Break These Habits to Increase Employee Retention

Retaining talented employees should be a priority for all nonprofit leaders. Existing members of your team provide essential support to new hires, create a strong company culture, and have the institutional knowledge necessary to promote growth. Despite best efforts, however, good leaders can easily make mistakes that foster unintended and undesired departures.

In this Inc. article, award-winning speaker and veteran corporate executive Scott Mautz outlines “Seven Common Mistakes Good Leaders Make That Cause Great People to Leave.” Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Failure to drive mission fit. Employees are more likely to enjoy their jobs and stay at their companies if they can see the connections between their work and a greater mission. Make sure that you routinely show employees how their input matters.
  • Not showing employees you care about their career. Demonstrating a clear path for advancement gives employees rewarding goals that motivate. Take the time to understand what they want in their careers, map out a plan to help them, and give them assignments that allow them to grow.
  • Focusing on process over progress. Organization is critical to smooth business operations, but when your processes hinder meaningful progress towards your goals, they can lead to frustration among employees and merit some rethinking.
  • Being consistently inconsistent. When employees know what to expect from higher management, they’ll feel more at ease in the workplace. Be sure to create consistency with repeatable processes and always treat employees with respect, no matter your mood.
  • Driving competing priorities. Competing priorities mean that employees get conflicting messages about how to spend their time. Set your teams up for success by regularly revisiting their prioritizes and rearranging if necessary.
  • Not addressing underperformers. Talking to a struggling employee can be difficult, but it shouldn’t be put off for too long. Not only does poor performance impact the entire team, it also prevents individuals from growing in their careers. The guidance you provide will likely make a serious difference for all employees.
  • Under appreciating. Busy schedules make it difficult to acknowledge everyone’s contributions to your organization’s mission, but a lack of appreciation can make it even harder for employees to stay motivated. Small gestures go a long way in maintaining morale.