by Molly Smith, Recruiter
Nothing is more satisfying than hiring and retaining the best-of-the-best employees. The simple fact is, it has become more critical than ever to maintain your dream team, and companies are falling behind due to the loss of superstar talent. Worker willingness to change jobs is at a 17-year high (see “Help Wanted” blog post) Instead of scratching your head in bewilderment, its time to rethink and evaluate your strategies. Employee retention matters.
Retention is Imperative
Executives all agree that retaining your employees is imperative for many reasons. For starters, you don’t want current employees seeing constant turnover. It crushes morale and sends the message that maybe the grass IS greener on the other side. Also, low retention rates affect recruiting efforts. If you are trying to recruit talented, top-notch individuals, you want to be able to brag about employee tenure and high retention rates. Potential new hires won’t even agree to an interview if they think a company can’t keep employees happy.
Another reason retaining employees is so essential is because it can be very costly to have constant turnover. You have to pay for the recruiting efforts, pre-employment background checks, onboarding, and then you have to pay to train the replacement. Productivity decreases as the new employee gets trained, and low productivity affects your customers. You don’t want your customers noticing the revolving door of employees, so don’t allow your company and your staff to suffer. Start fixing the past mistakes today. It’s time to make some changes, and it’s never too late to better your company.
The Starting Point
Retaining your employees starts when the offer is accepted. Employee engagement is crucial, and managers must communicate constantly and set expectations immediately. Employees want to make their managers proud, and they can’t do that if they don’t know what is expected of them. Talk to them regularly and provide constant feedback so they can learn and grow effectively. What does their career path look like? How are they helping to achieve the company’s mission? Where do they fall in the overall structure of the organization?
New and existing employees should know and understand their goals, development opportunities, and position objectives so that they have all the tools needed to become successful. Hold regular meetings and provide a healthy platform for your employees to speak their minds freely. Not only will this allow new ideas to evolve, it will also show your employees you respect them and care about their development.
You can also incentivize your employees and provide rewards for going above and beyond. This will motivate staff and help to foster a healthy company culture where hard work is proven to be rewarded. If done right, these types of perks and incentives can keep employees focused and passionate about their work, and overall morale will soar.
Maintaining sharp, hard working employees also involves promoting from within the company. Staff members can easily get frustrated if they don’t see an opportunity for growth, and they will slowly come to the realization there is no future for them at your company. Do not let this happen. If your staff sees first-hand that promoting from within is a common company practice, they will work hard and welcome the chance to advance. Plus, they will greatly appreciate the acknowledgement of their efforts and encourage fellow co-workers to follow in their footsteps.
By hiring from within, you avoid the sometimes-costly onboarding process and ensure the position is filled by someone that already fits into your company’s culture and understands your values. There will be times where hiring someone new is unavoidable, but don’t ignore your own resources. When possible, take a chance and give your current employees the opportunity for advancement. This will boost the team’s performance, and it makes transitions much easier.
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it one thousand times, employees care about benefits! Providing competitive health benefits, retirement benefits, and life insurance benefits is essential to retaining outstanding employees. Surprisingly, many employees prefer competitive benefits over a pay increase. And you need options – employees want the freedom of picking a plan that suits them best. Having good benefits will make or break a superstar employee’s decision to join or stay at your company.
Along with benefits, you need some additional perks such as Health & Fitness Club access, an excellent plan for paid vacation/sick days, regular company get-togethers outside the office, and/or paid volunteer hours. Get creative and put together a balanced and competitive benefit package. By offering outstanding benefits and perks, you are showing potential and existing employees you are invested in their overall health and their future happiness. Plus, you will separate your organization from all your competitors.
Employees are the foundation of your company. Its impossible to become a thriving, productive organization without hardworking and loyal employees, which is why a company with low turnover is much more likely to be successful than one that has constant or high turnover. If employee retention is greatly affecting your company, don’t make excuses. Be proactive. Stop wasting time and develop new strategies.
Retaining your employees will benefit you and your customers, so empower your staff and acknowledge hard work. Treat your employees with respect and integrity, and they will stay loyal and appreciative for many years to come. Make employee retention an essential element of your company’s organizational development process. If you don’t make this a priority, you run the risk of losing your all-star talent to your competitor.