Employee turnover is expensive! If you are losing employees and are unsure why it’s time to look at your retention strategies. Smart employee retention strategies will keep your employees happy and engaged at your company. To support job satisfaction, you need to consider how your company is doing in the following areas:
- Employee assistance programs
- Management training
- Exit interviews
- Recognition at work
- Career growth opportunities
- Hiring Process
- Work environment
- Expectations of employees
- Open communication
Salary is an essential component of employee retention. Still, there are a lot of other factors that go into your team’s satisfaction on the job. Keeping your employee fully engaged in the work and mission is the first step toward retention.
What is Work Engagement?
When your employee is engaged in the work and enjoys their workplace, you have succeeded as an owner or manager. When an employee is engaged, they care about the work they are doing and care about the company’s success. They will feel motivated to put their best effort forward and it will reflect in their work. What keeps an employee fully engaged is the effort you put into prioritizing their happiness. Here are some great and easy practices to put into place at your business:
1. Employee Assistance Programs
Life happens. An employee assistance program (EAP) will help with challenging or stressful life events. Suppose your employee faces a life event like a death in the family, divorce, or medical problem. In that case, they can rely on your company’s EAP. An EAP is an employee benefit program meant to help those going through personal issues that are having an impact on not only their job performance but their mental and emotional health as well. If your workplace currently does not have an EAP, you should put one in place now.
An EAP is such an effective employee retention strategy. Your employee will be assured that in the case of a stressful life event, their job is still there and, better yet, their company wants to and will help them through that event.
Each plan may be a little different from company to company, but some of the benefits from an EAP may include:
- Help with addiction
- Mental health counseling
- Legal issues
- Financial counseling
- Work coach
- Child care issues
- Caring for an elderly family member
- Grief counseling
- Counseling for a traumatic life event
Giving your employees access to an employee assistance program will show them how much you care about their well-being and that their happiness is important. Your employee will want to stay with a company that cares about them and shows it.
Benefits are important for your employees. What type of health insurance are you offering? How much of the premium are you covering each pay period? What kind of parental leave does your company offer? Do you have a 401k? These questions matter. Suppose you are not taking the time to offer competitive benefits. In that case, you may experience employee turnover because they are looking for something better. Ask your employees what added benefits they wish were available. Work with your human resource team and your insurance agent to find the best benefit plan for your employees.
If you have remote employees consider offering them added benefits like:
- Paying for their monthly internet
- A budget for office equipment
- An allotted monthly amount for a home cleaning service
- Reimbursement for exercise memberships or equipment
Benefits make a difference when an employee is deciding to stay or leave their current place of employment, so make sure you are offering the best.
If you have bad managers at your company, then you will lose employees. Good management matters. Get regular feedback from your staff on how your managers are doing and where they can improve. Make sure that you are supporting your managers. For those looking to move to management, be sure to help and guide them as they move into the role by providing training and leading by example. Leadership is not just about making sure a team is meeting deadlines; it is about giving your employees the space to grow and feel supported as they do it.
“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it is amazing what they can accomplish.”Sam Walton, founder of Walmart
A salary isn’t everything, but it is a vital retention piece. Your employees should be paid what they are worth, and that amount should be evaluated regularly. If you are an employer paying less than a competitor, you will lose workers. Frequent and regularly scheduled pay increases alone will not retain your current employees. Still, this will boost their morale and incentivize them to work harder. Paying a competitive wage and allowing your employees a chance to increase their pay is a must-have in any business and will slow employee turnover.
5. Exit Interview
Employees will inevitably leave your company, but you should take the time to learn why and in which areas you can grow and improve. When a current employee notices that they will be leaving, make sure to meet with them to do an exit interview. Ask the hard questions:
- What is the main reason you are leaving?
- What made you start looking for another job?
- What is the new company offering that ultimately made you choose them?
- What areas can we improve on?
- Would you ever come back to work for this company? Why yes or no?
