three business people walking and talking

Employees are taking time to reflect on things like work-life balance and job satisfaction. And workplace priorities are realigning to meet these evolving needs. As a result, millions of Americans are throwing in the towel in favor of something new.

From a desire for greater work-life balance to wanting more remote working opportunities, there is a myriad of reasons people are seeking out new employment opportunities. But amidst a growing amount of research and survey data, one trend has become clear: organizations that find ways to make their employees feel valued and provide opportunities for growth see the most desirable outcomes when it comes to employee satisfaction and retention. 

To do that, you’ll first need to develop strong leaders with human-centered mindsets and capabilities like building inclusion and creating psychological safety. These allow your leaders to think, behave, and lead in ways that will enable others to grow within your organization.

Here, we’ve outlined the three steps your leaders can take to facilitate an environment that encourages growth, fosters value, and ultimately keeps top talent around.

#1: Make People Feel Valued with Supportive Leadership

Researchers have found that employees have three basic psychological needs — competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Satisfying these needs promotes autonomous motivation, high-quality performance, and wellness. Below are four things leaders can do to support these needs:

  • Ask people about their career aspirations to support their long-term goals.
  • Give them space to decide how they complete their work.
  • Create opportunities for people to demonstrate and develop competence.
  • Recognize and reward people’s unique contributions. 

When supportive leaders meet these needs — and foster intrinsic motivation — people engage in their work because they can find their own satisfaction, enjoyment, and meaning from it.

#2: Hone Active Listening Skills

Simply put, employees stay when they feel they are being heard and their needs are being met. Understanding people’s needs start with active listening. 

Active listening is more than just listening. It’s an intentional and impactful form of listening. It requires your full attention and the desire to understand what someone is saying without judgment or the need to immediately respond. It involves asking questions to verify your understanding and encouraging the person to continue sharing. 

Encourage teams to model active listening behavior to ensure people feel heard. 

#3: Create Clear Paths for Mobility

According to LinkedIn’s 2023 Workforce Learning Report, 93% of organizations are concerned about employee retention. When employees were asked about their experiences, only 14% noted their organization had encouraged them to build a career development plan.

Employees want to learn and grow — but they do not want to be solely responsible for facilitating their growth on the job. They also want to see a clear pathway for how they will be developed. 

You can help managers apply a few practical strategies to ensure their career development conversations are both productive and inclusive:

  • Get their full career story to understand pivot points and key decisions they have made along the way. 
  • Identify what guides someone. Ask questions like, “What would a great workday look like for you?”
  • Create a clear plan with specific action steps broken down into manageable chunks of time. 

By providing your people with the right leadership skills, you and your team can not only stave off any future resignations — you can come out better and stronger on the other side. Developing effective leaders who are capable of making people feel supported and valued, actively listening to their wants and needs, and creating clear paths for professional growth are vital to employee satisfaction. Organizations that want to create a great working environment, where people want to stay, will need to invest in developing effective leaders within their organization.

At Verb, we provide evolving organizations with the tools needed to develop these skills and effectively prepare managers to adapt to the challenges of a rapidly changing workplace. To learn more, schedule a demo today.

For more on this topic, read the whitepaper “Retaining Top Talent in a Challenging Workplace.”

Find out how Verb can unlock your team’s full potential.