Staff turnover is a major concern for executives and anyone in a leadership position in a company. In fact, nearly 70% of organizations report that lack of staff retention has a negative financial impact due to the costs involved with recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement and the overtime work for remaining staff required until the organization can fill the vacant position.
Fortunately, there are some very simple staff retention strategies that leaders can put in place to create a work culture and environment which invites and encourages the professionals to remain or grow in their positions and help add value to the group as a whole. In any company which is considered the best place to work, you will find many — if not all — of these elements in place.
This might be the most important element of all. Maintaining communication with the professionals in the ranks is vital for productivity and improving any weaknesses in the business, as well as strengthening any positive factors. Without open and honest communication flowing freely between management and staff, there is no way to know when things are going well or when they’re falling short of expectations.
Giving honest and constructive feedback to employees is something that is lacking in many workplaces. If someone does good work, they should be told about it. And likewise, if they fall short, then feedback should be given to help improve staff performance. Positive feedback should be given as often as possible to motivate employees and to give them the determination they need to do their best work. But obviously, corrective feedback is also important, particularly when there’s an urgent issue that needs to be rectified.
This goes both ways. Encouraging feedback from your employees is important to get the communication lines going back and forth and is a very informative channel for a manager or executive to learn about any areas that are in need of improvement, or indeed that are going very well.
One of the most obvious, and yet most overlooked pieces of communication in companies is job descriptions. If a new employee takes a position and doesn’t have a job description clearly outlined, with duties and expectations, immediate contact points for any relevant departments, how their success and productivity is measured, etc., then they’re left to wonder more often than is comfortable, “How am I doing? Are my seniors happy with my work? Who do I talk to about this? What is really expected of me at this workplace?”
But if they have something in writing that answers all those questions, they’ll be conducting business with confidence that they wouldn’t otherwise have had.
Allowing latitude for employee ingenuity is vital to engage the creativity of your staff. Many companies say that they encourage this kind of thing, but very few actually have policies in place to support it.
Google has an initiative that allows and encourages employees to work on side projects that interest them. Obviously not every company has the infrastructure or work in industries that can offer rewards for employees to code new computer programs, but sometimes a little creativity can allow for a lot of creativity, so to speak.
It may be as simple as setting aside a 30-minute brainstorm session each week, which encourages staff to contribute creative ideas to improve company performance as a whole, and then put in place rewards or bonuses for any ideas that are implemented.
Many organizations have high expectations for their employees. But this can often mean less time devoted to personal care, leisure activities, and family.
A company that respects and values the employees sends a clear message that they are not taken for granted and their contributions are important. This can be done in several ways. Obviously, fair compensation is one way — both in terms of pay and also benefits. Offering a competitive and equitable base pay or hourly wage is sure to make someone feel that the effort they put into work is worth their time.
Focusing on work-life balance is another way that lets a professional know that they are cared for, and their personal life is still theirs and that it matters to the company that your life as a whole is being improved.
Keeping a balanced and respectful approach to company culture and to your staff’s personal interests and life will go a long way to retain employee interest and productive contribution. It simply lets them know that they are important, they are seen, they are valued. And who wouldn’t want to work in an environment where you feel that way.
Without the opportunity to grow in a company, employees often lose interest and become complacent or disillusioned about their work. It makes sense that if there is a future, a possibility to expand in your position and rise through the ranks with commensurate benefits, then there is more employee engagement, motivation, and productivity.
Offering ongoing training and education to your employees, and promoting from inside the company rather than promoting from outside the organization wherever possible is a sure-fire way to encourage growth and engagement from your fellow professionals as it will be seen as an investment in their future with your company.
There are many other ways to ensure employee satisfaction and longevity. Providing adequate rest periods for staff, giving the tools employees need to succeed, providing a safe and clean environment, avoiding random and sudden changes in the workplace — all these things will positively affect your employee retention.