I tell my audiences as an employee retention speaker, caring is at the heart of being a great supervisor, human resources person or executive. People know if you do…and they know if you don’t. People are far less likely to quit if they know you care about them. It no longer becomes a decision that is simply business. It becomes personal. More often than not, people quit because of a boss. They are far less likely to quit a caring boss.
Part of caring is knowing your people. This is crucial. I ask the following questions of my audiences as an employee retention trainer. Where did they go to college? What do they like about their job and what do they hate? How many of you don’t know the names of your employee’s children or what activities they are in? What does their spouse or significant other do for a living? What do they like to do on the weekend? Are their parents even alive? You need to know these things because that is what motivates them to work AND impacts how they are able to perform at work.
Caring is harder for a boss to handle than anything else. Our concern for privacy has made us reluctant to get to know people. Big mistake. Although organizations do not forbid supervisors from getting to know their people, they send out the subliminal message to them that doing so somehow crosses this line of privacy. The best managers ignore this subliminal message and get to know their people. Not in a prying and intrusive way but in a way that enables them to understand what’s important to their people. Those important things are what motivate people to come into work day in and day out and get the job done for you and drives your employee retention strategies.
People like to talk about what goes on in their lives, what frustrates them, what gets them excited…all kinds of other things. Listen to them. The insight they will provide into who they are is invaluable as you work with them in the future. That insight can be applied when looking at what projects to place them on or why their productivity has been slipping in the last month. Most important of all….it makes them feel good that you listened because your listening tells them you care enough about them to take the time.
The act of caring develops trust. Trust is missing in most organizations. I will tell you as an employee retention speaker and author that building trust is what builds loyalty. That loyalty keeps people from leaving when they are approached about a new job because, in their heart, they know that few organizations have that trust. When you have it, it is a tremendous competitive advantage for your business.