Did you know that there’s one thing you could do as a leader that would cut retention in half and improve productivity with 50%?

With the new generations of workforces, employees demand leaders that inspire and motivate, give opportunities for self-development and treat employees with respect and dignity.

Successful companies create cultures of engagement marked by strong leadership. They empower leaders and individuals to develop themselves and believe this to be a critical part of sustainable value creation for the business. They understand the roles various stakeholders play in relation to engagement and have success through systematic, strategic interventions geared toward driving desirable results.

A third of your team’s life is spent in the workplace, sometimes more. When you create the environment, an extraordinary leader who cares about everyone’s development, it leaves your team with little room to complain.

What can you do?

  • Encourage me more. Too often, managers take a negative tone with disgruntled employees. Expecting that efforts to motivate will be ignored, none are proffered, and the expectations become self-fulfilling. But the data suggest managers should take the opposite view: Work harder to inspire this group. Keep the conversation positive.
  • Trust me more. It’s probably not surprising that both parties — unhappy employee and boss alike — distrust each other. The key to restoring trust is to operate with the belief that the other party can change. Here we’d suggest that you as a manager make the first move by making the effort to understand the employee’s problems.
  • Take an interest in the person’s development. Career development should not be focused only on the high-potentials. As counterintuitive as it may seem, don’t leave the underachievers out when distributing stretch assignments.
  • Keep me in the loop. Great communicators do three things well. First, they share information and keep everyone well informed. Second, they ask good questions, inviting the opinions and views from others — all others. Third, they listen. And not just to the people they like.
  • Be honest with me. People want to know how they’re really doing on the job. They want to know why they’re falling short. They want a chance to improve. Too often, though, the bottom 6% felt their bosses were not giving honest feedback. Honesty is the bedrock of good relationships.
  • Connect with me more. Anything managers can to do improve their relationship with the disgruntled employees will have a significant positive influence. Here’s where favoritism takes on its most concrete form: managers go to lunch more with people they like, our data show; they talk with them more socially (about children, sports, etc); they know them more personally. A small effort by managers to spread their attention around more broadly can go a long way here.