Seven effective ways to retain employees
Now at almost full employment, and with a skills shortage in certain sectors of the Irish economy, it has never been more important for companies to ensure staff retention.
Job satisfaction and employee retention must play a key role in every successful company. In previous years perks such as healthcare cover or a pension was seen as enough to keep staff satisfied. However, as millennials enter the workforce and the modern workplace has changed, with it the wants and needs of the modern worker has changed too.
Employees want to feel valued and they want to feel challenged in their work. It’s important to review your employee retention strategies at least once a year. Employers need to stay current on market salaries and ensure best practices in developing a positive workplace culture. Doing so, keeps morale high and turnover low which helps to guarantee your company’s success. Here are seven effective ways in which companies can retain staff.
Be open at onboarding
When new employees start in any company, it is critical that they feel supported from day one. Job orienteering is just one component of onboarding. New staff need to not only learn about the job but also about the company culture. Inform them how they can help the business thrive and contribute in line with the company’s vision and values. Explore your employees’ goals and help develop a culture of intrapreneurship. In being open with employees from the outset, new team members will gain a sense of trust and transparency which will, in turn, lead to a more productive and confident start.
Perks and benefits
They say that money talks, but not everyone is solely motivated by financial incentives. According to a Glassdoor employment survey, 4 in 5 employees would actually prefer other benefits such as workplace wellness, flexible working hours, workspace comfort, healthcare or pension contributions and employee perks, over a pay increase. If you do offer pension and healthcare entitlements, make sure that all staff are up to date and have a full understanding of all the benefits they receive as your employee. Whether you offer a hot-desking system, flexible time or lieu hours or corporate incentives, it’s important to set some time aside during onboarding to ensure new staff are aware of what exactly is available to them from the start.
In order for staff to feel motivated and valued, they must feel that their input into any piece of work or company is making an impact. Consider setting up a continuous improvement scheme. The idea behind it is that every member of staff must put in a minimum of one continuous improvement suggestion per year. Continuous improvement is a bottom-up approach and it increases staff morale, promotes a work culture that accepts new ideas and importantly motivates your staff.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated. In order for employees to feel engaged, they need to be recognised, and when they are they perform better. From sending a simple thank you card to rewarding a team with a half-day for an innovative idea, recognising your staff and rewarding them will have an incomparable impact on staff morale. Showing your employees you appreciate them can be done on a very small budget or with simple, sincere gestures.
Encourage work-life balance
As companies become more global with many of today’s workforce working across different times zones, the demand on staff to “always be on” can increase work stress, eventually reducing morale and leading to burn out. Additionally, all of today’s communications technology and social media is blurring the boundaries between work and home, which in the long term, it may lead to conflict and an inability to be fully switched-off.
Employers should strive to not contact their staff where possible outside of work hours. Where this isn’t possible, it’s important to acknowledge that you are eating into their time and perhaps offer that time back or offer a small token of appreciation for their time. Always encourage staff to take their holiday and annual leave days and, which the increase in workplace flexibility, consider allowing employees the option to occasionally work from home.
Celebrate the small things (and the big ones too!)
It can be so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and miss celebrating the small things. However, no matter how busy you might feel, it’s so important to take time to celebrate employee milestones. Whether it’s an employee birthday, baby, wedding or holiday celebration, or a professional win such as a team hitting their quarterly targets, its extremely worthwhile engaging staff and remembering to celebrate both personal and professional milestones.
Conduct a “stay” interview
Often companies conduct exit interviews when an employee has decided to leave an organisation however, often the feedback from interviews such as these is a little too late. As part of your quarterly or annual review, why not ask employees or members of your team why they have stayed in the company. As retention is always easier than recruitment, in conducting a stay interview and asking employees what they like about working in the company, employers can discover what motivates someone to stay and how the company can enhance and reinforce it, hopefully resulting in effective employee retention.