As a manager, your duty to your team goes beyond making sure they meet all of the goals that you set for them -- it is also important to ensure that morale is high and that your team's needs are being met so that you can reduce the number of employees that you would lose insofar as turnover is concerned.
While some managers might bark "if you're not happy here, quit!" to dissatisfied members of their staff, employee retention is actually pretty important to every business, particularly retail. Imagine you're the customer -- would you feel comfortable doing business with a company that experiences a high turnover rate? It's difficult, nay impossible, to build strong relationships when you are customer are constantly forced to begin anew with new reps.
Here are some tips that can help encourage your team members to stick with you:
- Make sure that the members of your team are fully aware of that fact -- that they are members of a team, and that that team is charged with making the company's vision come to life. When the team's goals are clearly communicated to the individual members on a team, they will feel a sense of purpose and a duty to each other that will be strong enough to encourage them to stick around, rather than to seek opportunities elsewhere.
- Above all, you should be properly training your team, and that includes giving your team every opportunity to better themselves, whether by attending training sessions or relevant presentations, so that they can be up-to-date on everything that's going on in their field. Being knowledgeable and current will help them succeed. Employees who feel that they don't have everything they need to get the job done will feel increasingly frustrated and will ultimately walk out the door, and who wouldn't? Imagine getting a poor annual review simply because management slacked on their responsibilities to you. Not fun.
- Managers who are sensitive to their employees' needs will create a better working environment. Does one of your team members need to work from home today because his or her child is sick? Does another team member need to see a doctor who is only open during work hours, so that employee needs to either come in late or leave early? These are examples of situations where a bit of empathy from a team's manager can go a long way.
- Clear communication is the key to developing a strong relationship with your staff. One thing many managers slack on that their employees crave and that is oh-so-important is regular feedback. Just let your staff know how they're doing from time to time, even (and especially) if there are no issues to report. And if there are issues to report, then make sure that you clearly communicate to your staff how best to fix those issues. After all, how can they aim to be better employees if they don't know what they need to fix, or how to fix it? Don't forget that communication is a two-way street. Hear out your staff when they report to you that something is amiss, and let them know what you are going to do to try to fix the problem.
- If someone is doing a good job, tell them. You don't have to give the person a raise (though that is encouraged, if deserved), but even just an acknowledgment of a job well done can do wonders for your team. Top performers don't get that way by being lazy. Show them that you both recognize and appreciate their hard work and, if you can, perhaps toss them a bonus or even a small incentive, like a gift card. You don't want to lose any of your staff, but you especially don't want to watch your top performers walk out the door simply because they feel unappreciated; that's such a preventable problem.
Training new employees when former ones leave can be a significant drain on your organization's resources, and it will make your customers and even other members of your staff uneasy if they have to keep starting fresh with new reps. It's especially tragic because this issue is so preventable -- granted, you'll always experience some level of turnover, but it is a rate that can be reduced. In following the tips above, you can put forth more effort in order to show your team that they are, in fact, appreciated and that they are considered equals who should feel free to communicate with you when, and why, they are unhappy.
Are your staff members regularly perusing the "Want" ads on Craigslist? See how your employee retention rate fares against those of your peers by clicking below to receive our free Field Force Productivity Assessment.