You’ve probably read about this “War for talent,” and how it’s getting increasingly harder to find and hire so-called “Rockstar employees.” With the job market making a turn in favor of the interviewee, employers searching for the best-of-the-best have discovered the job market is turning into an arms race.
Most business owners and CEOs will tell you the number one most important thing you can do for your company is put together a strong team of employees. But, the number two most important thing to do? Retain those employees. In order to thrive in today’s economy, it’s critical to do whatever it takes to retain great employees. This is especially true for small businesses competing with larger companies (and larger budgets) for top talent.
Read on to learn why employee retention is so important, and discover our top five tips toward retaining your staff.
Why employee retention is important
According to a recent study, one third of new hires quit their job after only six months. Moreover, studies on the cost of employee turnover yield shocking figures. One study predicted that every time a salaried employee is replaced, it costs the company and average of six to nine months’ salary.
In addition to the incredible cost a business incurs from a loss of employee, productivity and job consistency suffer as well. With high turnover rates in a business, there is a lack of organization and things will eventually fall through the cracks. Not to mention, productivity of the position dramatically decreases as time is spent finding, hiring, and training a new employee. Finding and retaining employees takes effort. But after investing so much time in an employee, it can be devastating to company morale and the bottom line if they leave. So, how do you keep your top talent? Here are your five best practices for employee retention:
1. Pay them fairly
This should come as no surprise, as good employees deserve to be compensated fairly for the work they do. In fact, many executives will tell you by the time you give them a raise, it’s too late. They’re already out the door. That is why it’s imperative to get your compensation right, as best you can, from the beginning.
What it ultimately comes down to is if you don’t pay your employees well, another company will. An easy way to cause employee burnout is to overwork and underpay them. Especially if you know the job responsibilities and stress levels are extremely high, pay your employees wages that are fair for the amount of work they’re doing and competitive within your industry.
2. Be flexible
As our world rapidly turns into one big connected dot com with smartphones and other technologies always within arm’s reach, if you can, offer flexible work schedules. An incredible benefit to employees, a flexible work schedule gives your team the opportunity to work outside of the traditional 9 to 5, 40-hour work week.
Having this flexibility gives your company an edge on your competition and can be mutually beneficial for both employee and employer as it allows your staff to maintain certain, important things in their life such as going back to school, childcare, pursuing hobbies and passions, etc. Giving your staff some freedom to make their own hours creates happier, healthier, and more productive employees. As such, you as the employer are able to attract and retain top-notch professionals resulting in significantly reduced turnover and training costs.
3. Create a positive company culture
You might have heard “company culture” buzzing around the office, but if you’re unfamiliar with it — or not sure if your company has it — it’s time to familiarize yourself with this term. Company culture is the shared values and practices of the company's employees. Things like “Casual Friday,” “Work-from-home Wednesday,” office pilates, monthly happy hours, the foosball table in the break room, and any non-traditional work activities can be categorized into company culture.
These events, policies, and traditions quite literally can make or break your company. Businesses with a positive company culture routinely outperform their competitors. Some studies report the difference at 200% or more.
4. Offer powerful feedback (both constructive and praiseworthy)
It’s always a best practice to provide feedback when necessary. Never let your employees wonder if they’re on the right track — tell them! When you provide feedback effectively, it can be a powerful way to keep your staff encouraged, motivated, and engaged. A Gallup report found that praise releases dopamine in the brain, creating feelings of pride and encouraging employees to produce more praiseworthy work. So before you search outside your office for inventive ideas, and new policies to retain employees, first look under your nose for the easiest-to-execute strategy — employee recognition and praise!
Of course, not all feedback will be praiseworthy. Sometimes constructive criticism needs to be given, and if delivered poorly, your feedback might have the opposite effect resulting in demotivation, and resentment. When delivering constructive feedback, stick to the facts, actively listen to the recipient and ask for their feedback, address the situation in a timely manner, and always end your talk on a positive note.
5. Find a growth path for professional development
You’ll want to make sure the channels are open for healthy conversations about growth. Offering a roadmap for your employees to grow with the company is so essential to your retention rates. Great employees join companies to grow, learn, and do new things. If they see no room for growth, their motivation, loyalty, and happiness within the company dwindles day by day.
As an employer, it's your job to understand, and be supportive of, the career path for all your employees. If they are key members of the team, do whatever you can, within the boundaries of reality, to help them achieve it.
Losing a rockstar employee can be a total blow to the motivation and morale of your entire company. There’s absolutely, positively, nothing worse when you’re trying to build a strong, cohesive team than losing a key member that you could have retained; it just kills the energy. Instead, be proactive about employee retention and treat it as seriously as do you recruiting.
At Workbox Staffing, we can help you find your next top performer — contact us today to learn how.
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