Want to retain your best and brightest? There’s one specific thing that makes employees stay put: Being shown respect. That’s according to employee happiness research firm TINYpulse.
A third (32%) of employees are less likely to quit if they feel respected. There’s a direct correlation between making people feel appreciated and valued and their sticking around, says TINYpulse.
This is in part because when you don’t feel respected by someone, you don’t trust that you’ll be protected if something goes wrong. However, when you do feel respected, you feel like you matter – and that your contributions matter.
So as a leader, it’s key to focus on whether or not your team feels respected. Take stock of your people and their individual strengths and abilities – a sure sign of respect.
4 ways to connect, show respect
Not every employee needs the same gesture to feel appreciated, but here are some proven ways to make employees feel valued:
Recognize them as individuals. Make sure each employee knows that they bring something to the team that nobody else does. For instance, “You did such a great job on the XYZ project and that’s why I only want you to handle this new ABC project. There are a lot of complicated parts but I know you can handle it.” And instead of saying a generic “great job,” say specifically why. For example, “I really liked how you developed our internship program. You worked well with all the different departments, and I heard how much they like the way you handled yourself.”
Give feedback. Aside from the annual performance review, keep an ongoing, open dialogue with your team. Provide candid, constructive criticism.
Encourage their feedback. Employees need to know that what they tell you matters and that their suggestions aren’t falling into a black hole. “If you can’t make the recommended changes, simply explain why,” says Greg Besner, CEO, CultureIQ. “Transparency like this goes a long way to create a culture of respect and trust.”
Discuss workload. Burnout is a very real problem. Tired and burnt out employees are 31% more likely to think about looking for a new job than those who are comfortable with their workload, says TINYpulse. Looking out for your team’s well-being and working to prevent burnout is a show of respect. Have regular one-on-one meetings with team members to keep abreast of how they’re progressing on projects and if more resources are needed to achieve expectations. Keep working together to create a meaningful exchange of ideas, fostering communication, collaboration and respect.
You know the expression, “Respect is a two-way street. If you want to get it, you’ve got to give it.” So, the more you give, the more you’ll get – and no leader can ever have too much.