Most supervisors are the worst enemy for employee retention – and it may not be their fault. The fault may lie with the well-intentioned Human Resources department and their overreaching policies and procedure manuals.
A now-departed business associate of mine, Ron McQuide, once told me something that has always stayed with me: “All HR policies are just the scar tissue left over from some employee’s mistake.”
Think about what scar tissue does to a body: it can be unpleasant looking on the surface, but below the surface, it can decrease function, flexibility, and potentially cause more damage. Think about many of the policies that HR departments make their supervisors enforce. Here are some of those policies:
- punitive attendance management programs
- ineffective and condescending annual performance reviews
- fault finding safety programs.
Many HR policies and procedures are valuable and effective, but just as many are not. Many of our HR systems are focusing on the wrong things, which is not beneficial to retain your star employees.
A Fact Company article by author Stephanie Vozza outlines some ideas on how to keep star employees from exiting the building.
One big idea (which is not new) is to give people autonomy to do their job. Star employees know what to do to be successful, so make sure HR policies do not hold them back. Another idea is to keep the lines of communication open by having formal stay interviews. Ask them where you can help them in their career path. Also, be open to their suggestions and respond to changes your employees want to make.
“Strive to create a community where people can be themselves, have a good time, bring their A-game, and employee engagement will follow,” Vozza suggests.
If more employers took Vozza’s advice, it would certainly make the executive recruiter’s job much more difficult.
Think back to a job you have had. Did you see examples where HR policies and procedures were holding you or other employees from performing at their best?
Review the Fast Company article. Create a dynamic performance management program that could be presented to a VP of HR that incorporates some of the ideas in the article.