Given the state of employee engagement today (some estimates say that only 13% of the workforce is really engaged), employers and hiring managers are scrambling to find ways to keep good employees from either leaving or turning into robotic automatons. And retention is its own behemoth with up to 75% of employees admitting that they’re “looking.” How do you keep them and how do you keep them engaged?
What is the common theme?
Really knowing your employees
I mean, really. Not just knowing the car they drive, their spouse’s name, kid’s names, where they live, their favorite sports team, or what they did on vacation. You can find that out pretty easily via social media, their employment application, eavesdropping, and by looking in the parking lot.
Really knowing your employees means knowing them at a deeper level than all the surface-y rubbish that’s bandied about today.
- What motivates your employees beyond money or prestige?
- How do you know their motivators when many people don’t even accurately know themselves?
- How do they prefer to be communicated with?
- What will make them angry?
- Are they data driven or people driven?
- How should you adapt your communication with them depending on that?
- How trusting of others are they?
- How do they follow rules set by others?
- Why are they always so skeptical?
- Do they respond better to How questions, What questions, or Why questions?
- Why is one employee very direct and another extraordinarily tactful?
- Do their feelings always seem to be hurt or do they hide their emotions?
- Do they prefer a casual style or a more formal style?
- Are they always looking for the facts of a matter?
- Which employees are natural leaders regardless of where they currently work in the organization and which are happiest in a supporting role?
- What are their dreams for their professional life … and for their family?
- Why do some employees want nothing but facts but others need (crave?) a more personal interaction?
- Do they like fast paced projects or do they prefer to work steadily on one thing at a time with no interruptions?
- Which ones will bristle if you pat them on the back physically?
- What DE-motivates them?
No two employees are alike! Can you answer these questions about the people working with, for, and above you? Wouldn’t you like to?
What difference would it make in your division, your department, your company if managers, employees, owners, and co-workers understood each other on these terms (and many, many more)?
“I feel understood … “
A plant manager we work with recently took another, much higher level position with a different company. He was one of those people who made certain to know, really know, his staff (over 100) and their behavioral styles. He focused on developing them based on their intrinsic motivators and adapted his communications so that his message wouldn’t get misinterpreted. He accomplished this using validated employee TriMetrix assessments.
At the plant meeting where the announcement of his departure took place, multiple employees cried. One in particular said, “This is the only job I’ve ever had where I was completely understood.” Many others, upon hearing her words, agreed.
Use the right tools
One thing that’s telling is that this manager, using the right tools, knowing and understanding his employees at a deeper level, had increased the plant’s revenues over 2,000% in only 10 years. Yes, twenty times.
Once you know an employee … a person … at a deeper level, how they’re motivated, how they behave and why, our customers tell us that retention is relatively easy. Development decisions are relatively easy. Hiring decisions are much easier. Engagement becomes a walk in the park because you only put people into positions that they naturally fit. They don’t want to leave.
Much more than money
Another recent client hired a very high level VP who was a superstar in her industry. After working for the client for about three years, a rumor surfaced that she was looking to move to another company – only it wasn’t just a rumor, it was true. The client offered her more money. Three weeks after her substantial raise, she was interviewed by a competitor. The client found out and offered her even more money. It didn’t seem to help.
After reviewing the VP’s behavioral and motivational profile, we recommended that the VP be offered a position as a committee chair that would meet with the CEO quarterly to discuss her department’s salespeople’s challenges in the field. It was also recommended that she be given an allowance to redecorate her office.
Once those initiative were put into place, it was like night and day. She became much happier and told her boss, “It was never about the money, Paul, but you just kept throwing it at me. I wasn’t going to say NO to more money but it was never about my paycheck.” Her boss was confused but happy to keep her, even at the higher price. She was motivated differently than her boss but he had never read her profile. He knew her kid’s names, her husband’s name and where he worked. He knew she was a marathoner, and that she loved to cook. But he didn’t know her behavioral preferences and style, her motivators, her capacity for problem solving, or her core competencies. He learned though! At that point, every key executive’s profile became important and the company began improving by leaps and bounds.
The CRITICAL factor
Knowing your employees is vital. Assessing them is critical. As an employer, you’ll find things you never knew about even about people you’ve worked with for decades. It happens all the time.
Don’t think that the latest “game” or the latest “question of the week” will give you anywhere near the deeper level information about an employee or a prospective employee that a validated assessment will give you. Surface games and surface questions will give you surface answers. As an employer, you need much more than what’s just on the surface.
Do you want know your employees on a deeper level?
Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top talent, create job benchmark solutions, and implement succession planning. Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 870-761-7881.