In the workplace, algorithms are becoming increasingly important. Many of these new technologies prove useful, from screening applicants to choosing who gets a promotion. The capacity to predict which employees would leave is possibly their most impressive and significant capability. IBM is reportedly working on a patent for an algorithm that can detect flight risk with 95% accuracy. This is a massive innovation given that we are in a candidate-driven market.
The loss of an employee can significantly impact team morale, resulting in a cascade of low performance and productivity. Not to add that it is costly, and not just due to the loss of skill. The average time it takes to fill a job is 26 days(this number is increasing), and it costs employers up to $10,000 each hiring – possibly more, depending on the industry. The good news is that only roughly a quarter of employees quit within the first year of employment. This means you'll have plenty of time to identify and mitigate flight risks.
However, not every organization has a sophisticated algorithm to assist them. Even algorithms that can forecast who will quit based on their behavioral tendencies fall short in explaining why they will. This is most likely because the reasons for people leaving are numerous and complex.
The first miscalculation is to set goals or expectations that aren't constant.
Consider the following scenario: A hotel front desk representative must choose between serving her next customer and properly checking in her prior client's details into the system. Her boss has made it straightforward that "slow service is poor service," yet she is well aware that entering customer information incorrectly could result in her release. She experiences significant levels of stress regularly when she has to choose between these two jobs, and she despises her job as a result.
This is a common occurrence. Employees who are forced to pick between duties to meet competing demands, on the other hand, end up with a team of stressed-out individuals who lack clear priorities.
What are your options for avoiding this situation? Take a page from Disney's book. Each Magic Kingdom employee has given a priority list, ranking items from most important to least important. Safety is prioritized over courtesy, then show (or performance), and finally efficiency. No one is puzzled about how to handle sticky situations when team members find themselves in them.
By being consistent and transparent with your standards, you can generate the same stability on your team. Even if it's just for yourself, write them down to see if they conflict or overlap. Then, if necessary, make the required modifications and distribute. By giving your staff a stronger sense of control over their responsibilities, you will empower them and reduce their stress. Most significantly, you will make work a more enjoyable environment.
The second miscalculation is having an excessive number of process limitations.
When an individual cannot complete their task due to a lack of information, resources, or another issue, process limitations occur. For example, I've seen this happen when an employee is compelled to wait for the completion of multiple other jobs before moving forward with a project. Even though it is not the employee's fault, such situations will inevitably impede performance that managers evaluate. As a result, the employee feels powerless and exhibits low morale, poor work quality, and frustration.
What are your options for avoiding this situation? When judging performance, keep the context in mind. Examine the criteria and assess how much control you have over any limits that may be hurting your employee's output and how much influence your employee has over their outcomes. Talk to them openly about their performance and ask them questions that will help them express any worries they may have.
If you discover that process restrictions are harming their performance, use your clout to try to make things better. It may be necessary to have uncomfortable conversations with other departments or leaders. However, these discussions will eventually benefit both your employee and your financial line.
The third miscalculation is squandering your resources.
Pretend you're in charge of marketing. You've got till Friday to launch a new marketing campaign. Because it's Tuesday, you should presumably have plenty of time. But there's a snag. You have been struck with meeting overload, and you must attend a five-hour team training session on Thursday. So, when do you have to go to work?
This is referred to as resource waste. The resource that is being squandered in the example above and many others is time. Employees who are continually pressed for time are more likely to become burned out, lowering the quality of their outputs. You are putting your team up for failure if you do not provide them with the resources they require to succeed. Employees in this position are likely to depart in search of a company with the more sustainable work culture.
What are your options for avoiding this situation? Busy weeks with squandered resources are sometimes unavoidable. Creating a list that prioritizes the importance and influence of your employees' tasks, on the other hand, can be beneficial. If your employee's market plan is due on Friday, for example, assist them in itemizing the tasks they must complete by that date and determining whether or not this is feasible given their existing workload. "Is this new work a priority?" you should ask before assigning extra responsibilities or inviting them to meeting after meeting. Is it essential for this employee to be in the room?" If they say no, give them time to focus on their most important tasks.
The fourth miscalculation is assigning individuals to the incorrect positions.
You can be sure that any employee who says, "I received my degree to do this?" is unhappy with where they are or what they are doing. This is a different type of waste, which I refer to as "knowledge and skills waste." Employees may feel unappreciated and faceless if their skills aren't utilized. An algorithm can easily take a job posting, explain the skills required for it, and then take a résumé and infer a job candidate's knowledge and abilities. However, if there is a disconnect by the time the individual is hired, you've already created a risk factor.
What are your options for avoiding this situation? During the interview process, it's vital to be open and honest about the roles you're looking for and what they demand. However, if you're already in over your head, there are a few options. Begin by reviewing the job description your employee was hired for and comparing it to their current responsibilities. Is there a gap, and if so, how big is it? Make a mental note of everything. Then review them with your team member to determine which gaps are the most significant and which are the most serious.
