Getting the balance right
Do your employees feel challenged and engaged?
One of the key reasons people move on from a role or business is as a result of them feeling under challenged, treading water, and not being stretched to reach their full potential, boredom and repetition sets in and leads to them exploring new options.
For the majority of us, having a certain level of difficulty in a role is more favourable vs stagnating and counting down the clock until we log off for the day. We’re all different, some of us thrive under pressure and are hungry for multiple challenges, others prefer to know what their day, week and month looks like.
The key is being able to assess the level of challenge your employees are under and whether they have the capacity to be pushed that little bit harder. Quarterly and annual reviews will only tell you so much, have you ever explored asking on a more informal level?
It is important to identify those who are not feeling challenged enough and are hungry for more as this is likely to be affecting their drive. What capacity do they have, can they cope with extra pressure, responsibility, do they need more training to achieve this? Each person has different motivators so a similar problem on the opposite end of the scale is giving someone too much of a challenge which creates high levels of stress and will eventually wear them out.
You ultimately want your employees to be engaged and feeling a sense of achievement, those who are challenged effectively and feel recognised and rewarded for their work will be less likely to move on externally. Invest in the development of your people, they are your main asset and will help your business grow and succeed. Feedback is important, give praise for any key successes, especially those which link to someone going out of their way to be challenged and advance themselves.
Some useful ways to push and stress test your employees can be things such as asking them to find solutions to problems versus relying on the senior leadership teams for answers. Suggest anyone comes to you with their ideas and suggested ways to find a solution. It may also be an option to set deadlines that have a bit more pressure attached to them – ask your employees how quickly or what else can be delivered at the same time (obviously it needs to be realistic). Put the emphasis on them leading their own career development and in turn challenge themselves that bit more than they usually would – provide people with scope and opportunities.
In conclusion, if your employees don’t feel challenged, then it is highly likely they won’t be motivated, and you run the risk of losing them. Keep communication channels open and support them through effective training and management. Set your employees challenges that are attainable and this in turn will ensure you keep them engaged and achieve higher levels of job satisfaction.