Managing Employees

5 Ways You Might Be Failing Your Employees

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A 2014 Robert Half survey of more than 2,100 CFOs and nearly 300 employees nationwide revealed that unhappiness with management is a leading cause for employee turnover, with 16 percent of employees and 14 percent of CFOs in agreeance.

High employee turnover can set a company back in a number of ways. For starters, it’s costly. In fact, 87 percent of companies reported it costs between $15,000 and $25,000 to replace each millennial employee they lose, according to a 2013 survey by Millennial Branding.

Related: The 15 Practices of Outstanding Leaders

What makes a good manager? The real question is what makes a bad one? In an effort to keep employees satisfied and reduce turnover, here are five areas where employers commonly fail their employees and what to do about it:

1. Transparency

Aligning individual work goals to the overall goals of the company is essential to driving business success. However, employees who don’t understand the company vision will have a hard time syncing their goals with the bigger picture. And only four out of 10 (41 percent) employees actually know what their company stands for and what sets it apart from the competition, according to a 2012 Gallup survey of more than 3,000 workers.

This issue (and solution) lies with employers.

Being an “opaque” leader, rather than a transparent one, results in a misaligned workforce. To build greater transparency, trust and loyalty in the workplace, keep the company vision at the forefront of everyone’s mind by regularly communicating company-wide goals.

Additionally, keep employees informed on other company matters, such as upcoming events by creating a shared company calendar or how the company is doing financially by divulging financial statements.

2. Accountability

Employers should strive to lead by example, and that occasionally means having to answer for certain actions and outcomes. Displaying accountability is not only important to employers, but to employees. For starters, it shows responsibility and promotes trust. And an employer who doesn’t hesitate to take responsibility when the time comes is an employer that employees can proudly stand behind.

Not to mention, being quick to take accountability can save time and money that would have been wasted trying to identify the source of an issue.

3. Availability

Being MIA from time to time can help create self-sufficient employees by requiring them to figure things out on their own. Being MIA on a daily basis, however, can do more harm than good to a company’s workforce.

Related: 3 Things Shared by Top Performing Teams, Whether on the Field or in the Office

Increase availability by implementing -- and sticking to -- an open-door policy. Employers who demonstrate accessibility promote an open flow of communication. And the door swings both ways (pun intended). Employees feel comfortable approaching employers with questions, comments and concerns, and employers gain a better understanding of the daily going-ons within a department or company.

In some cases, having an open-door policy isn’t enough. To find out what’s really going on within the company, get out of the office and get involved. It’s amazing what can be learned simply by taking a few minutes to walk around and talk to employees.

For example, I work out of our San Francisco office, so every time I visit ClearCompany’s Boston office I make sure to take some time to stroll with as many employees as possible. The insight I gain during those quick walks is invaluable.

4. Feedback

Tower Watson’s 2014 Global Workforce Study of more than 32,000 employees worldwide found that less than half (48 percent) of employees report that their top management is doing a good job of providing effective leadership, with 55 percent of employees wishing senior leaders would seek out feedback to identify opportunities to learn and grow.

Soliciting feedback is important to individual and overall success, but many employers tend to overlook eliciting feedback. Inviting employees to voice their thoughts and opinions on various tasks, situations, etc. during informal performance reviews, meetings or anonymously through feedback software can give employers valuable insight as well as encourage a wealth of innovative ideas.

5. Training

Investing in employees is the one surefire way to get them to invest in the company. In fact, according to a 2013 CareerBuilder survey of nearly 4,000 U.S. employees, 35 percent of employees agree that increasing on-the-job training and individual development opportunities entices them to stay with a company.

Employee development opportunities can range from assigning mentors to new hires to cross-training current staff to giving employees time off to attend work-related industry events. Whatever the method, be sure to treat employees as the company’s greatest asset by nurturing individual growth.

What do you think? What other ways do employers occasionally fail their employees? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Related: 10 Ways to Have Better Check-Ins With Your Employees