Have you ever lost a star performer to a competitor or another company? If yes, then you know the pain. Should you write this off to circumstances beyond your control? Definitely not. Fully 94% of employees leave because of a poor relationship with their direct manager…and not because of the pull of a better offer elsewhere. Losing good employees costs you time, talent and money. Losing good employees is something that you can do something about.
The average cost of losing an employee is 1.5x their annual salary. For each standout star you lose, you can lose 2 more top performers as a result. Each high performer costs you 3x what the average employee costs to replace.
The Magic 5
So what are the qualities useful in fostering engaged, productive employees and in building positive manager-employee relationships? Without exception, all of the most effective managers and executives I’ve worked with shared these softer characteristics.
- Trustworthy – be accountable for your words and actions. Keep your word.
- Listen. Listen. Listen. – be less focused on imposing your own will and be more open to hearing what others have to say.
- Cool – be calm and even keeled under stress. No employee wants to be on the firing end of their boss’s emotional blow out. Nothing does more to erode loyalty than a moody manager.
- Communicate – be approachable, candid and available.
- Concern – show genuine concern for each employee’s wellbeing, and not just at work, but across their whole life.
Now I’m not saying be a pushover or avoid conflict. Far from it. Tough decisions will always need to be made and conflicts are great entry points to solve problems. What I am saying is simply to be perhaps, a little bit nicer and a little bit more caring. It’ll go a long way in keeping all employees liking where they work.
Which of the above do you see as the most important? What other qualities have served you well in your relationships with your employees?