Having a complete picture of why employees are leaving will help you make the necessary changes. These changes could be the key to stopping losing any other member of your team. It would help if you always looked to grow and improve your company; learning from past workers will be a valuable tool.
6. Recognition at Work
What types of things are you doing to recognize the work that your staff does? Showing your appreciation for your staff will make such a big difference in their morale. Some of the things you can do to show appreciation and recognition in the workplace are:
- Spotlight a different employee monthly and praise their work
- Bring in lunch from time to time just to say thank you
- Hold an annual dinner or event to recognize those employees that are going above and beyond
- Say thank you, a simple thank you will go a long way
Feeling appreciated and recognized within your work will encourage you to work harder and solidify that you are with the right company. Being recognized for your work is essential and will ensure that you keep bringing your best work to the table.
7. Career Growth Opportunities
Allow your employees to grow and learn new skills that will advance them into different roles within the company. Continuing education is such a great incentive to have in the workplace. Not only will your employee feel empowered by learning new skills, but you will benefit from those skills. Find different types of training that you can provide to your staff. Udemy offers a lot of amazing education programs that your employees and business will benefit from. Look for management material within your team; your employees have untapped skills that you can help develop. Finding the hidden talent within an employee will help them feel valued and will, in turn, help your company grow even more.
8. Hiring Process
Retaining good employees all starts with hiring the best ones. There are amazing people out there that need their first chance to break into the field, and you can give that to them. Hire the best from the start! Reevaluate your hiring process to see if you are inclusive and looking for more skills and backgrounds.
Along with the hiring process, ensure that your onboarding experience is fantastic. You want your new employees to feel welcomed and prepared when they start at your company. Take the first day on the job and introduce them to staff, bring in lunch, and familiarize them with your office culture. First impressions are everything, so give them the best.
9. Work Environment
The feel of an office space can significantly affect the way people work. Some ways to ensure a great environment are:
- Be sure that your office is clean
- Give your office an excellent aesthetic
- Ensure that your employees have the best equipment to do their job
- Create a warm & inviting space
Most employees will spend more time in their workplace than at home, you can help make their environment the best. You will notice a rise in workplace engagement if you take the time to improve their work environment. Having a stable work environment and happy employees will ultimately equate to a better customer experience for those you are serving.
10. Expectations of Employees
Are you clear about what you expect from your employees? Giving each staff member an explicit objective and setting expectations at the beginning will help them understand their role in your company. To avoid turnover, go over these expectations regularly (yearly or bi-yearly reviews). Also, let your staff know what they expect from you as an owner and manager. Transparency will help your employees feel that you are a part of the team and that they can approach you when issues arise.
11. Open Communication
If your team knows that they can come to you with questions or concerns, it will be a better work experience. No one is perfect, not even the owner of a company. Allowing your staff the understanding that you are willing to listen and make improvements will help with retention.
Talk to your staff. Ask them what types of changes they would like to see within the work environment. Give them the space to express their concerns and wants; you may be surprised at some of the changes they would like to see happen. Some great ways to communicate with employees include:
- Be clear and concise
- Understand their point of view
- Communicate often and through many different means (Slack, email, face-to-face)
- Follow up and do what you say you will do
Employee productivity will increase if you can implement some of the changes your team would like to make in the workplace. Communication is always a great thing, so make sure you practice the skill often.
Make a Plan Today
Now that you are educated on ways to solve employee retention issues, make a plan. If you are losing employees, you need to get a retention plan in place to promote workplace engagement. You can release new things periodically or start implementing strategies every month. Make a list of changes that your employees would like to see made. Start figuring out which items you can do immediately, and then create a timeline for the others. Start that open line of communication now so that you can learn from your staff what changes they would like to see take place in the workplace. Be sure to check in with your team from time to time to see if there are other retention strategies that you can start working on. Stop the turnover now and start giving your employees a place they are proud to be a part of.