You may not be able to restructure the role completely, and it may take some time. Still, you can work together to develop a strategy to help them take on more important responsibilities and eliminate chores that aren't adding value to your team.
The fifth miscalculation is assigning tasks that are either dull or overly simple.
Consider the last time you were forced to attend a work event that you really didn't want to go to. Perhaps you had to speak with a large number of people about uninteresting topics or sit through numerous hour-long seminars in a single day. What were your thoughts afterward?
Even though you had to talk a little and listen, you were probably fatigued.
Why? You were repressing your emotions because you were suppressing your feelings. Even if the sense is boredom, hiding rather than acknowledging any emotion will drain your energy. If you have a light-workload employee who consistently takes excessive time to complete things, don't think they're lazy. Work isn't always easier when there's less of it. Employees can lose motivation and suffer negative emotions if they don't have enough to do. They may get physically and emotionally fatigued if they repress their emotions. As a result, people are less satisfied and engaged at work, prompting them to wonder if this is the right career for them.
What are your options for avoiding this situation? Make an effort to be inventive. If your team member has a track record of consistent performance, they'll be eager to expand their skills and take on more challenging work during their downtime. Before allocating work, inquire about your employee's interests and passions. Give them work that will improve their knowledge and abilities or help them grow adequately based on their responses. You may also keep track of and check in on their progress by creating a learning plan with objective goals and a path explaining how they will achieve them.
The sixth miscalculation is failing to establish a psychologically secure environment.
It's easy to recognize hostile settings. It's a terrible indicator if you find your team members being extremely pleasant or silent in meetings. Employees behave in this way when they are afraid that their views or ideas will be met with penalties, indicating that you are most likely operating in a fear culture. Employees who do not feel psychologically safe are more likely to make mistakes and are less inclined to take risks, engage in healthy conflict, or advance in their positions. Team members who feel psychologically safe, on the other hand, are more productive, innovative, and have a sense of belonging.
What are your options for avoiding this situation? Show your staff that you are open to fresh ideas to establish a psychologically secure work environment. Ask questions before giving answers in meetings, and thank people who speak out by thanking them or following up with more questions. When brainstorming solutions to challenging challenges, consider all points of view, and make sure your team understands that there is no "bad answer." If you think a concept has a lot of potential, you may even urge your employee to pursue it and submit their findings at the next meeting. The more you can incorporate your team's input into initiatives and goals, the more powerful, appreciated, and secure they'll feel while working with you.
Demonstrate humility as well. You show your team members that it's okay to "fail" when you own up to your flaws or admit that you don't have all the solutions. If you adopt the mindset that failure is an opportunity to learn, your staff will follow suit.
The seventh miscalculation is creating an overly safe work atmosphere.
According to studies, a modest amount of pressure and friction at work benefits staff progress. The key, though, is moderation. Employees who are under a lot of pressure to do well in their jobs sometimes lose sight of what's essential and, in desperation, utilize unethical methods to succeed. On the other hand, if your employees are not under any pressure, they may begin to question whether their work is even essential. People who do not feel meaning or purpose in their work are less productive, less loyal, and less productive than those who work in purpose-driven businesses.
What are your options for avoiding this situation? Providing your staff with regular positive and negative feedback is one approach to building a healthy amount of friction. When offered wisely and without judgment, negative comments can give people something to strive for. You should also remind your staff of their accomplishments and how their work relates to the more significant organization's goals (no matter how big or small their contribution is). As a result, kids will begin to comprehend how they fit into the larger picture, and they may even begin to experience a sense of purpose.
The eighth miscalculation is using bias to lead.
Customers value being treated fairly by the companies to whom they give their money, and the same can be true for employees who volunteer their time on the inside. However, a lack of trust can lead to low morale and a team with little or no direction. Consider this: how will your staff come together and align their efforts to reach a common objective if they don't trust you to lead them down the proper path? Think how you would feel if you were in their shoes. Would you want to work somewhere where there was no clear direction?
What are your options for avoiding this situation? Self-awareness is an excellent place to start. Managers who can detect and overcome their unconscious biases are more likely to lead fairly and reasonably. Consider what motivates you before making a significant decision. Do you make decisions based on data or personal preference? Have you examined alternative viewpoints? Are there any knowledge gaps that need to be filled first? Regularly soliciting and acting on your team's input will help foster a culture of fairness and open communication.
True, you won't be able to control every aspect of your team's work experience. When a person is desperate enough to escape, they will. Focusing on your actions, which you can control, will tremendously help your team's performance and cohesiveness. Your staff will be more productive, innovative, satisfied, and, most importantly, loyal if you manage well.