If You Want to Improve Employee Satisfaction, Try This Controversial Practice

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If You Want to Improve Employee Satisfaction, Try This Controversial Practice

Sometimes employees need to find other ways to achieve satisfaction.

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April 21, 2021 4 min read

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Career dissatisfaction is something we all struggle with from time to time. We have all had situations where we thought our life would be better if we had just one thing that was missing.

If you’re leading a team, chances are you’ve encountered difficult situations where an employee was dissatisfied with earnings, title, or an organizational change. When employees are dissatisfied, their focus shifts from work to taking care of themselves – and the quality of their work could suffer as a result. How you approach these scenarios defines you as a manager. Sometimes the dissatisfaction can be easily resolved with an increase or a promotion. In other cases, indulging in an employee’s sense of dissatisfaction is a trap. Either way: the sooner the situation is resolved, the better for you, the employee and the company.

Consider the practice of an annual interview with another company. Encourage each of your employees to interview a different company each year. It may seem scary or unfamiliar, but the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Here are just three of the many ways this practice strengthens your leadership.

Strengthens commitment to the cause

In Jim Collins Good to Great, he writes about getting the right people on the bus. He not only talks about competence in their work, but also about their commitment to the mission of the organization. You should hire people because they believe in your company’s mission, not just because they can do a variety of things. As obvious as that sounds, the commitment to a corporate mission isn’t as sticky as executives hope. When people’s desires and motivations change, they wonder if the grass is greener in another company.

Asking your team to conduct an interview elsewhere can increase their commitment to you as a leader and the company’s mission. This practice says, “I want what is best for you, even if the best is achieved elsewhere.” Exploring other options can be a great reminder that you have a great opportunity with a great leader in a great company. However, sometimes an interview helps the employee decide if it’s time to get off the bus. This may cause short-term pain for you and the company, but it is always healthy in the long run. The best teams are full of people who want to play a small role in a bigger mission.

Related: How to Write a Memorable Mission Statement

Shows that you are for the person, not just the company

Let’s face it: at some point, all good people move on to bigger and better opportunities. Such is life and such is leadership. Whether your employees choose another job or keep their place on the bus, they’ll know for sure that you care about them and their careers. It says a lot about you as a leader if you openly encourage your employees to interview elsewhere.

If you practice outside of interviews, fewer people will leave you because they know you care about them. When employees talk to other companies, they compare the potential of working with a new leader to working with you. You have an advantage over any new leader because they know you want the best for them and their career.

Related Topics: 5 Tips for Recognizing a Meaningful Business Opportunity When You See One

Adds clarity to dissatisfaction

After an interview elsewhere, many employees will be satisfied and ready to go on a mission again. They will find that a 5% raise may not be the answer they are looking for, or that the promotion they wanted comes at a price they were unwilling to pay. Sometimes they interview elsewhere and are given a golden opportunity. This is great news. After all, we care about our employees and want the best for them.

There is a saying that employees don’t leave companies, they leave executives. There really is no downside to asking your team to interview elsewhere. In this practice, they may find that the grass on the other side isn’t always greener and come back with a new meaning.

Related: The Importance of Clarity