Tips On Effective Employee Retention
An excellent member of staff quits out of the blue and the organization suffers losses. What will be the impact on other team members? Will other employees follow suit? Why did the top performer(s) resign? How will the backlash affect the future of the company? These are burning questions that arise when an employer fails to retain his/her employees.
When a company or firm constantly has to deal with employees leaving, it becomes bad for business regardless of the size, history, or stage of the enterprise. Simply put, an organization will face challenges internally and externally if its employees or workers keep leaving. It will surely paint a wrong picture and leave experts, job seekers, and competitors wondering what is really happening? When the employee retention rate in an organization keeps dropping and employee turnover keeps rising, the firm can lose twice an employee’s salary trying to hire, train and replace the departed employee.
The cons or disadvantages of high employee turnover are not restricted to financial loses alone; it also encompasses the loss of skilled, talented, and gifted individuals who have been crucial cornerstones in the growth, expansion, and development of the organization. If not checked, the lack of employee retention can lead to a decrease in the knowledge base of the enterprise; as well as an overall decline or dent in employee morale, thereby undermining performance, service delivery and inhibit employee engagement respectively.
Although there is an inevitability about your employees leaving or quitting, sooner than you expect or fathom regardless of what you do, making the decision harder for them will make you a stand-out employer and organization. This can be achieved by making your employees feel valued, treasured, appreciated, and supported. By doing this, you ensure that they only have good and positive things to say about your enterprise after leaving, and even be open to the idea of coming back to work for you in the future.
What Is Employee Retention?
Employee retention can be defined as a process or practice of putting in place policies, strategies, and modalities to retain a company’s best and industrious employee(s) and subsequently reduce employee turnover. Also, the concept of employee retention refers to an organization’s ability to strategically hold on to its workforce in times of crisis or competition. By implementing lessons learned from key organizational behaviour concepts, employers can improve retention rates and decrease the cost associated with high employee turnover.
Why Do Employees Leave?
Exit interviews and surveys gave valuable insights into employees’ perspectives on the reasons for leaving firms, businesses, and organizations. Below are some of the reasons for employee turnover;
- Limited opportunities for career growth, progression, and advancement.
- Feeling bored at work.
- Inadequate remuneration and benefits.
- Being overworked and/or unsupported.
- Dissatisfaction with the organization’s culture.
- A need for better work-life balance.
- Concerns about the organization’s direction or financial health.
- Not being appreciated or recognized for hard work.
- Unhappiness and resentment for management.
Strategies And Tips For Effective Employee Retention
Although the job market in some fields and discipline tend to favour employers and organizations, highly skilled, talented, experienced and in-demand candidates won’t stay out of work for long. If you sense that your organization is at risk or on the verge of experiencing employee turnover, adopt and employ the following tips to effectively retain your employees;
- Onboarding and orientation.
- Mentorship programs and training.
- Recognize employees’ hard work and accomplishments.
- Flexible work arrangements and employee work-life balance.
- Make professional development a priority.
- Upgrade/update your equipment and technology.
- Communicate effectively with employees.
- Encourage collaboration and teamwork.
- Offer a competitive and attractive benefits package.
- Provide a comfortable work environment and culture.
- Give feedback on performance.
- Encourage qualified employees to apply for higher advertised positions.
Onboarding and orientation: New employees should be prepared and set up to succeed in the role from the onset. The onboarding process and orientation program should not only induct the employee into the role but also indoctrinate him/her into the organization’s culture. Making employees feel welcomed from day one prepares the path for them to work successfully for a long time. Subsequently, it boosts the organization’s chances of retaining such employees.
Mentorship programs and training: Finding mentors for employees is another effective way of retaining them. Mentors are experienced professionals who guide and assist mentees professionally. When an employer creates and inducts his/her employees into mentorship programs, he/she makes employees feel valued and invariably enhances the chances of retaining them. Relatively, organizing training and sending your workers for workshops to boost and enhance their skill set is necessary. Employees value organizations that are interested in their growth.
Recognize employees’ hard work and accomplishments: Employees feel valued, treasured, and appreciated when their hard work is recognized, applauded, and rewarded. A simple written or oral thank you message can go a long way in achieving that. Also, organizations and employers can set up reward packages to recognize outstanding or consistent achievements to help boost the morale of workers. For example, you can make provisions and reward packages for “employee of the month” and/or “most punctual employee”. Also, you can reward a team for an outstanding accomplishment by paying for their training. Employees who feel valued and rewarded for their hard work tend to stick around more often than not.
