Do Your Employees Feel Ignored?

BY C. Lee Smith
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If you’re tired of attending going away parties for some of your best employees, you’re not alone. Of course, you can point to the well-​publicized numbers that show employees are leaving their positions at a higher rate than ever before. That way, you don’t have to feel accountable for the exodus at your own organization. Or you can resolve to take action. That action might start with asking whether your employees feel ignored.

Employees Feel Ignored

Earlier this year, the experts came up with theories about the root cause of the job market problems. They theorized that workers weren’t making enough money. Some workers will tell you that’s true. Experts also predicted that people would return to work once vaccination rates reach a certain level.  Higher vaccination rates haven’t helped much. And don’t forget the fiscal conservatives who were certain that people would apply for jobs once their unemployment benefits ran out.  But according to Abby Vesoulis’ Time magazine report, “more people are quitting their jobs now than they did before the expanded benefit ended in September.”

What exactly is happening in the labor market? Bryan Otte, in his SmartBrief article, has a plausible explanation. Whether people are in the office or working from a remote location, they want to feel they are doing something that matters. But all too often, employees feel ignored.

Welcoming Employee Input

Is your culture set up to encourage employees to think about ways to improve the product or service you offer? Your team members may have plenty of ideas about changes that could save money or increase sales. If you haven’t indicated your willingness to listen, those ideas will die inside employees. Over time, those same employees will feel less excited about the work they do. And when they hear of a better offer, whether it’s more money or a chance to have a say in how the company runs, they’ll be gone.

One example of this kind of situation is all about your sales process. You may think you have your sales process running smoothly. But your reps are the ones who have to follow it. If one of your business development reps has prospect feedback or an idea about a new target audience to pursue, do you listen? Do you encourage them to try pitching to the new audience or to meet with product development or discuss potential changes? Or do you feel threatened and shut them down. Remember that promising to get back to them, and failing to do so, is the same as shutting them down.

Making Employees Feel Valued

Your sales reps are highly intelligent and engaged team members. They connect with their buyers and want to help them solve problems. When they hear a success story from a customer who used your product to achieve a goal, they take satisfaction in knowing they were part of a good solution.

In our research, 24% of sales reps said they’d be more willing to stay with their current employer if they received more recognition for the value they bring and the work they do. And 25% of sales reps want to know that there’s a career path for them with their current employer.

Most sales reps only see their next step as a move into management. We know sales management isn’t for everyone. And there won’t be enough of those positions to hand out to every rep who is seeking a promotion. Start thinking creatively about what else you can offer reps, ranging from technical sales roles to sales training positions. And it never hurts to show that you value team members by investing in them, especially with a coaching tool designed to help them improve their sales skills. To learn more about which employees are most coachable, read this white paper.

We’re all working harder these days, and it’s easy to overlook your team’s need for friendly interaction and acknowledgement. Otte reports, employees complain that, “No one thanks me for the work I do.”

That’s an easy enough problem for you to solve, starting today.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels