Industry News

How are companies tackling employee retention in 2020?

six people sitting around on their laptops

Retaining key employees is a common challenge for many business leaders. The highest-performing teams work in an environment where they feel management is listening to their concerns and feedback. A study from Google attempts to understand the drivers of employee retention and quality of team outcomes. From that study, the researchers found five key dynamics that set successful teams apart.

“Psychological safety” was coined by Amy Edmondson who is an organizational behavioral scientist at Harvard University. She defines it as a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.

Sometimes employees aren’t comfortable speaking up because humans are reluctant to engage in behaviors that could negatively influence how others perceive their competence, awareness and positivity. If an employee feels they have psychological safety, they won’t have a problem speaking up and will more readily share their ideas.

Here are ways to promote psychological safety:

  1. Frame the work you do as a “learning problem,” not as an “execution problem.” The future is not always guaranteed, you must emphasize to your employees that “we’re all in this together” and you want and need their contributions.
  2. Take action. Actions speak louder than words. You can lose your employee’s trust by saying you will do something but then not acting on it, don’t dilly dally, see things through.
  3. Never penalize an employee (or make them feel as if you have) for sharing feedback. Feedback from employees can feel personal and painful. Keep an open mind, don’t lash out at them.
  4. Practice humility. It’s okay to make mistakes, to say “I don’t know,” and to be vulnerable with your employees. This will help them be more comfortable with you and also trust you more and stay open to learning.
  5. Model the behaviors you want to see. This is the most important thing you can do to encourage employees. Be open with your schedule; let them know when you will be offline, don’t interrupt people during their focused work time or off-hours.

Great leaders understand that fostering psychological safety is imperative to building a culture where employees are motivated to do their best work and stay with your company long-term.

Found article @CNBC

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