valued by your staff, they’re worthless. Your challenge is to find out what motivates each individual, and then help him or her to attain that objective.
Excerpted from Patrick Ropella’s white paper, “Improve Retention by Being a Better Manager,” available at http://www.Ropella.com under the “Toolbox” tab.