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Why Companies Struggle with Employee Retention and How to Fix It

Home Business Magazine Online

By Izzy Galicia, President and CEO – Incito Consulting Group, San Francisco, California

It’s time to change the way the world does business. Thankfully, many businesses over the world are starting to wake up to and recognize this reality. Part of the reason why it’s becoming more common now is that they realize they’ve been hemorrhaging talent for years.

Fixing a company’s staffing problems will require some major shifts within its corporate culture, but this change will benefit everyone, increasing employees’ well-being and productivity.

Why companies struggle to retain talent

Many business leaders and C-Suite executives wonder why their efforts to attract and keep employees continue to fail. They launch initiative after initiative, aiming to solve this persistent problem, and yet none of it seems to work.

That’s because these palliatives don’t address the root of the problem. The main reason companies lose talent is due to leadership not responding proactively or handling negative feedback well. The result is a pervasive corporate culture of employee passivity, obedience, and disengagement. In short, employees learn that honest feedback won’t be handled properly, so they stop giving it, quietly check out, and start revising their resumes.

In my experience, many C-Suite executives attempt to embrace and communicate an employee-first, upward “feedforward” culture. However, deeds can speak louder than words, and their “I know better” persona continues to dissuade truthful but negative feedback.

Ending this kind of toxic culture requires explicit intervention.

Fixing the underlying issue

To start solving this problem, first understand that negative feedback from employees is a gift. In fact, problems within the organization are more prone to arise when employees don’t give it.

With this shift in mindset, organizations can break the cycle of suppressing negative information and create a culture where truth-tellers are welcomed. Employees who are willing to provide negative feedback draw attention to problems, which are really just new opportunities in disguise.

By understanding the value of negative feedback, business leaders can start creating an environment that allows employees to push back when it would be advantageous for the company. Toward that end, C-Suite executives should embrace lean leadership behaviors, which cultivate a corporate culture in which contrarian opinions are embraced.

Business leaders’ mental and emotional states have been shown to spread quickly throughout their enterprises, so this transformation can only happen from the top down. High-level executives have the power to squelch dissent, but they can also demonstrate the forbearance, good humor, humility, and curiosity that signal a truly open mind.

How companies benefit

The advantages of this approach are many. First of all, when employees feel free to discuss their concerns, leadership gains a better understanding of the reality their organization faces. Listening to staff members at all levels enables executives to develop a thorough picture of their company and make better decisions.

Second, when employees point out problems, managers gain the ability to address them. If people with a wide range of perspectives can share freely, then the business will be maximally protected. Moreover, seizing the opportunities inherent in these problems also opens up the possibility of creative problem-solving and innovation. This approach also promotes a growth mindset that has been associated with happier employees and greater innovation.

Finally, healthy corporate cultures have been associated with increased productivity and profitability. Employees tend to feel more valued, be more engaged, and demonstrate heightened motivation in these environments. They also tend to stay in their positions, rather than leave for a competitor.

Executives need to stand tall, welcome criticism as a learning experience, and apply negative feedback in a way that grows the company. As soon as they adopt this new perspective, they’ll start seeing positive results and easily retain employees.

The post Why Companies Struggle with Employee Retention and How to Fix It appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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