Yep, that's a thing! When you hire someone for a position in your company, you have the best intentions. You don't just train them for the job; you teach them about your business culture as well. They are doing an excellent job and have become a valuable stakeholder in the company. However, they come to you after a while and hand you a two-week notice. You ask what happened and try to rectify it but by that time, it's too late. They have accepted another position with your competition or worse THEY HAVE BECOME YOUR COMPETITION. There you have it! You and your company have just been fired by your employee. How did this happen? It's rarely as sudden as it appears because it has been building momentum for a long time. Could it have been when you denied that raise or promotion with no explanation? Maybe but that's likely not the only reason. So let's dive into why this happens and how it could have been avoided.
EMPLOYEES DO NOT FEEL VALUED
Everybody, no matter what you do, wants to believe that what they do matters. While I would be the first to tell you that employees are assets that can be leveraged and used in the best interest of the company, the same could be said of a cash register. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of treating them both the same. PEOPLE ARE THE GREATEST ASSET TO ANY BUSINESS. So you have to do a little bit more to keep them motivated. A gesture as small as buying them lunch or an employee appreciation day can go a long way towards showing them that they are valued. Mentoring employees is another way to express your appreciation for what they do for you. These actions acknowledge that they will not be in their current role forever, and you want to groom them for success whether it be with you or somewhere else. It works the same way with employees as it does with customers. Show them that they are valued, and you will get the desired result: Your company will flourish.
COMPANY CULTURE IS TERRIBLE
Ever wondered why the employees at Chick Fil A say "My pleasure" after you order your food (well, at least most of the time they do)? That is because Chick Fil A has created a company culture that is conducive to excellent customer service for the clients and camaraderie amongst other teammates within the organization. Some places like Disney World and Dollywood go a step further with their employee training. They don't just learn their roles like robots, but they also learn the history of the company and why the opportunity leads to a great experience for the customer. Do you think the culture building starts once you start to rake in $ 1,000,000 in revenue? Not! It starts from the very beginning. A great company culture is inviting to your team and produces great results for your bottom line. I once a had a client tell me that his employees should do a great job because he pays them. I quickly had to inform him that he was incorrect. If you just pay them, they will be like a robot and maybe service your clients as they should. That's great if you like a high rate of turnover. However if you want to become as big as Apple or Southwest (often regarded as the companies with the best company cultures), then you need to install a great culture and fast. Otherwise, your business is going to get fired and take their talents elsewhere.
NO PATH TO UPWARD MOBILITY
One of the worse feelings in someone's career is the fear that there is no room for growth. Most people are always looking to get to the next level, and the first place they are going to look is their current organization. Now I understand as a small business there is often initially a ceiling to how far someone can move up. However, hiring the right team and developing it would allow you to scale the business, which in turn creates new opportunities for leadership roles that loyal workers can fill. So how do you keep them engaged in the meantime? Well for starters the time spent mentoring that I mentioned before is something that shows not only that you value them but that you care about the development of their career. A raise is always nice. Every business is in the business of sales so offering commission or bonuses can keep people motivated. The ultimate thing to do is to get to know your employees so that you know what ultimately drives them and how to get them to that next level without feeling stuck.
YOU DO NOT RESPECT THEIR TIME
A growing trend among the working class (especially millennials) is the phrase work/life balance. Far too often entrepreneurs call their employees in early, ask them to stay late, or ask them to come in on the weekends. If this happens once in awhile, that's great. It means you have created an excellent culture and people believe in the mission of your company. However, do it too often and even those same dedicated employees will get burned out. People need to recharge, to spend time with their family, and to spend the money you pay them (can't do that if they are always on the job). Time is super important to your employees so you must value it!
WHAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE?
People will usually not leave a company because of the boss but because the conditions he or she created. People want to be valued, whether they are the custodian or the person that keeps your books (you want to make sure that accountant is happy otherwise your money might turn funny). Work to create an environment that is the envy of your industry. Remember that people are always looking for what's next so give them the tools to get there and make sure your company is attractive to the industry's top talent. Lastly, make sure you give people enough time away from the business to appreciate their job. There is plenty more that leads to companies getting fired, but these are just a few mistakes that entrepreneurs commonly make. Ultimately, they forget that a company can only be great if the talent on the payroll is exceptional. #AnOwlInYourCorner