Some of the biggest financial hits to a business can result from employee turnover. Corporations spend tens of thousands of dollars training a new team member, and mitigating the motivation drop and ripple of fear in the team as they wonder if they are next to leave – or why their co-worker ran off. The struggle is real; it can be complicated to pin down the reasons a great employee suddenly left your business for another. Many management professionals and business owners forget that the answer could be as “simple” as the relationship between an employee and their direct supervisor.
First-level supervisors stand at the door between employees and middle/upper management. They function as translators between corporate ideas and on the ground deployment. They are critical to the flow and function of culture and business information. They are essential to the enterprise: direct supervisors are still leaders. They must understand how lead teams for business success in three crucial areas (yet few are ever formally trained to do this).
Employee Performance. Supervisors must know how to give regular positive feedback and/or constructive development tasks. The rank and file need to know how they’re doing at the job. This leads to key motivation (or the lack thereof) because encouraged, supported and informed team members work harder when they feel valued. Without performance assessments, development or ongoing appreciation, your best people will move on to a new company where they get the attention they need for personal and professional success.
Expectations. You cannot expect your people to perform well if they don’t know what is expected. Supervisors are the primary point of contact for clarifying and supporting job expectations and business culture. Supervisors communicate changes that can impact team morale. If expectations are not met, supervisors also carry the challenge of explaining where things fell short and helping discover a path to success with a single member or the entire team. Supervisors must have the skills to do this with integrity and finesse. Can your first level leaders do that?
Business Goals. Your people need to know where the business is going – that’s where their jobs are going. If a business is focused on profit over reputation, for example, team members have very different perspectives on their role within the ranks. And, people need this information in order to self-direct and focus. Can your supervisors do this effectively to inspire buy in and productivity?
Employee turnover can be directly related to the communication and relationship between direct supervisors and employees, who represent “the top” of the business: owners and upper management. Their communication, partnership building and leadership skills sets a strong chain of command that inevitably results in overall employee satisfaction and retention – making the financial woes of employee turnover a thing of the past. Make sure they have the training to win in this critical role.