Check In With Your Staff, Before They Check Out

Would losing your best employee keep you awake at night?

When I moved to Mexico City it coincided with my first real opportunity in a Leadership position.

It’s not always clear, when you take a job, whether you’ll be managing the work or the people.

I quickly discovered I was doing it all and needed some strong support.

By some cosmic alignment, I met an absolutely wonderful woman and she was the first person I hired into my team. She was bright, fun to work with and totally self-sufficient. She helped me understand the culture, made friends in the office easily and helped build awareness of our new department.

In my mind, she was the perfect fit for the job. So, I was really floored when she casually mentioned she’d been offered another job and thought she would take it.

What? You’re not happy?
Desperate to keep her I asked why she would leave. It was simple, she didn’t find the work I’d given her very interesting and she didn’t feel challenged.

It was my first realization of the responsibility I had to make sure my staff enjoyed their jobs.

We forget about this part of managing people. We get busy setting the goals, explaining our vision, defining standards and making sure everyone’s work is up to the quality we expect.

We pick up the pieces in a crisis, reprimand or explain how we think it should be done, we spend a few minutes sharing our experience and once a year look at the training plan.

Mostly, as bosses, we plough through the day to day trying to supply what the business needs, the clients need and still keep the top management happy.

We don’t spend a lot of time working on our staff’s job satisfaction.

It’s worth asking yourself these questions:
Does your staff love their job?
Are you giving them challenging, interesting things to do?
Do you take into account what they’ve learned and where they’ve improved, to  re-evaluate their responsibilities?

I often have people tell me they don’t want to delegate the best bits of their job, and that is understandable. However, part of moving up is managing the people, not the work, and that means building a strong, happy, stimulated team.



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