There are two main sets of reasons employees decide to leave a company. The first is a life event like moving or staying at home to raise children. These are circumstances that exist outside of work and are harder to address. The second group is more inherent to the workplace and its culture, and tends to more frequently affect an employee’s decision to leave.
If employees feel a disconnect with their bosses or co-workers or find opportunities for advancement lacking, they’ll inevitably look for something better. Fortunately, leaders can address these issues directly with their teams.
Poor management, either in terms of personal performance or management-employee relationships, is considered by many to be the number one reason for employee turnover. While employees don’t need to be friends with their bosses, a constructive dynamic is still important. When conducting team-building activities, managers and leaders should not just be the facilitators — they should also be part of the process. Here are four actionable steps to make that a reality.
1. Conduct “get connected” activities
“Get Connected” activities involve employees sharing something new about themselves, and leaders can set the tone by sharing first. It doesn’t have to be work-related, though sharing their experiences of when they where non-management themselves might help create a bridge. These activities can even be held outside of the office so employees are more relaxed and able to freely mingle.
2. Launch a mentorship program
Employees often feel that they’ve been left alone to figure out how to do their jobs well. Having a mentorship program ensures that new employees know exactly what is expected of them and how to execute it. Further, it can also improve employee relations as the mentors and new hires get to know each other. This should help establish workers’s sense of belonging, as the mentor can offer a warmer welcome than in a general company meeting.
3. Set “gamification” goals
Some of your employees might feel unchallenged, unrecognized or unimproved. Managers and leaders who want their employees to stay need to engage their employees. One useful team-building activity to this end is “gamification,” a process by which managers and leaders create goals that the entire team must strive for. While each individual member will have their own goals, gamification allows leaders to create sub-teams that compete with each other for a prize, such as incentives and bonuses. Rotating the groupings will allow employees to interact with each other better.
The prize is really just a form of recognition, and even the “losing” team can benefit from being given advice on what needs to be improved. However, keep in mind that the gamification should still promote a team-based goal. Teams may be competing against each other for the top spot, but the end result should still be an increase in productivity for the entire company.
4. Invest in corporate social responsibility
Programs that help the community, such as “clean and green” drives and helping feed the less fortunate, have a two-fold effect. They show employees that they’ve joined a company that values its community it belongs to, and they also provide another opportunity for bonding outside of the office. In this kind of activity, managers and leaders are less bosses and more peers bound by common cause. And when employees forge a positive bond with each other and their bosses, that creates a positive company culture, which goes a long way toward keeping employees in-house.