Eight steps to boost employee retention
Try these tips for promoting employee satisfaction and a positive work culture.
Employee turnover can be a significant problem for any business. High turnover rates can result in lost productivity and additional expenses related to recruiting, hiring, and training replacement employees. You can help boost the retention of skilled employees at your business by following these eight steps:
1. Hire smart.
Taking the time to carefully draft job descriptions, recruit candidates, and interview thoroughly will pay off. These measures will help to identify the potential employees who are the best fit for the position and the unique culture of your business.
2. Offer a fair and competitive compensation package.
Before making an offer, research and learn the salary norms for the position, your industry, and your area of the country. When you are ready to hire, to the greatest extent you can, offer an attractive benefits program — this can include items such as medical insurance, a 401(k) or other retirement savings plan, or even perks such as subsidized health club memberships.
3. Mentor employees and offer regular feedback.
Help employees set goals for both their role in the company and their overall career, and provide support to help them achieve those goals. Your efforts can include providing formal training as well as providing opportunities for membership in professional organizations or attendance at industry seminars. In addition, offer regular performance feedback throughout the year instead of waiting to give a formal year-end review. This gives employees the opportunity to address issues in a timely manner, correct any deficiencies, and reduces the likelihood that employees will be surprised or become upset at review time.
4. Acknowledge employee achievements.
Acknowledge employee achievements and contributions that exceed regular job performance. This can be done through regular, formal programs (such as "Employee of the Month"), or on an informal basis. Communicate an employee's outstanding performance to the rest of the team, and consider offering an award or prize that is suitable and appropriate for the occasion.
5. Promote work/life balance.
Promote work/life balance by providing flexible work hours or even providing employees in some positions the ability to work from home. As you structure your paid time off policy, be sure to allot discretionary time that employees can use to manage personal issues.
6. Provide leadership opportunities.
When possible, providing leadership opportunities can be an excellent way to motivate employees. Such opportunities give employees the chance to take ownership of projects and to become engaged at higher, strategic levels.
7. Conduct employee surveys.
Solicit feedback from employees through employee attitude surveys, where employees can give confidential feedback on their opinions of job satisfaction and how the work environment might be improved. To help foster a relationship of integrity and trust among employees, the results of the survey should be communicated effectively and acted upon in a timely manner.
8. Foster teamwork.
Encouraging teamwork can boost employee morale and provide a positive work atmosphere. Employers can engage in formal team-building training at work, or they can coordinate outside opportunities for team-building, such as a company softball league or other recreational outings.
Implementing one or more of these measures demonstrates your commitment to making employee retention a priority, and will eventually yield results in the form of a more engaged, satisfied, and loyal workforce.
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