This is Larry. He was a Spartan warrior; a member of an elite military unit. Every Monday morning, Larry would jump out of bed eager for another working week.
The workplace experience of Larry and his Spartan colleagues was very similar to what we find in all elite military units; extremely demanding both mentally and physically, arduous and risky, . Yet, these units enjoy staff turnover rates that most businesses can only dream about. What's going on here...?
Consider the diagram below. Beginning at the bottom, ask yourself what you are providing for your employees. If you only tick off 'survival' and 'safety', the employees in your business are like MOST employees; dissatisfied, and searching for another job.
This diagram represents 'Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs', a model which is very useful in many areas of leadership. It assists with developing empathy, helps us to direct communication at appropriate levels, and can help describe why our staff turnover is so high!
Consider Larry's experience at work. He gets paid enough to satisfy the bottom two levels. But this is not enough for him. Not even close.
Social. After satisfying survival and safety, our employees NEED to work in an environment which provides meaningful relationships. Larry's best mates are also Spartan warriors. His workplace nurtures social connections; these boys work hard AND play hard together.
Esteem. Larry's work is extremely difficult, but there is a culture of mutual respect for excellence, and good workplace behaviour is rewarded. He has the opportunity for promotion within the Spartan army, and this is very important; he wants to feel like he is progressing.
Self Fulfilment. Lastly, the Spartan Army provides Larry with the opportunity to reach his full potential. He has mentors in the organisation, and he aspires to follow their career path. He looks to the future, and sees a meaningful career containing many challenges which will require everything he has.
Larry won't quit and join the latest IT startup, because Larry's workplace satisfies ALL his needs.
Where does your employee experience sit on this spectrum?
Your employees NEED you to provide a workplace which provides them opportunities for social connection, recognition for their efforts, and a challenging path to realise their potential.
High staff turnover is a problem you own, and you can solve.