By now, anyone paying attention knows the prohibitive cost of losing a hardworking employee or associate. You can calculate it a number of ways. An employee who has been working for a number of years and doing an excellent job is becoming more proficient at the work and gaining knowledge that only experience teaches. When that individual walks out the door, the training, knowledge, and proficiency walks out the door as well. More studies than we can list show that a hardworking and engaged employee produces four times as much reach value to the enterprise as others who show up but are on some kind of rest break all day.
Why do they leave?
Sometimes it has to do with personal life changes, or someone knocked on their door to offer something extraordinary. Most of the time, they leave because they don’t feel appreciated, respected, heard, and even simply regarded as someone who is adding value.
The exception is the hard, mean-spirited manager for whom good employees simply will not work with for an extended period of time. The typical hardworking manager assumes people are doing their best and simply does not pay attention to the clues that an employee is “receiving” subtle messages. In essence, the employee is making up a story about what the manager thinks about the employee’s value.
Let’s do that in slow motion. Most managers are not the difficult, cold hearted, mean-spirited managers who drive people away. Most are hardworking people who want to do a good job. Unfortunately, they do not realize that the employee views the manager’s behavior with a level of meaning that typically is unintended. For example:
- The manager who interrupts an employee may not realize that the behavior can be interpreted as your time or your thought isn’t as important.
- The manager who doesn’t ask for opinions during a meeting while speedily downloading information may not realize that the behavior can be interpreted as demeaning or disengaging.
- The manager who ignores questions or who doesn’t take others’ questions seriously may not realize that the behavior can be interpreted as the one asking is unimportant.
- The manager who fails to acknowledge accomplishments of individuals and groups or teams may not realize that the behavior can be interpreted as the accomplishment isn’t of value to the enterprise.
There are solutions that don’t cost more than the purchase of a book, the People Skills Handbook, which is full of action tips to improve your emotional intelligence. Each of the situations noted above can be addressed through learning more about the following EQ competencies:
- #15 Active Empathy
- #21 Initiative
- #25 Interpersonally Skillful
- #27 Listening Generously
- #29 Reading Nonverbal Communication
- #34 Perspective-Taking
- #45 Situation Awareness
- #54 Understanding Others
So, if you don’t want money, experience, and sustainability walking out the door, invest in your own growth of EQ skills and tune up and deepen your skills.
(Note: the # is the chapter number of the People Skills Handbook where the action tips to tune up this still can be found.)