The past year has been a tough one for both employers and employees. Some industries are struggling to hire and maintain staff. Here is a list of employee retention strategies businesses can use to keep valuable staff on the payroll and minimize turnover.
1. Keep it positive.
A Harvard Business Review study shows that a ratio of 5.6 positive comments to 1 constructive one is the most effective for morale and retention, but the positive comments must be sincere and genuine. Employees have good BS detectors, and all the fake positive comments in the world don't mean anything to them.
2. Provide challenges and growth opportunities.
A job that feels stale and boring will not be attractive for most people, who like to be challenged in ways that help them grow their skills and abilities. It might be a good idea to hold quarterly or semi-annual meetings to evaluate growth and plan for the next challenge, which will also demonstrate a priority in this area.
3. Demonstrate respect.
Respect was number three on a list of things people look for in a new job, after compensation and stability, in recent research by Forbes. Employees who feel disrespected quickly disengage at work and may begin to actively look for a better opportunity. It's far better to demonstrate respect than it is to replace the employees who know they are most worthy of it.
4. Build an atmosphere of trust.
Trust can be built through relationships with employees and leadership that explains reasons for directives and keeps their word. When leadership takes personal responsibility for mistakes and failures and is honest in the way they approach issues at work, employees notice and trust results.
5. Ask for feedback.
Asking for feedback reinforces efforts to build trust and respect in the workplace, but only if the feedback is appropriately acknowledged and, when possible, acted on. Of course, it won't be possible to implement all feedback, but it is possible to take it seriously and to address it honestly whether it can be used or not.
6. Keep pace with salary requirements.
A healthy, challenging work environment is worth a lot to most employees, but how respectful is it to underpay them? Salaries that aren't competitive will eventually lead to some loss no matter how good the work environment is--even if many of the employees that leave come to regret their move.
7. Support work-life balance.
Many full-time workers' work-life balance is not ideal, and working too many hours with too little time off is a recipe for losing employees to burnout or illness. Besides encouraging and monitoring time off, one way to bring more work-life balance to an overworked employee is to periodically evaluate work scheduling and tailor it to better reflect employees' work-life needs.
8. Focus on the brand.
Increasingly, employees want to know that they are working for a company that shares their values and inspires pride. In your efforts to retain customers, be sure not to neglect to build your brand into something employees can legitimately brag about.
GDH can help you find the staff you need because of turnover or growth. Contact us to find out what we can offer.