What’s the effect on the rest of the team?

A couple of years ago I heard from a colleague that he had been fired in a voice mail. After asking him about this, he told me that neither his immediate supervisor nor his second-level supervisor had spoken with him about his productivity and yet “productivity” was the reason he was given for his dismissal.

Now, understand that I am not defending the employee and maybe he should have been fired. The problem isn’t what was done, but how it was done.

Employee Retention Strategies

A good supervisor does not need to be accessible 24/7, yet the leader needs to be accessible to the needs of his/her employees. In this situation, maybe the supervisor was so overworked that he (in this case it was a male) did not see what was going on with the employee until it was too late. While this may be true, when we talk about employee retention strategies, firing one employee in a voicemail is sure to be a great way to destroy morale for the rest of the team.

Last year, I heard of an employee getting fired in a text message. I am not sure which is worse, text message or voice mail, but these incidents certainly demonstrate a lack of open communication between leaders and front line staff.

While productivity is at the forefront for most American workers, instances like these damage the morale of the staff and, in turn, have an adverse effect on productivity. Most people feel that morale is difficult to measure. While difficult, it can be measured. Let’s look at some statistics.

The good news is that according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), since 2001, the rate of productivity growth has accelerated again to 3.4% per year. From the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s productivity rose at just 1.5%. In the mid-1990s, the productivity rate rose to 2.5%.

Productivity absolutely depends on the people. According to the 2006 Employee Review by Randstad USA (Randstad is a global provider of professional employment services and the third largest staffing organization in the world), employers say that the top five productivity gains have come from the following:

  • 28% – Increased employee effectiveness
  • 15% – Technology
  • 12% – More skilled people
  • 8% – Pay for performance
  • 4% – Logistics improvement

Investments, supply chain efficiencies, six sigma outsourcing, off-shoring, and onsite contract workforce management accounted for about 2% each in productivity gains.

There is no doubt that technology plays a huge part (15%) in productivity gains and as technology changes (and it will continue to) employers need to provide the right training at the right time to keep pace with technology and be sure that it is used appropriately.

The old adage of “a happy employee equals a productive employee” has never been more prevalent than in today’s workforce. When was the last time you took an employee satisfaction survey? How about the last time you found out what is important to your employees? What about how they feel about management? And of course, how they feel about overall morale within the company? Naturally, all of these need to be asked anonymously to ensure fair and balanced responses. I think you would be amazed at what you might learn from your staff with these employee retention strategies.

The Randstad report shows that over 70% of employers and employees say that high levels of employee satisfaction and high morale, along with a willingness to assume more job responsibility, are vital when it comes to productivity.

One of the most important things any organization can do, from an employee retention perspective, is to provide ongoing training for employees both of the technical and soft skill variety. Training, if done correctly, should accomplish the following:

  1. Increase the skillset (technical or soft)
  2. Improved self-confidence and self-esteem

Old school technology tends to be focused on the equipment or physical assets of an organization and not as much on the people. Today, as Generation Y enters the workforce, values and beliefs are changing and – like it or no – everyone has to adapt to keep productivity moving forward.

If you fail to keep up you, and your team, could be left behind. Avoid the voicemail and keep the team together.

Photo by Steven Perez

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