Commentary: "I quit!" You've dreamed of all the possible ways you could convey that thought to your manager. Skywriting. A custom YouTube video. Or just the good, old-fashioned technique of walking up to your boss, saying those two powerful words, and breezing out the door.
There are a number of reasons why employees leave their jobs theyre bored and unchallenged, they don't get recognition for their work, they have a strained relationship with their boss, they have to frequently work overtime, etc.
It turns out that all these issues are related to a single problem: People leave their jobs because their time isn't respected.
Day off communication
Have you ever received an email from your boss on your day off? This is frustrating when all you want to do is relax and catch up on the latest show on Netflix. By keeping your mind always on work, you're unable to recharge and think creatively. This becomes extremely tiring over time. If you're a manager, try to limit communication to only urgent and important matters when your direct reports are away from the office.
Recognition of work
"Great job!" That's all it takes. Sixty-nine percent of employees are willing to work harder for a company that recognizes their accomplishments. Managers often forget to celebrate and only communicate when performance is low. Or, they only communicate the good elements of someone's work and do not offer any constructive feedback. For people to advance in their careers, they need to improve, and its difficult to improve if you are not being recognized for the work you've already done.
Autonomy and independence
For inexperienced managers, micromanagement is an easy trap. This, however, is inefficient for both parties and does not build a relationship based on trust and respect. Giving direct reports autonomy to do their work is key to getting more things done and unifying a team. If employees have been properly trained and have the correct avenues of communication to management, they should be able to be left alone to do their jobs. The same goes for managers. Managers need to be trained, just like everyone else.
Early Monday meetings
Have you ever been a part of a company that has an 8:00 a.m. meeting on Monday? That's rough. Companies think that starting off the week early is a good thing, but it sets a precedent of long working hours. No one is chipper at 8:00 a.m. on a Monday. Employees with kids are forced to balance getting them to school on time, and those who don't would much rather get the most out of their weekend and not go to bed early every Sunday. If you want to start the week off "right," have that meeting later in the day, once everyone has had a chance to get going and become focused.
Long hours and weekends
Working long hours has a cumulative effect on people and their families. Feeling like you are "never home" causes you to resent your job and experience additional pressure from your family when you are around. Really good companies that think long-term know that their employees have lives and communities outside of the office. It should be a person's choice to work longer hours or on the weekends. People who love their jobs and the company they work for will work longer hours anyway, and people do better work when they have lives of their own.
Also see: 7 signs of a toxic culture
Bored and unchallenged
Career development is a benefit and one of the main reasons people choose one job over another. If you're lucky enough to have employees who have chosen to work for you, be sure to have ways for them to grow within your organization. If you can, create opportunities for them to grow in non-linear ways. Not all projects need to lead to direct advancement, but they cannot be just busy work either. If an employee is feeling bored and unchallenged, they are prime candidates for departure or, worse, they could be destructive and toxic to others.
Optional happy hours
Have you ever had weekly, optional happy hours on Fridays at 5:00 p.m.? The whole office pressures one another to go, and turnout ends up being pretty good. Do not be deceived. This peer pressure and ritual ends up creating exclusion rather than inclusion. When you have events right after work, employees feel like they have to stay to be in good standing, and they end up stuck in traffic, tired, and not getting home until late. Many have commitments that are of higher priority, such as families, friends, and nonwork related activities. If your company offers outside social events, make them truly optional, less frequent, and give everyone ample time to schedule.
Nothing says my time is more important than yours than being late. Many are guilty of this one including me. It's an offense that over time degrades respect and reliability between coworkers. If you plan a meeting for 2:00 p.m. and people are still stumbling in at 2:15, its disruptive and takes away from everyone's experience and focus. If you're waiting on a co-worker to complete their part of a project and they miss the deadline, you then have to rearrange your schedule and recalibrate, creating a domino effect.
The best way to prevent people from feeling like they want to be somewhere else is to respect their time. Create an environment where the company, managers, and employees respect each other's time, and you'll build a company culture that's sustainable for everyone.
Dane Hurtubise is founder and CEO of Parklet.co, an employee onboarding and HR software company based in San Francisco.
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