Although the U.S. unemployment rate remains too high, the oil and gas industry is experiencing a severe shortage of talent globally. This has dramatically increased the threat from competitors to the point where skilled employees are being offered $3,000 more per month to leave their employers. This puts managers in a tough predicament, and I’ve seen senior managers complicate matters by not ensuring their frontline managers know how to speak in a way that can counteract the primary reasons people are leaving. In fact, I was motivated to write this blog after watching a client’s senior manager struggle while trying to address concerns raised by frontline supervisors. He could have quelled their concerns if he followed these insanely simple employee retention tactics.
START WITH EMPLOYEES’ NEEDS
Even when competitors pay more money, it is not the primary reason most people switch jobs. They leave because their managers fail to effectively address the barriers that would make employee tasks easier, faster, and more engaging. All managers should start by identifying the gaps that fall into the following categories:
3) Process / Procedure
Once identified, managers would be wise to explain what they’re going to do about the gaps and how they prioritized the solutions. As long as employees know the company is addressing the gaps, they’re much more willing to be part of the solution as opposed to constantly being victimized by the problems.
AVOID VAGUE TALK. TALK SPECIFICS
It was painful to watch the manager answer questions about gaps in processes that were causing major problems for employees and supervisors alike. Why? He acknowledged being aware of the challenges yet he offered no specifics on how they were being addressed. This further eroded the trust and confidence of the supervisors. Managers should always be prepared to share specific actions that are being taken to solve the problems. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Here is a simple formula to use that allows trust and confidence to be maintained:
1) Identify the top 3 actions that are being taken to address the gap. Tell them.
2) Tell them who (at a department level) is responsible for completing the actions.
3) Tell them milestone dates so they can measure progress.
Example: We are assessing our compensation structure. Specifically, HR is reviewing industry data, completing a competitor analysis, and reporting back to the executive team within the next 30 days.
Sharing a plan of action creates hope, and often times, that is enough to keep your employees loyal and motivated.
AMPLIFY INNOVATION BY CROWDSOURCING SOLUTIONS
Change initiatives fail a whopping 75% of the time because management does not ask for employee input. There is an insanely simple fix to this problem. Establish a process for acquiring feedback. More than likely, you’ll need to eliminate the #1 management behavior that is destroying profitability. Ensure all managers focus on answering the question, “Where do we go now?” while enabling employees the ability to identify the path of least resistance for “how they go there now.”
Employees are much more likely to stay when they know barriers to their success are being addressed, they know what to expect, and they have an opportunity to help create the solutions. Failure by managers to do those 3 insanely simple things will result in their organizations becoming training programs for their competitors.
For more tips and strategies on increasing employee engagement and retention, visit my website at www.ictscorp.com, subscribe to this blog, and follow me on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook). By doing so, you will gain access to leading edge research on management and leadership development and have access to daily inspirational and motivational quotes that will drive your success trajectory upward. So don’t delay, follow me and think yourself to success today!