Every company hopes to have good people working for them, but the trick is keeping those people with the company for years to come. There are tons of reasons a person might leave their job, but many of these are avoidable if there is open communication within the workplace and an understanding that one-size fits all policies will not, in fact, fit everyone.
So, what are the easy ways to boost employee retention? There are six easy ways, pick the right people, create the right culture, offer growth opportunities, increase positive feedback, challenge your staff, and be flexible.
It's costly for a business to have a revolving door of new hires, especially if providing benefits such as medical or life insurance policies is involved. Losing people who know the procedures and work quickly can also cost in the time and resources it takes to train new people to do the job. That's why knowing how to keep productive employees happy and motivated in their roles can be the best way to keep a business productive and profitable.
Retention starts with who you hire. If you run a textile industry, but a job candidate spends his whole interview discussing the infinite banking scam, his interest areas probably don't align with your company's needs. It's important to remember that people whose history and interests align with your company are the ones who will be willing to stay for years because they'll find joy in their work. To ensure you're finding the best people for your business, it can help to invest in top notch recruiting talent, whether in house or through a third-party company. These people can get to know your business needs and are experts at screening applicants to find those who align with the company culture and who would thrive in their potential job duties. Choosing the right people to let in the door helps you to minimize how many walk out.
Employees spend roughly forty hours a week at their place of employment, so it needs to be a place they feel comfortable and free to be themselves. That's why it's important to establish and foster . When you have a defined culture in your workplace, it makes it easier for people to determine if the role is a good fit for them. For example, a national company headquarters may have strict rules about professionalism and dress code to maintain a certain image to other businesses. If someone came in for an interview and mentioned they don't like following strict rules and prefer to judge each situation on its own, they may not thrive in the open position. Their work style doesn't match the company culture. This can go both ways! Someone who thrives in a structured environment may not be comfortable working in a relaxed start-up setting with impromptu meetings. Defining the attitude and expectations of your company will make it easier to find and keep people who identify with those ideals.
It's not uncommon for people to strive for advancement in their careers. That's why offering promotion opportunities within your company can be a great a great motivator for employee’s e to continue working hard and striving for new positions. Some businesses focus on hiring outside candidates for management or upper-level positions, which can sometimes frustrate steadfast employees who have been with the company for years. Feeling like you'll be stuck in the same job for the next few decades no matter your work performance is enough to frustrate anyone and can lead to people finding other employment. That's why taking the time to promote from within can go a long way with employee retention.
Another way to encourage employees is by offering continued education or training opportunities. Education programs can help employees feel like their company is looking out for their best interests and it also helps them create a path to potential advancement. If you're a technical company, this could mean paying for license renewals or educational requirements to keep everyone up to date in their field. It could also mean offering professional development classes or sending a few employees to a conference about your field. Some companies will even hire promising candidates in low-level positions and help them finance the education and exams they need to secure certain certifications so they're eligible for other positions. There's a wide array of options in this vein, but the main takeaway is that if you invest in your employees they'll invest in your business.
Part of being the boss is offering feedback on employees' work. Although it might seem only necessary when you notice something wrong, studies show telling people what they did right can have a much greater effect on their work performance. In fact, it's suggested employers provide almost six times more positive feedback than criticism to keep employees motivated in their roles. These tidbits of encouragement can be as simple as saying, "Thanks for finishing up that report. You did a great job!" No need to wait for formal meetings or performance reviews to let people know they are valued and appreciated.
Employees typically welcome an opportunity to prove their worth and demonstrate their skills, so give them some! One easy way to create an exciting challenge is to build a creative spirit in the office and encourage employees to jump in. Fostering creativity can be as simple as setting sales or marketing goals and seeing who can come up with the best way to meet them. Don't forget to reward your genius of the month so other staffers feel compelled to keep thinking outside of the box. With this in mind, it's also important to remember that not every hire is an extrovert hoping to be noticed, so it's often helpful to offer an anonymous option so people don't opt out due to fear of being recognized. Finally, you can show your staff that you're all in for creative thinking by encouraging outside of the box ideas. Remember that not every creative solution will have the desired effect, and praise employees for trying something new regardless. This will show them it's okay to make mistakes and fail sometimes, as long as they have the company's best interests in heart.
The times are changing and people are changing with it, which means some businesses are adjusting their operating procedures to catch up. Employees more and more are asking for more flexible options and control of their schedule and a good way to keep them happy is to give them some. If your company can still operate with one person working from home each day, then devise a schedule where people have that option. Or someone would like to work longer days so they can have a half day on Friday, investigate if that's a feasible possibility. At the end of the day, business functions have to come first, but when an employee is asking for something reasonable and possible, be open to allowing their idea.
These six tips are a great starting place for increasing employee retention, so see if any would fit in your workplace. Remember: it all starts with who you hire and how you build your company. So make sure you pick people who fit your culture, then foster their advancement, offer education, motivate their successes, and be open to alternative ideas.
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