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Employee retention can be tough at the best of times, so how can businesses encourage staff to stay during times of significant change? First let’s have a look at some of the common reasons why employees leave, in order to understand what businesses can do to get them to stay.
It all begins with hiring the right person for the right position. Job descriptions should be comprehensive and updated frequently. Those doing the hiring will need to assess job candidates thoroughly and make sure they have the skills and personality to cope with the job and fit in with the culture of the company.
If employees feel as though they have hit a wall or don’t see a future within the company, they will look for better opportunities elsewhere. If you enable them to acquire more skills and progress in their careers, they are far more likely to remain loyal.
Companies that offer the most benefits to their employees are more likely to keep them. Many surveys reveal that health benefits are most important, followed by retirement funds. With the costs of healthcare rising, a strong employee health benefit plan is essential to recruit top talent.
Wellness programs offer health information and help employees to understand more about their health risk factors and make positive changes. This can improve productivity and reduce absenteeism.
If employees trust that a company is moving in the right direction, they are less likely to leave. Open communication is essential to build that trust and will cultivate a sense of ownership throughout a company. The new style of leadership does not rely on power to force people to do what they want. It relies on relationship, transparency, and trust.
Your workforce can clearly see when your motives are selfish or opportunistic and they are less likely to support you. You need to be able to persuade your employees to collaborate with you in pursuit of the company’s mission.
A work environment that makes people feel included and celebrates diversity will encourage employees to stay. Shared workspaces are becoming popular, replacing the gray, permanent cubicles of the past and collaboration is the name of the game.
Employees want to enjoy where they work. More companies are looking at the office environment and trying to make it more attractive to retain top talent. Onsite fitness centers, for example, have become common in many workplaces where people are required to sit for many hours in front of a computer every day.
Employees don’t have to dread going into the office when it has some great amenities such as free coffee and snacks, a pool table or a room. Celebrations of birthdays, parties as a reward for successful projects and happy hours on a Friday can help to create a positive working environment.
Work life balance has become more important to employees than ever before. You need to acknowledge that your employees have a life outside of work. If you consistently make them come in early and work after office hours, they will inevitably start looking for other jobs.
With the ability to work remotely, it has become easier for people to work without having to go into the office. Working remotely offers the kind of flexibility that employees want. A flexible schedule is often crucial to two working parents. It does not mean that they won’t work the same number of hours, but that they can manage their work outside of normal work hours. They will often work more hours than the bare minimum if they are allowed this option.
Many bosses don’t realize the importance of communicating with employees and making them feel connected. Their response to emails from employees may just consist of a word or two and many times they may not even respond at all.
People are addicted to feedback today – when we press a button, something happens, when we send a text message, we get a response, when we play a game, we get a score. Employees often experience a lack of feedback when they get into the office. They don’t know how they are doing and this makes them uncomfortable. It helps to periodically conduct interviews with employees to find out how things are going. When you listen to them, it shows that you value them.
There are many small ways to show that you value you your employees. Just acknowledging their contribution and saying ‘thank you’ can make a big difference.
This does not mean you have to go around complimenting employees all the time, but if someone does an excellent job on a project, it should be recognized. Companies with a strategic recognition program report less employee turnover.
The best way to manage is often to give your employees clear direction, allow them plenty of space to do what they have to do and offer feedback. They may approach their work in a completely different way than you, but this should not matter as long as they get the results.
If you want to know what employees are doing all the time, they feel they are not trusted and are more likely to leave. Employers who have all kinds of petty rules and regulations stand the risk of losing employees to competitors. They have these rules because they fear a drop-in productivity but employees are often at their creative best when they are relaxed and allowed to get on and get the work done.