Employee retention has so many contributors that it can be difficult to keep track of them all yourself. When everything is working together, the results are an engaged and motivated workforce but have one detail off-kilter, and employee turnover rears its ugly head. With this in mind, we’ve collected a list of checks and balances to analyze how your organization is doing in the efforts of employee retention.
Provide them a platform to share their thoughts – give them a voice
I’m talking advancements from the “suggestion box” of yesterday. The idea is the same, however. You want to give your employees a way to make suggestions and complaints on a risk-free, anonymous platform.
Surveys are the most popular method these days. It enables employees to respond from their workspace without making any conspicuous walks to the infamous box. Whether you do an annual overall engagement survey or targeted incremental surveys, it is critical to give your employees a voice. Results reveal trends to help you address specific areas of focus. Other current methods may be a chat board if you can make it anonymous.
Another suggestion is a series of focus groups to brainstorm the most common concerns amongst the employee population. Affinity mapping as a brainstorming technique employs a degree of anonymity and identifies trending ideas through repetition of answers. Once the highest trending thoughts and opinions are identified, the brainstorming can next be lead to ideas toward resolution.
Share your findings
Once you have a plan of what can be addressed for improvement, the next step is to share with the employee population that you are listening to them and taking steps to make positive changes. This will encourage your organization to continue the culture of being open and forthcoming with ideas and thoughts going forward.
Look beyond the resume when hiring
We are talking about attributes beyond the resume and education. Consider things like diligence, attitude, and integrity, amongst other things like academic qualification, skills, and experience. Some of these practices may take more time, but the effort today will mean fewer times to go up to bat looking for a replacement in the future.
Analyze work histories to identify those job-hoppers and ask them about it. It’s fine to switch jobs as a means of career advancement, but with that in mind, you’ll want to make sure there is a means for them to grow within your company instead of resigning when they’ve got enough experience for the next step up elsewhere.
Also, make sure they are a good fit for your team dynamic. One idea is to have a member or two from the candidates work team participate in the interview process to size them up. Personality profiling can identify the comfort level of the candidate to the type of job they are applying for, or bring attention to another equal opportunity within the company that is a great fit. Team harmony is also considered with personality profiling, building teams that work and communicate effectively.
No need for micromanaging
If you're hiring the most talented individuals suited to your team and providing them with what they need to do their job, there's no need to micromanage. Encourage growth by allowing your employees to take on new projects to build new experiences. This trust encourages them to take the initiative. Every new success is something to add to their resume toward advancement, which will later be a tribute to your leadership.
Attrition is often reduced through a consistent line of communication. These check-ins give the opportunity to provide updates, discuss strengths and career aspirations, and demonstrate your dedication to your employees’ professional growth. These meetings need to only last a few minutes but should take as long as they need to be sure information is flowing in both directions.
Offer development opportunities
This topic reminds me of a conversation I saw somewhere of two executives discussing the idea of developing and training their employees. The first executive asks, “What if we spend all this time developing our employees and they leave?” while the other questions, “What if we don’t develop them and they stay?”
We hope to attract professionals that arrive fully trained and certified, but what of those diamonds in the rough that work their way up through personal achievement, hard work, and loyalty? Investments must be made to either maintain credentials or develop them for those willing to do the work. These employees see this as an investment in them personally and their career. For you, it’s an investment in their loyalty and performance.
Create a comfortable work culture
A great work culture creates employees that feel a strong bond with the company, promoting a culture of loyalty. Your environment and culture is what retains and attracts employees, and should match the type of employee you wish to employ, be it strict and by the book, or casual and laid back.
Current trends lean to a culture of flexibility. This flexibility reflects in work schedules, encouraged comp time where jobs require travel and late nights, dress codes, and remote work options. Companies are now recognizing the importance of work/life balance with their workforce and realizing that flexibility positively affects retention and performance.
Provide unique perks
If you are trying to attract top talent in a competitive field, something that sets you apart from the rest may very well be what gets your offer accepted above the others. Silicon Valley, for instance, goes to great lengths to attract employees, offering things like free meals and nap pods. We’re not saying you have to take on these practices, but get creative in what you can do to get noticed as a favorite employer. Work2Live’s Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) could be such a perk.
Don't punish or ignore competence
If not careful, managers can get their time wrapped up with struggling employees that they neglect those who are delivering and even achieving beyond their expectations. Over time, those employees may start to feel resentful for the lack of support, which could lead your top performers right out the door. Managers must take every opportunity to recognize their top performers, so they know their hard work is noticed. A high-five or thank-you goes a long way and adding Work2Live’s Lifestyle Spending Account as a recognition program is a great way to show your appreciation in a way that creates an experience to remember.
Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously
From an HR leadership perspective, you can move mountains to attract talented people, but their tenure will be brief if effective leadership is not provided by their immediate supervisor. Research has shown that people quit their bosses to the tune of 75%, and not the companies. If you can create a culture where all employees feel appreciated and gratified, your company will be the leader of the pack with employee retention.
Improving retention rates doesn't have to be difficult, but it takes the entire company to make it work. Be a positive role model and making a connection with your employees puts you at a point of advantage. You are more likely to understand what your team needs to help your business thrive.