The 1 Secret to Employee Retention
“May the Force be with you”
This phrase was used in Star Wars to wish an individual or group good luck or good will. The phrase was often used as individuals parted ways or in the face of an impending challenge. But of what force do they speak.
When it comes to talent retention you have to Feed the Force. Retaining talented employees is becoming more important every day. Record-low unemployment and the ever-increasing need for a highly skilled workforce means the talent pool is shallow and shrinking. When you are building a high performing team, you want to avoid the costs of finding replacements for employees who leave your business.
Why do employees become disengaged or leave a job?
The number one reason that people leave organizations is because they are not being motivated in their work environment. In behavioral science terms their driving forces are not getting fulfilled, fed or met. You must Feed the Force!
There are six motivators of a human in the workplace leading to twelve driving forces as illustrated in the visual below.
It is a critical success factor for every leader that they recognize that each team member has different motivators and various levels of passion for each one. As a result, we can’t motivate and engage an employee if we don’t know their driving forces.
The most common mistake when motivating employees
The first and most common mistake is to assume that all your employees are motivated the same. Many companies assume that all employees are motivated by money. But in fact, the #1 motivator of our population is the intellectual driving force which is the desire to learn.
If you have a team member with a passionate intellectual driving force on your team, which you likely do, the way you retain them is to give them the opportunity to learn on a consistent basis. Make sure they always have a development plan that includes the learning opportunities like attending conferences or seminars in their area of expertise. Feeding their motivation to learn will dramatically increase their engagement and your ability to retain them.
How to stop employee turnover and increase retention
Recently, STV Advisors, Inc. worked with an organization that was losing a lot of employees or what is called voluntary turnover. Most of the turnover was happening in one specific area of the organization. During the analysis phase of the process we used the driving forces behavioral science to help us diagnose the underlying issue. We learned that the client organization was offering every employee the same incentive plan.
As a result, they were only feeding one motivator and that was not the primary motivator of the area in the organization that had the turnover. Once we determined their driving forces, we developed a plan to ensure the organization was feeding the primary motivators of all employees which led to a dramatic increase in retention.
“The irony of a situation like this is often the employee will be the one identified with the motivational problem when in fact the organization is not doing its part to create an engaging and inspiring work environment by feeding their force.”
How to attract and retain Millennials
The challenge many organizations are facing in attracting and retaining Millennials comes down to feeding their primary driving force. Behavioral science tells us that a larger percentage of the younger generation is motivated by enjoying each experience in life which is called the Harmonious Driving Force.
Life for them is not all about getting ahead in the world or being wealthy like previous generations but enjoying each moment as an experience. To attract, engage and retain Millennials, providing them with a harmonious work environment (culture) and life balance feeds their primary driving forces. Their motivators are not better or worse, just different and need to be fed.
High performance leaders know what drives and motivates every person on their team. This same principal of motivation applies at home as well in that every parent should understand what motivates their children in their work.
In many cases you can determine those driving forces by sharing the descriptors (above) and talking them through with them. What motivators resonate with them or give them energy when you start talking about it? Or to be precise you can contact us for a Driving Forces behavioral science assessment (firstname.lastname@example.org). Just don’t make the mistake and think that everyone is motivated the same.
The greatest challenge organizations are facing is finding the quantity and the quality of talent to serve their customers and achieve the organization’s annual objectives and budget. You must recruit and hire the right person the first time, but you also need to retain all team members. If you want to engage and retain those you are responsible for you must understand and feed what drives them. You must Feed the Force!