Flexible work arrangements and employee work-life balance: Workplace flexibility has been found to be attractive for many employees. It can also help to reduce the nature of unscheduled absences. You may wish to consider implementing flexible work arrangements, such as the option to work from home, alternative start and stop times, or compressed workweeks.
Putting in place a framework that enhances employees’ work-life balance is also crucial to reducing employee turnover. When you make provisions and schedules that balance an employee’s personal life and work, you boost your chances of keeping him/her. Employers must keep in mind that employees are not robots; they also have lives outside work.
Make professional development a priority: Career growth, progression, and advancement are essential for every employee or worker. When employees remain stagnant in their careers, it adversely affects your organization. On the other hand, workers who advance, progress, and keep up to date with new inventions in their field will definitely elevate your organization. Therefore, make provisions for your employees to develop professionally when the opportunity comes; this will enhance your chances of retaining them.
Communicate effectively with employees: Effective employer-employee communication is essential for success in every organization. However, communication shouldn’t be restricted to passing information alone; it should also involve listening. Make sure you listen to your employees’ complaints, worries and suggestions no matter how vague they are. In as much as passing crucial information to workers is important, employees feel valued and more comfortable when they are listened to. When you put in place proper communication channels, you enhance your employee retention rate.
Update/upgrade your equipment and technology: Take a look at your laptop. Does it weigh more than a bowling bow? A big complaint at many organizations is outdated hardware and software. Not only does ancient and archaic equipment make your employees inefficient; it also sends a message that your organization has zero interest in staying up to date with the latest tools and technology. In an ever-growing digital world, upgrading and updating your technology consistently will increase your employee retention rate.
Encourage collaboration and teamwork: Although employees were hired individually, nobody wants to work in a vacuum. As an employer, you should encourage all your workers, not just star players, to contribute ideas and solutions. Promote teamwork by creating opportunities for collaboration, accommodating individuals’ work styles, and giving everyone the latitude to make decisions and course corrections if needed.
Also, invest in supporting social relationships and create a gift culture, where employees feel that interaction with leaders and supervisors is something valuable and generously offered. This will enhance your chances of effectively retaining your members of staff.
Offer competitive and attractive benefits package: A number of employees tend to quit their job due to the lack of an attractive benefits package. In a competitive work and business environment, putting in place a benefits package that is fair to your workers is essential in retaining them. Benefits should include but not be restricted to paid holidays, health insurance, pension scheme, bonuses for extra work done, and paid sick leave. Additionally, these benefit packages should be in sync, close to, or above other competitors. This will make employees feel valued, satisfied, and safe in your organization.
Provide a comfortable work environment and culture: In as much as a good salary and benefits package stimulates workers to remain with an organization, an ambient and comfortable work environment and culture is arguably a better stimulant. No employee wants to work in a toxic setting; moreover, a conflict-ridden work environment inhibits both individual and organizational growth. Therefore, ensure that the work setting is calm, conducive, fair, and comfortable for all and sundry. You shouldn’t make an individual or employee working in delivery wear a suit without protective equipment for example. Instead, make them wear jeans or tracks with adequate personal protective equipment. Most workers who leave their jobs often cite a bad working environment and culture as the reason for quitting.
Give feedback on performance: Many employers have abandoned the quarterly and annual performance reviews in favour of more frequent meetings with team members. Arguably, most meetings are merely an information dissemination endeavour in most organizations. Therefore, you should hold one on one meetings with your employees quarterly and annually. In these one-on-one meetings, talk about your employee’s short and long-term professional goals with them and help them visualize their future with the organization. Ensure that you acknowledge their accomplishments and hard work, and point out areas they need to improve. While you should never make promises you can’t keep, talk through potential career advancement scenarios together and lay out a realistic plan for reaching those goals. This will invariably increase your chances of effectively retaining them.
Encourage qualified employees to apply for higher positions: Most employees become disgruntled when they are not allowed to apply for higher positions they are qualified for. This can make them leave because they feel side-lined, underappreciated, and unvalued. Ensure that you make positions open for both internal and external applicants. This will improve your employee retention rate.