Best Practices to Improve Employee Retention
As a manager, one of the worst things that can happen is a valuable employee unexpectedly walking out the door and leaving a void that’s likely difficult to fill immediately and possibly encouraging other employees to follow suit. Granted, sometimes there’s nothing that can be done to prevent an employee’s decision to leave abruptly, but many times workers leave for reasons that can be avoided by thinking ahead. Check out these five best practices to improve employee retention so you can keep employees happy and keep your organization running smoothly.
1. Make Sure Managers Know How to Connect With People
Effective communication skills and an understanding of teamwork are key for managers. Consider having managers attend a leadership training program to help them understand the value of leading a team and learn how important it is to be supportive and tuned-in to employee concerns. Training can only go so far, however. For best results, choose managers for training who have demonstrated an ability to make a connection with the people they supervise.
When you invest time and money into manager training, employees will feel more valued and perform better. They will feel as if they can approach their manager when they have concerns or struggles, and they will be motivated by the praise and support they receive.
2. Set Employees Up for Success
For an employee to feel indispensable to an organization, he has to be in a position where his talents can have the most impact. Take the time to find out what each employee’s interests and talents are so that you can leverage them in the most effective way. This retention strategy will give employees a clear understanding of how they contribute to the company’s mission and purpose, and will foster their loyalty.
In addition, make sure employees have access to the ongoing training and education they need to succeed in their roles. Although they may have a natural aptitude in a certain area, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
3. Compensate Competitively and Provide Extra Bonuses or Benefits
Employees have dreams and lives outside of work — lives that likely include a family to provide for and some type of hobby or activity that costs money. When an employee knows that his job is not simply a way to pay the bills, but a pathway to do things like earn extra money, save for specific purposes or enjoy paid leisure time, it can take his loyalty to a new level. Compensate employees fairly for the level of work they do, and then consider giving them periodic bonuses for achieving specific, measurable goals that you discuss with them in advance.
Also try to tailor your benefits package to meet the needs of all employees. Traditional benefits that might appeal to a veteran worker might not mean as much to a millennial. Consider non-traditional benefits, such as tuition reimbursement, flexible working arrangements, free snacks and drinks, wellness stipends, paid time off to volunteer, and parental assistance.
4. Recognize Employee and Team Efforts on a Grander Scale
While a pat on the back and encouraging words should be given as frequently as deserved, sometimes employee and team achievements warrant more than a private moment of recognition. You can do anything from a congratulatory banner in the breakroom to making special announcements in meetings. Or if your budget allows, consider gift cards, catered lunches, or celebratory outings for employees and teams who meet their goals.
5. Give Employees Opportunities to Offer Feedback and Voice Concerns
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind where each workday flows together, but it’s a dangerous habit. You need to check-in with employees on a regular basis to gauge the workplace climate.
Use a combination of communication strategies such as company-wide surveys, brief phone calls or emails or weekly sit-downs. Be sure to always address any concerns or questions that are raised to foster trust between you and your employees.
Overall, no matter what strategies you choose to use to improve employee retention, periodically revisit them to make sure that your efforts are well-placed. Sometimes, a little tweak here and there can make a huge difference.
Posted by: Mitchell Riley
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