We wrote last month about the high cost of hiring a new employee. The best way to avoid that significant expense is to keep the employees you have—and keep them happy. Far too often a focus on gaining customers means employers neglect investing in our most valuable resources: the employees that make our mission possible. Here are five ways to improve employee retention:
Provide growth opportunities. If there is no upward mobility at your company, your organization will become a training ground for other companies who reap the benefits of the employees you’ve developed. Growth opportunities should not just include promotions, but also skill-development so employees see they are maturing in their abilities as well as titles.
Offer flexible work options. Not being locked into a 9–5 is a key value of Millennials. Allowing flexible work options is also vital for keeping talented women in your workforce as they navigate balancing family obligations with career aspirations.
Conduct stay interviews. The Wall Street Journal points out that it is regular practice to conduct exit interviews as employees leave a company, discovering what worked and what didn’t, but we rarely stop to ask those questions to active employees. Make a segment of an employee's annual review an avenue for exploring what’s best in their position and what can be improved to allow them to succeed.
Communicate early, communicate often. Keeping the lines of communication open will short-circuit myriad problems. When leadership makes decisions and actions without letting employees know it makes employees feel as if they are an afterthought rather than an integral part of the mission. Conversely, including employees casts vision and promotes ownership.
Address problems. One of the top reasons for employees leaving is poor managers. When you allow ineffective—or even incompetent—supervisors you are affecting the morale and longevity of those who report to them. Work with the underperforming (or micromanaging) supervisor to improve their practices
How does your company measure up? What have been your biggest set-backs and improvements in employee retention? Join us on social media to share.