Leaders that Listen have Teams that Work
With employee engagement at an all time low across the US, what’s it going to take for managers to wake up and smell the coffee? How much more productivity has to be lost to get their attention? Oooops! Are they checking out Facebook? Why are there so many unhappy employees?
A few months ago I gave the opening keynote for a customer service conference in Dallas for a corporation that held this event on an annual basis. There were 500+ employees in attendance. Since I like to schmooze with people before I speak, I hung out at the breakfast buffet to meet as many attendees as possible. It turned out to be a huge lesson in what people want.
Most of the employees I talked to said they had been with the company for 20 years or more. Even the younger generations chalked up 10+ years. Staff retention was nearly 100%. Astounding. Why? My immediate assumption was the benefits were amazing, the pay was top dollar and they got to go on annual vacations involving adult beverages with little umbrellas.
Not so much.
After polling numerous employees from Gen X & Y to Baby Boomers (few millennials worked here), they all said the same thing: the reason they stayed so long was because they felt valued. They felt like their opinions mattered. They were treated with respect and courtesy – one big family with a common purpose.
Pretty basic stuff.
According to a Harvard study of top 100 Forbes companies, people join organizations but leave bosses and the #1 reason is: they don’t feel appreciated.
Listening to employees ideas, needs and career goals and acting on them, could be the next big thing that cost nothing.