To Stay or to Go, Two Blue Road Sign with text Stay and Go with sky background

After exceeding expectations for nationwide job creation in the month of November, the national unemployment rate dipped to just 3.5%, matching September 2019 for the lowest since 1969, according the U.S. Department Of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the promising job market bodes well for employees, it adds pressure for managers looking to retain their best workers, knowing full-well that options can equate to mobility. 

Most of the time, disgruntled employees who ultimately decide to leave can be traced back to management, as detailed by Atlanta Small Business Network. The article, which analyzes the most common management mistakes, also outlines several positive steps employers can make to keep staff on board:

Micromanagement: Managers may think that constantly checking up on employees shows that they are actively interested in their development, but in reality, it typically creates a tense work environment that keeps the employee looking over their shoulder more than at the actual project itself. Stopping by every 30 minutes gives the impression that the employee can’t be trusted to do the task correctly without handholding. Checking in once in a while is fine but assigning employees projects within their capabilities and then leaving them to it breeds a more trustworthy culture. 

Negative Competition: Companies that incentivize employees with bonuses and rewards that can only be attained by being better than their coworkers can unintentionally create an atmosphere that makes employees feel as if they aren’t valued unless they’re at the very top of their department. Most employees aren’t the best on their team, but still bring value to the table as quality contributors. Failing to acknowledge them, however, will have them looking for a job that does. 

Open-Door Policy: Providing ample opportunity for employees to sit down with managers and talk about job responsibilities, future aspirations or day-to-day concerns can go a long way in fostering trust and anticipating issues before they occur. Even an occasional instance of bending company rules so employees have the opportunity to take care of personal matters can pay back tenfold for any temporary bottom-line losses.  

Production Through Perks: Efforts to provide paid holidays, flextime, employee discounts and paid time off is not lost on employees. Management may think they are losing productivity by shutting down business for an extra day during holiday season or by organizing a holiday party, but the spark in morale by providing these opportunities more than covers the gap with satisfied employees. 

Employee retention concerns aren’t going away any time soon. Read more on strategies that has covered in the past, including proven retention methods from Netflix and Hyatt Hotels, here.