Employee retention process: should managers be involved?

A poll survey

Employee retention remains one of the most urgent issues for any company. While many business owners focus on higher compensation and the introduction of flexible working models as ultimate solutions to the problem, they often seem to overlook the manager’s contribution to staff retention. 

The Manage2Retain team decided to investigate this matter more closely and determine whether the manager plays an important role in retaining team members.

To do this, we ran a poll in 15 LinkedIn groups, asking them a single question: “Should managers be involved in the employee retention process?”.

Poll survey: Should employees be involved in the employee retention process?
  • An overwhelming 99.3 % of respondents indicated that managers directly influence the employee retention rates
  • 62.4% of respondents replied that managers play a key role in retaining their staff, while 36.9% of respondents indicated that managers should definitely be involved in the retention process, but they have to be trained first.
  • Finally, an almost negligible amount of respondents (0,7%) selected one of the other two answers “employee retention is solely HR’s role” or “managers should only focus on results”. 

The message is clear: managers should be actively involved in employee retention.

Now, let’s explore the two most popular answers in more detail. 

1.Managers play a key role in employee retention

What does this mean? Do managers understand the role they play? Do they have the skills and knowledge to build a workplace where employees want to stay and build their careers? 

Well, the key factors that lead to high employee engagement are positive work experience and rewarding career. Managers are in a strong position to influence and control these important factors.   

Here are several elements and drivers, under the managers control, that help cultivate high engagement, build positive work experiences and play a vital role in improving employee retention:

  • Being active in the employee onboarding process and helping employees feel comfortable and find their place in the company 
  • Recognizing and appreciating employee’s efforts and achievements
  • Creating a positive and appealing work environment and culture
  • Aligning employees with the organization’s mission and values
  • Providing employees with flexibility and autonomy
  • Cultivating and soliciting employee ideas and input
  • Fostering teamwork and building morale 
  • Providing learning and growth opportunities that match employees’ career aspirations
  • Building trust and collaboration
  • Supporting and caring for Employees
  • Treating all employees with respect and dignity.

These are just some of the skills your company should require from its managers. If you feel your managers could benefit from additional training or support in these areas, consider investing in the resources and training that would help them develop these skills. 

2. Managers have a big impact on employee retention rates but they have to be trained first

Indeed, it is not easy to oversee the day-to-day operations of the department, generate performance results, and create a productive and rewarding work environment. The majority of managers (especially those new to the position) can find it hard to ensure high levels of employee satisfaction and engagement. 

As a result, employees become disengaged or even neglect their direct responsibilities. That is when the rates of employee turnover and absenteeism start to increase. These are clear indications that some people’s needs and employee expectations are not being met.

In the article by Natasha Pinon, titled “Workplaces can do 1 simple thing to help employees grow, says expert: ‘If you could do that for $1 per leader, you should“, the author states that most businesses spend around $2,500 annually on employee leadership and development. Seems like a lot, right?

…However, if you consider replacing one employee can cost anywhere from an additional 50% to 200% of the role’s salary, this doesn’t sound like much.” 

Contrary to popular belief, it is not goal setting, time management, delegation, or other business-oriented skills. People occupying leadership positions should already have those skills. 

Instead, it is essential to develop people and leadership skills, namely:

  • Effective communication
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Conflict resolution
  • Understanding and supporting employee’s needs
  • Employee recognition and appreciation
  • Proper implementation of DEI practices

These are important to cultivate loyalty, build pride, motivate and inspire employees, encourage positive relationships (And this is not even a final list)

Wrapping up

Developing the skills and competencies we mentioned would allow managers to better lead, support, and motivate their team members, thus, decreasing employee turnover and absenteeism rates. 

That is why organizations should invest in training programs that can help managers build desired leadership skills and get a better understanding of employee retention strategies and solutions. Given how important managers are to the employee retention process, it is vital to ensure that they have the proper training and skills to fulfill their roles.

Manage2Retain offers a variety of extensive training programs, as well as coaching support to help managers master leadership and employee retention strategies. If you need help with guiding managers through employee retention solutions, contact us.

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