Articles // January 12,2023

In 2023, focus on people skills over perks to build effective teams in your company

By Author - Meenakshi Girish, Editor - Chandrani Datta

A lack of people skills can have a significant negative impact on a company’s ability to retain quality employees. A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that poor management is the number one reason why employees leave their jobs. The study surveyed over 2,600 workers, and 42% of them said that they had left a job because of their immediate supervisor.

Another study by Gallup found that only 33% of American employees are engaged in their jobs, meaning that a lack of engagement is a significant problem in the US workforce. When employees are noticeably disengaged, they are less productive, less likely to stay with a company long-term, and more likely to negatively impact the overall work culture.

Diving deeper

One example is of a company that has struggled with a lack of people skills in Bangalore. It is a medium-sized auditing company, which has been in business for over ten years. Despite its successful track record of producing quality results with experienced employees, the company struggled while building effective teams.

It had issues with notably high turnover rates, particularly among its client-facing employees. An analysis of the company’s turnover data revealed that majority of employees were leaving due to issues related to poor management and a lack of communication from their supervisors. Employees reported feeling disconnected from their work and felt that their contributions were not valued.

Additionally, there were limited opportunities for personal and professional growth and development. As a result of these issues, the business was losing experienced and skilled employees, which was hurting their overall productivity and profitability.

The solution

To address these issues, the company’s management team implemented new training programs for managers, designed to help them improve their people skills and better communicate with their employees.

They also started to invest more in their employee’s professional development and growth opportunities. The result of these efforts was an immediate improvement in employee engagement and retention, with a drop in turnover rate of 15%. This helped the company progress with building effective teams as well.

Productivity increased, and the company’s reputation as an employer of choice improved, which helped them attract and retain the best talent in the industry. The company’s management realized the importance of team investments and how people skills were key to the company’s long-term success!

How a tech company thrived after losing valuable employees?

Maria was a manager at a reputed tech company that was known for its quality response and customized solutions for customers. The company produced cutting-edge technology for other businesses, but despite their innovative products, they were struggling to retain employees.

The management team was convinced that offering generous perks, such as a fully stocked snack bar, unlimited vacation time, and flexible working hours would be enough to keep their employees happy and engaged. However, they soon realized that these perks were not enough to retain top talent.

This was when Maria was promoted and asked to lead the company’s human resources department. “I have been credited for being a people-oriented leader, as I understand the importance of strong relationships and fostering a positive work culture. When I was appointed to the role, I immediately set to work on improving the company’s employee engagement. This was my point of focus for the entire first two weeks,” she said.

What was the approach?

Maria started by conducting surveys and one-on-one meetings with employees to get a better understanding of their needs and concerns. She also implemented regular team-building activities, such as group lunches and off-site retreats, to help employees build stronger connections with one another.

Her entrepreneurial mindset helped her recognize the importance of open communication and made sure that all employees had direct access to the management team and felt comfortable expressing their ideas and concerns.

The Result

As a result of these changes, the company experienced a significant improvement in employee retention. Employee engagement and productivity increased, and turnover rates decreased. The company’s reputation as an employer of choice also improved, which helped them attract and retain the best talent in the industry.

Word quickly spread about the tech company’s positive work culture, and the company’s business grew as a result. The management team soon realized that while perks were nice, they were not as important as fostering a positive work culture and building relationships with employees.

They were henceforth known not only for their innovative tech products but also for their great corporate culture which had become a major differentiator. Keep reading to learn how you can do the same to earn similar results.

5 ways you can prioritize people skills over perks in your company

Here are some actionable ways you can incorporate people skills into your company culture.

1. The power of getting vocal

Encourage your team to get vocal and address their concerns. Conduct regular employee surveys and one-on-one meetings to understand the needs and concerns of your workforce. Use this information to create a positive work environment that is tailored to the specific needs of your employees.

2. Encourage open communication and transparency

Make sure that employees have direct access to management and that their ideas and concerns are heard. This constant and continuous interaction helps to create a sense of trust and inclusion among employees.

They will feel acknowledged and feel safe while approaching you or the rest of the team for their concerns. In other words, they will feel more valued rather than feeling they are just another employee.

3. Implement regular team-building activities

This can include group lunches, off-site retreats, or other activities that help employees build stronger connections with one another. You could incorporate such events and team lunches as incentives as well.

The entire team can be invited for a group lunch to celebrate the success one employee brought in. It will help everyone build a WE mindset and work as a team. Everyone is moving towards a mutual goal and working for the company’s success, not just individual gain or results.

4. Provide opportunities for professional development and growth

You have a higher chance of retaining your employees if you show interest in their growth and skills. You could coach them or simply expose them to new opportunities where they can prove themselves.

It could also include training programs, mentorship, or tuition reimbursement to build their entrepreneurial mindset. By investing in the development of your employees, you demonstrate that you value their contributions and that you are committed to their long-term success.

5. Recognize and reward employees for their hard work

This can include formal recognition programs, such as employee of the month, or informal gestures, such as thank-you notes or small gifts. Maria organized events every month that involved employees sharing three positive words about each other. It is a way of showing people that you recognize and appreciate their efforts.

Showing your employees that their hard work is appreciated can go a long way in boosting morale and engagement. Ensure that there is healthy competition in the workplace and feedback is a two-way road. In conclusion, a lack of people skills can be detrimental to a company’s ability to retain quality employees. Studies have shown that poor management is the top reason why employees leave their jobs and that a lack of engagement is a significant problem in the US workforce.

It demonstrates the negative impact that a lack of people skills can have on employee retention, productivity, and profitability. To combat these issues, companies must first realize the importance of team and invest in their employees. They need to focus on building strong relationships and fostering a positive work culture.

By prioritizing people skills over perks, companies can improve employee engagement and retention, boost productivity, and create a more positive and inclusive work environment. This in turn can help companies to attract and retain top talent, which is essential for their long-term success.

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