Why are employees leaving?Exit interviews can provide invaluable insight into the employee perspective and help determine whether your retention strategies need improvement. More than likely, you’ll hear the departing employee cite one or more of the following reasons for leaving their job:
- Inadequate salary and benefits
- Feeling overworked and/or unsupported
- No career development opportunities
- A need for better work-life balance
- Lack of recognition
- Unhappiness with management
- Concerns about the company’s direction or financial health
- Dissatisfaction with the company culture
- The desire to make a change
- More desirable opportunities at other companies
EMPLOYEE RETENTION STRATEGIESIf you sense your business is at risk of losing top talent, do not bury your head and hope they change their mind! You need to move fast and take action to shore up your employee retention strategies. Here are 14 areas where deliberate action can help boost employees’ job satisfaction and increase your ability to hold onto valued workers:
1. Onboarding and orientationEvery new hire should be set up for success from the start. Your onboarding process should teach new employees not only about the job but also about the company culture and how they can contribute to and thrive in it. Don’t skimp on this critical first step due to lack of time as you will soon live to regret it. The training and support you provide from day one, whether in person or virtually, can set the tone for the employee’s entire time at your firm. This can of course, be delegated to trusted staff members in aid to further their development and skill set.
2. Mentorship programmesPairing a new employee with a mentor, is a great component of your onboarding process, especially in a remote work environment. Mentors can welcome newcomers into the company, offer guidance and be a sounding board. All parties win here as new team members learn the ropes from experienced employees and in return, the mentor learns new skills in mentorship and coaching. But don’t limit mentorship opportunities to new employees. Your existing staff — and your overall employee retention outlook and team’s job satisfaction — can greatly benefit from mentor-mentee relationships. This can take some of the pressure from you, due to many issues being sorted before they come to you. It also empowers the staff team who can take ownership of the morale and cohesion of their team to a greater extent.
3. Employee payIt’s essential for companies to ensure employees’ competitive pay, which means employers need to evaluate and adjust salaries regularly. Even if your business can’t increase pay right now, consider whether you could provide other forms of compensation, such as bonuses. Don’t forget about improving health care benefits and retirement plans, which can help raise employees’ job satisfaction, too. Even introducing days off on staffs Birthdays can really make a difference! Pay is not seen as so much of an issue if staff are receiving high-quality training and career development opportunities.
4. PerksPerks can make your workplace stand out to potential new hires and re-engage current staff, all while boosting employee morale. According to research, flexible schedules and remote work options are the perks many professionals value most. Many companies are starting to think outside the box in relation to low or no-cost perks that are turning out to be highly valued. Appreciation gifts sent to staff members’ homes to express appreciation, ‘menopause corners’ with temperatures where those suffering from flushes can work comfortably. Even ‘Lego corners’ in staff canteens where staff can chat while they play with Lego (proven to reduce stress levels!) Low-cost options can make a huge impact on employees’ working days and ensure that they do not look elsewhere for employment.
5. Wellness offeringsKeeping employees fit — mentally, physically and financially — is just good business. The pandemic prompted many leading employers to expand and improve their wellness offerings to help employees feel supported and prioritise their well-being. Employment Assistant programmes’ are often seen now as insufficient being a ‘one size fits all’ system rather than bespoke, supportive system Corporate Wellness System such as jaynewarwicker.com
6. CommunicationThe pandemic bought to the fore the importance of good workplace communication. Your direct reports should feel they can come to you with ideas, questions and concerns at any time. As a leader, you need to make sure you’re doing your part to help promote timely, constructive and positive communication across the entire team, including on-site and remote employees. Make sure you proactively connect with each team member on a regular basis. This allows you to get a sense of their workload and job satisfaction. Again, a Corporate Wellness Package can be an effective ally, giving both staff and managers an instant ‘go to’ when issues arise or support is needed. This can ensure that issues do not get out of hand.
7. Continuous feedback on performanceMany employers are abandoning the annual appraisal in favour of more frequent meetings with team members. In these one-on-one meetings, talk with your employees about their short- and long-term professional goals. Help them visualise their future with the company.
8. Recognition and rewards systemsEvery person wants to feel appreciated for the work they do. An employer’s gratitude can make an especially big impact. So be sure to thank your direct reports who go the extra mile. Not all employees expect monetary rewards, as a manager, I used to reward hard work and dedication by completing a morning or afternoons work for them enabling a lie-in or an early dart!!
9. Work-life balanceWhat message is your time management sending to employees? Do you expect staff to be available around the clock? A healthy work-life balance is essential to job satisfaction. People need to know their managers understand they have lives outside of work. Encourage employees to set boundaries and take their vacation time however inconvenient it may be. A culture where extra work and hours is expected is a culture that will see dissatisfaction and increased absence and staff turnover.
10. Flexible work arrangementsResearch has found that one in three professionals working from home, would look for a new job if they were required to return to the office full time now that restrictions due to the pandemic have been lifted. So, think sooner rather than later about what you can offer employees if remote work isn’t an option. A compressed workweek? Flextime? All of the above can help relieve stress for your team — and boost employee retention.
11. Effective change managementBeyond the disruption due to the pandemic, every workplace has to deal with change, good and bad. Employees look to leadership for insight and reassurance during these times. If your organisation is going through a big shift, keeping your team as informed as possible helps ease anxieties and manage the rumour mill. Make big announcements either individually or in a group call or meeting, and allow time for questions. Managing change effectively is a major Management and Leadership skill that can be learnt and utilised to great effect and advantage.
12. An emphasis on teamworkYou should encourage all your employees, not just star players, to contribute ideas and solutions. To ensure effective team dynamics, consider individuals’ work styles, motivations, personalities and communication needs and you will ensure a tight-knit, effective team that will see you through the worst of times and unexpected barriers and issues that arise.
13. Acknowledgement of milestones, big and smallA final tip for promoting employee retention is to shine a light on notable achievements. Whether your team finishes ahead of the deadline on a major project, or a worker reaches a five-year work anniversary, seize the opportunity to mark the milestone together. Even if you need to celebrate virtually, it can be a meaningful and memorable moment for everyone.
The 13 employee retention strategies outlined above are just some ways to help increase your team members’ job satisfaction. Be sure to re-evaluate your efforts regularly, stay current on market standards for salary and benefits, and best practices for developing a positive workplace culture and strong manager-employee relations.
It’s inevitable that some team members will leave your organisation sooner than you’d like. But you can at least make their decision a little tougher. If those employees leave your firm knowing they were valued and supported, they’ll likely say good things about your business and even come back to work for you one day when they realise that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence!!For more information on Corporate Wellness Systems please click the below link and choose ‘Corporate Wellness’ from the Home Page: jaynewarwicker.com Jayne Warwicker