8 Ways to Retain Employees
You’d think that as recruiters we wouldn’t want to encourage employee retention. We do though.
Well, put quite simply, there’s plenty of opportunity without wishing bad on our clients. The Dept of Labour estimates about 3 million Americans quit their jobs MONTHLY. Indeed reports 180 million unique visits a month. And work on there being roughly 6.6 million jobs posted at any one time.
From my perspective, there’s always somebody who wants to talk to me.
Our job is to find somebody who will stay, I’m ok never filling that job again.
Our clients’ role is to create a workplace that ensures that continuity.
In my last article I talked about the counter offer. This is a knee jerk reaction to somebody wanting to leave. Ironically enough, even if they accept the counter offer they leave soon enough.
Interestingly, in one study 58% of managers reported making counter offers while 87% of HR Managers in another study reported that employee retention was a critical issue. Those numbers don’t gel, one is a total reaction, the other is a strategic decision.
So what can you do to ensure that you retain the best and the brightest in an economy that is boiling hot right now?
- Offer the opportunity to work remotely. This article indicates that you can get up to 25% less turnover just by not having to see the people that you manage all the time.
- Consider very seriously what your offerings for training and education are and if there is a real or perceived gap by your employees. We all want to learn new skills and as Abraham Lincoln said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Often it’s good to ask what people want rather than offering what you think they need, as the popular line in sales goes ”perception is reality”.
- Recognize valuable contributions. The top 20% of companies have 31% lower employee turnover. And don’t get hung up on length of service, 86% of employees don’t care. You shouldn’t.
- Be a flexible employer. What does that mean? Anything from taking time off to take your kid to the doctor to a much needed sabbatical. And if you’re not sure how to start, try here.
- Give purpose to your employees’ work. Then sell it! This way you attract staff who work for purpose and research has shown that those people tend to be high achievers. This research shows that people who work mostly for money or recognition tend not to be as motivated.
- Pay an appropriate salary. This one may seem a bit obvious but very often a counter offer that by necessity goes straight to the dollars suggests one of two things; either this person was being underpaid initially or you’re willing to overpay them now. Ultimately, neither is a good scenario.
- Recognize and remediate employee burnout. The average American takes 5.4 days of vacation a year. France has just passed legislation protecting employees from having to answer emails off hours. If you live in Finland or Brazil you’re getting close to 30 workdays off a year. Get over the Protestant work ethic. Besides time off, think about fun and engagement as helping to overcome the challenges.
- Foster social connections at work. Less than a third of workers without social connections were happy at work while 69% with those social connections report being engaged. The ping pong table in the lunch room is a bit of a clumsy way to build corporate culture but if it gets people socializing it has a benefit obviously.
What employee retention strategies do you employ?