As HR managers and a member of the leadership team of an organization, you do your best to support your employees. You work hard to create a company culture with high moral, low turnover, and engaged employees who are dedicated to their work. Yet, no matter what you try and how much you do to support your staff, your company morale is low, engagement and productivity are down, and your employees are leaving.
With no clear cause you’re left wondering what you’re missing and how you can create positive change that will last beyond a keynote presentation at a company-wide training day. The truth is it’s not the organizational policies that need to change. The power lies in the hands of your employees and it’s your job to show them how to access this.
So what is standing in the way of your employees realizing their role in improving company culture and owning their responsibility for their job satisfaction?
#1. Your employee’s mindset is preventing them from acknowledging their ability to influence their own job satisfaction
It's no surprise that healthy and engaged employees create a strong and successful workplace culture.
But with 61% of employees feeling, overworked, underpaid, and under appreciated (aka "burnt out") it is no surprise that this is a big hurdle that a lot of corporations must try and overcome. A study done in the US discovered that 31% of corporate employees resign within the first 6 months on the job due to low job satisfaction. In fact, it’s such a big issue that it’s estimated disengaged employees cost US businesses $550 billion dollars per year.
No amount of bonuses and surprise paid lunches and other little "gifts" will fix the burnout culture.
You hire people with great potential and who are enthusiastic about serving your company’s clients to the best of their ability. Employees of your organization can realize that they can still deliver excellent quality of work and achieve great job satisfaction if they adopt a growth mindset and feel empowered to find solutions, rather than focusing on the problems.
This will not only boost the productivity of your employees, it will also drastically improve retention rates. This is true for not only the employee who is now experiencing increased job satisfaction, but for the whole company culture because this person will not be commiserating in the staff room over shared struggles, but instead will lead by example showing others how to overcome limiting mindset beliefs.
#2 - Your Super-Achievers aren’t speaking up for themselves
There is a small percentage of your employees who are highly productive and are performing the work of two people without asking for additional pay or recognition.
Although this may seem like a good thing, the truth is these Super-Achievers could end up costing your organization a lot of money when they inevitably leave. Often you will need to hire two people to replace them because of how much extra time, dedication and energy they were giving to your company.
But if these employees aren’t speaking up for themselves, letting you know what they’re doing and what they need, how are you to know that they are feeling underappreciated?
When you look at the successful people who are promoted in your organization they all have one thing in common; they ask for what they want and speak up for themselves.
You cannot read the minds of your employees, but by empowering them and training them how to assertively advocate for themselves you will improve retention and save your company from needing to hire multiple people to replace your Super-Achievers who didn’t speak up for themselves.
#3 - Your organization has a lack of community and connection
But that doesn't mean it’s up to you and the leadership team to start those initiatives.
One of the greatest ways you can improve retention is to foster a sense of community between your employees. By empowering your staff to set up their own community building initiatives, you’re creating a deeper connection that goes beyond your organization's values and mission statement. There will be a sense of belonging amongst your staff that will not only improve retention, but could also lower recruitment fees because your staff will now be recommending your company as a great place to work because of this community connection.
It’s time for your organization to create positive change from the inside out
It’s not your fault that your workplace culture, productivity and retention rates are down, and it’s not up to you alone as the HR manager or member of the leadership team to fix these problems.
When you provide the right evidence-based training for your employees to focus on finding their own solutions, rather than commiserating on problems, you will experience a shift in your workplace culture which in turn will improve overall productivity and retention.
When the Super-Achievers in your organization know how to advocate for themselves, they will experience more job satisfaction and you will know how to better support their growth and advancement in your company. This will prevent you from needing to hire two people to replace them when they inevitably leave because they didn’t know how to speak up.
Finally, by giving your employees the mental tools and strategies they need to create a strong sense of belonging and connection, your organization will notice a drastic improvement in morale. You may even experience added benefits such as lower recruitment costs because your dedicated employees will help seek out qualified candidates and easily convince them to join your organization because of this increased sense of community.
Your employees hold the key to fixing these issues within your company. It's up to you to give them the tools to make that happen.