Fiscal and strategic planning cycles for 2021 are underway. One of the most key areas to consider in long-term planning is employee retention. Your staff is the heart and soul of your organization. How can you retain talent and encourage growth that will enable your institutional success for the future? We have three suggestions:
Evaluate your on-boarding. The first 60 days set the tone for the rest of employees’ time with an organization. This is your chance to explain your institution’s vision and values and for the employees to set good habits. Your onboarding should convey your organizational culture, connect the employees with other members of the organization, and give them the tools they need to succeed in the years ahead—including where they can turn for help when they need it.
Communicate your culture. Employees want to be a part of a mission they believe in. Empower your employees to be connected to your vision through communicating it consistently and effectively. Do they hear from the president regularly? Do supervisors and managers throughout your institution understand and articulate your values? Do your employees have routine times to connect with other employees outside of normal work duties, such as group volunteer days and employee celebrations?
Consider your incentives. You must effectively reward employees if you want to retain them. This includes not only pay and traditional benefits, but employee recognition and fringe benefits. Many employee incentives are static and don’t reflect what employees currently want. Flexible scheduling, education benefits such as student-loan repayment, and family-leave policies are increasingly popular for employees and are particularly valued by younger employees. Likewise, having a positive employee-recognition program encourages the employees who are going above and beyond and sets a positive example for all employees to aspire to.