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  • Fullah Kamara

Retaining Good Employees: The Key to Success

Retaining good employees is crucial for the success of any organization. While the hiring process should be rigorous, once you have hired talented individuals, it is important to create an environment where employees feel their contributions matter and they are able to speak up without the fear of retribution.


Trust, Support, and Training

One of the biggest mistakes employers make is favoring some employees while punishing others for similar actions. This creates a sense of unfairness and can lead to frustration among the team. To build an effective team, it is essential to establish a great team environment, which starts with leadership. Leaders should lead by example and create an environment that supports and rewards the desired behavior. As a leader it is important to realize that everyone below you looks up to you. So, be deliberate with your fairness and helpfulness even to those who don't like you that much.

Supporting employees includes providing them with the necessary training to satisfactorily complete their duties. Lack of training can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction and result in turnover. Additionally, unreasonable deadlines and unnecessary stress created by superiors can contribute to employee frustration. It is important to address these issues and create a work environment that promotes growth and mental well-being .

Teamwork and Rewards

Another factor that can lead to employee dissatisfaction is an inadequate reward system. If the reward system favors individualism over teamwork, it can create an environment where employees compete against each other instead of supporting each other. If employees compete, trust within the team decreases, and when there is no trust among the team members, there is no cohesiveness, and hence dysfunctional behavior. Rewarding the entire team instead of individuals can foster a sense of unity and collaboration. In an effective team environment, everyone is a hero. If one or two individuals are considered heroes, that's a sign of ineffectiveness within the team. It is important to recognize that every individual has different capabilities, but sometimes people tend to reward the wrong individuals who know how to market themselves, leaving those who are actually doing the heavy lifting behind. This not only undermines the team but also creates a toxic environment where everyone sees their colleagues as competitors. Competition is good but should not be in the work environment where everyone is one family and is working towards a common goal.

Research has shown that better teams tend to report more errors than underperforming teams because effective teams feel more engaged and motivated due to Psychological Safety (https://hbr.org/2023/02/what-is-psychological-safety#:~:text=She%20had%20set%20out%20to,seemed%20to%20experience%20more%20errors.). This is not because better teams make more mistakes, but because they feel empowered to report errors and are more creative. In contrast, ineffective teams may fear of being reprimanded for errors and lack creativity. By creating an effective system that encourages error reporting and learning from mistakes, organizations can foster a culture of continuous improvement and growth.

Addressing Employee Frustration and Dissatisfaction

Employee frustration and dissatisfaction are common reasons why employees quit. Frustration can arise from a lack of necessary training, unfairness within the work environment, unreasonable deadlines, and unnecessary stress. Dissatisfaction can stem from inadequate salaries or a reward system that focuses on individual achievements rather than team success. Finding out about the challenges or bottlenecks that employees face should be an everyday responsibility of every leader, but don't wait until they turn in their resignation before you try to turn things around when it's already too late. Some businesses use surveys, but never get true results because some leaders tend to use surveys as a tool to quietly retaliate against people who speak honestly. Some use them to identify employees who are likely going to leave and push them out. The questions you include in surveys determine the answers you receive. For example, if your survey asks, "How happy are you with leadership?" This question may trick the responders into thinking about a situation where they were happy with leadership, rather than considering the actual issues that bother them.

To address these issues, it is important for employers to create an environment that supports, trust, and provide the necessary tools and skills for employees to succeed. The key word here is "environment." Environment determines acceptable and non-acceptable behavior, not the individual. For example, if someone travels to a place where broccoli is what everybody eats on a daily basis, and there is no other food, but he/she don't like eating it, they might be able to refrain from eating for few hours or days before they become the best broccoli eater the planet has ever seen. They might even consider making soup and bread out of it. If employees feel that the work environment is undermining their efforts, they may choose to leave. It is crucial for employers to create a work environment where employees feel psychologically safe, secure and valued.

Conclusion

Retaining good employees is essential for the success of any organization. By creating a supportive and inclusive work environment, providing necessary training and support, and implementing a fair reward system that promotes teamwork, employers can increase employee satisfaction and reduce turnover. Remember, your employees chose to work with your company because they believed it was a great place for them to thrive and succeed. It is your responsibility to support and empower them to reach their full potential.

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