Your store manager just transferred to another location & no one has filled the position. Maybe YOU’RE the new store manager. Perhaps several team leaders are out on extended leave or some heavy stuff went down & you lost several employees.
Everyone’s nerves are on edge. Your employees & leaders are upset, sad, scared, or uncertain.
When teams experience these challenges, it’s understandable some things may take a back seat so the business can survive. But be careful that “survival” isn’t the only goal, otherwise you may just hit your mark.
“It is better to aim high and miss than to aim low and hit.” ―Les Brown
That’s why it is even more crucial to consider your employees’ experience in times of uncertainty.
When the employee experience suffers, the customer experience isn’t far behind. Never forget that – especially during transition.
“You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management. That’s the contract.” ―Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO
Your team’s overall goals haven’t totally changed just because you’re experiencing some challenges.
The reasons you started your recognition program haven’t changed either, nor the positive impact consistent recognition has: higher customer scores & better reviews, lower turnover, and increased profitability – just to name a few.
“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.” — Zig Ziglar
You can free up time to deal with what’s truly important by not giving in to “the tyranny of the urgent” as best-selling author Dr. Travis Bradberry points out in his article:
“The tyranny of the urgent is what happens when leaders spend their days putting out small fires. They take care of what’s dancing around in front of their faces and lose focus of what’s truly important—their people. Your integrity as a leader hinges upon your ability to avoid distractions that prevent you from putting your people first.”
If emotions are high & uncertainty abounds, recognizing your team members can have an even bigger positive impact. And if you’ve been consistent to this point, the absence of recognition may have an equally negative impact, creating even more “change” (and not the good kind).
Don’t let the appreciation of your employees “slip through the cracks” to “the back burner” (sound familiar?) otherwise, employee performances & attitudes may end up there too – or worse.
And now, story time with MyEmployees COO, Adam Tartt…
I had a great childhood with phenomenal parents who were diligent passing on their wisdom. When I hear of managers saying they are too busy dealing with turnover to recognize their people, memories of my dad frankly (yet lovingly) sharing some of his sage advice come rushing to mind – specifically his lesson about what to do when I found myself in a tough spot…
I was a fairly typical teenager, which meant I didn’t always make the wisest decisions. And though I didn’t want anyone’s advice at the time, something Dad said still sticks with me to this day. I won’t embarrass myself by sharing the details, but I will tell you this – my dad saw I had dug myself into a pretty big hole and I didn’t know which way to turn or what to do next. He simply said:
“Son, put down the shovel.”
Profound? Perhaps not to us as adult leaders with years of experience & teams of our own, many with our own families too. But for a stubborn & arrogant 17 year old kid, it was life transforming.
What did he mean? Without telling me how to fix the situation directly, he was simply saying the first thing to do was STOP MAKING IT WORSE!
So how does this relate to turnover?
I understand why it seems like dealing with turnover issues is top priority, leaving no time to focus on anything else. Many leaders have felt that way, so if you are at that point, you are not alone. And I agree that dealing with turnover should be a top priority.
However, our years & years of research have proven this: one of the surest ways to stop the turnover problem is by recognizing your valued team members.
In fact, many years ago, the Wall Street Journal published an article that indicated that 4 out of 5 employees stated they would switch companies for the same pay if they knew they would receive praise & recognition at their new company. By the way, that study didn’t reference only bottom performers.
That means even 80% of your top performers would switch companies today if they thought they would receive more recognition at the new company.
To make matters worse, Gallup recently published a study that indicated 51% of your top performers are actively looking for a job right now.
My advice to you is simple: Make it hard for your top people to leave.
And when you find yourself in a massive hole of turnover, for goodness sakes, put down the shovel.
-Adam Tartt, MyEmployees COO
We hope this advice helps you get out of turnover holes now and in the future!
Want more help with the issue of turnover vs. recognition?