Eight Ways to Increase Employee Retention
In talking with a recent client, we had a long discussion on employees and retaining them. Many times, clients want us to take extra measures to be sure that the candidate will stay. They seem to think that we need to share in the responsibility of the candidate staying on board with the company and feel that it is within our control. As many of you know that is simply not the case at all. As headhunters and recruiters, we do our due diligence of checking references and backgrounds to be sure the candidate is not only having the right skills but also is the right company cultural fit. In one of my other articles I touch on company culture as we believe at MPG that is a driving force in whether the candidate will stay in the role. We have found in our research that more than 40% of workers are planning to look for a new job within the next six months, and 69% say they are already passively looking. As a headhunter, we encounter individuals that tell us they are always looking and keeping their options open. This might be good in theory, but if you are always looking are you really cheating yourself and your current employer in these actions. This also raises the question of is the candidate truly buying in to the position and company or is it just a temporary fill to get them to the next opportunity.
We understand that for employees to safely make a long-term commitment to an organization, the employer will need to give them good reason to stay. We advocate proactive efforts by employers to establish a culture that builds a strong relationship between the employee and the employer. What can the employer do to foster this kind of relationship? This is the question we are asked most often. The following are the some of the ways that we have found to keep employee relationships on the road to retention:
- Respect: Employees want to know they are respected and appreciated. If managers make it a priority to show outward respect for employees on a regular basis, it will lead to a strong and enduring workplace culture as well as a positive experience and create memories that they will never forget.
- Reward: As an employer the rewards that you give your employee should speak to their emotional needs and should go beyond their monetary compensation. Personalities can be very different, sometime employees like to be recognized in front of their peers or the company and other times they desire an increase in responsibility. You will also find that some of them might be better with other forms of morale builders. The morale builders will also help to build the company culture and help other employees remain excited about what is happening in their workplace. Also, it is important to not buy your employees, this can create a negative effect in the environment. For example, if you are giving employees monetary rewards and perks in addition to overtime pay because they are working overtime and beyond it sends a message to employee that they must work those extra hours to get any reward. What we have found is that companies that place value on the quality of an employee’s work instead of just the quantity create higher company loyalty and increase retention.
- Relaxation Time: Time off is very significant, and it is important to not be stingy with it. While It is nice to provide sufficient time off for sick days, family vacations, etc. People need time off to recharge and this will help to foster the demand for high quality performance. If a company wants their employees fresh and ready for the important projects and deadlines it is important to let them get time off during non-peak times.
- Responsibility: For your employees to grow it is important to trust them and give them responsibilities. For example, encouraging them to gain new skills, go to workshops, continuing education opportunities. The more confident your employee feels about themselves the better they will preform their job and will enjoy coming to work. Promoting employees from within is also very helpful and motivating to the company’s culture, it shows them that they too can move up and be a contributor.
- Environment: Creating an open and welcoming environment is very important to retaining individuals to stay. The average person spends over 90,000 hours of their life working. By working this much it can create a negative home life and that can have severe effects on the environment of your workplace and the condition of your people. It is important to create an environment where people can take breaks and time off to recharge and refuel. If you do not it can cause greater issues.
- Incorporate Revenue Sharing: Tie part of your employees’ wages to the company’s performance. This will align their interests with the company’s review and profit goal. It will also serve as an inherent incentive to see the company grows. This will also make your business more agile when it is having to deal with differing business conditions and changes in the economy.
- Small Perks: This is a great incentive to have for your employees and it is something that all levels of employees can benefit from. Some examples of small perks could be: free bagels on Fridays, lunch brought in for quarterly sales meetings, in office massage therapists after the completion of a significant project, and dry-cleaning pickup and delivery may seem insignificant to you, but if they help employees better manage their lives, they’ll appreciate it and may be more likely to stick around.
- Conduct “stay” interviews: In addition to performing exit interviews to learn why employees are leaving, consider asking longer-tenured employees why they stay. Ask questions such as: Why did you come to work here? Why have you stayed? What would make you leave? And what are your nonnegotiable issues? What about your managers? What would you change or improve? Then use that information to strengthen your employee-retention strategies. Also, it might a bonus to use those employees on your employee spotlights. You could feature them on the employee boards in the office, e-newsletters, or social media. This will foster two things, enhancing the relationships with your employee but also showing outsiders that might be applying that this is a company that cares about its people.
It is important to remember the long-term commitment of retention and it requires effort in both directions. It is understandable that companies do not want to hire perpetual “job hoppers” but in the same token it is equally important to give them good reason to stay. If you are looking for assistance in your recruiting efforts please reach out to one of our Recruiters at Madison Professional Group. We strive to create connections that last