In my previous article about employer branding, I promised that I will talk about a great part of branding, which is employee retention, how an organization keeps its employees.
Whenever I hear the word retention, I think of fishermen standing at the edge of their boat, and throwing a net to catch fish; water surely won’t remain, even if the net becomes wet, secondly small fish may momentarily get caught between the threads, but will eventually fall out, then there are the big fish who will have a hard time wiggling out, and finally huge fish pulling the net and the boat towards the direction they please.
Same goes for employees, if a company’s main target is to simply catch fish without considering how to keep them, there is a great chance there will be a high amount of turnover.
A high turnover rate can greatly affect your company, as the total cost of replacing employees can reach as high as 200% of an employee’s annual salary! The cost ranges between new employee training, the headhunter or recruiter’s salary, decrease in performance, lost sales and profit, and beginners’ mistakes; even if the employee is experienced… etc.
Here are ten simple steps to increase retention:
- Be selective: It all starts with hiring your employees, gather data on what kind of employees you are looking for, as well as data on potential candidates, then put them through a detailed interviewing process.
- The welcoming: During the first few months of employment is when around 90% of employees decide whether or not they will stay, this is the perfect time to introduce them to your culture, which in turn lessens new hire turnover, if they don’t believe in your message and culture, chances are they won’t go on.
- Insist on their importance: from the least appreciated job to the most, it’s essential to show your employees that their role matters.
- Get in tune with your employees needs and motives: This could be done with employee surveys, in which you target employees’ problems before they become something bigger. You must also be aware of different motivation strategies among generations, what motivates the younger millennials and the gen-z generation vs. what motivates the gen-x generation and baby boomers, managers should know how to balance this.
- Managers and executives training: Experience surely makes for a great manager, but it doesn’t necessarily make a leader, this skill could be acquired by training, which could be helpful in times of change and to aid employees with their problems, a good leader can be a reason for an employee’s stay, and like we discussed above, they should be trained on how to motivate different generations of employees.
- Set a path: Let your employees know that there is opportunity for growth, on professional and personal levels, you could even help your unsure employees find their path with surveys, discussions and freedom of expression, after that you should customize opportunities to meet their needs.
- Pay them well: When I say pay them well, I don’t just mean money, which isn’t as big of a factor in employee retention as we believe, but I mean that actions which get rewarded get repeated, make sure they know that they are doing their job, not just a great job, but when they perform tasks asked of them, give them a pat on the back.
- Conduct stay interviews: They say that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, stay interviews is the best way to ensure your employees’ eyes aren’t on other jobs, you should talk about their concerns and dreams,
- Treat your employees humanely:
- View each and every one as an individual with hopes, desires and a life to live, set priority to their work-life balance, as well as have a nice friendly relationship with them, try and remember details about their personal lives which they could’ve shared, ask them about the cousin who had exams or the leaking faucet in their house, this earns you bonus points.
- Create a proper work environment; make sure the office furniture, ambience and lighting is comfortable and welcoming.
- Conduct exit interviews: The opposite of stay interviews, those take place when the employee is leaving the company, this puts focus on reasons employees leave their positions, also the reasons they enjoyed working for your company, by asking the correct questions and getting honest responses, you will know what to avoid and what to improve.
I would like to conclude by saying how normal employee turnover is, it is actually inevitable in some jobs, like call centers; which people consider a stepping stone to something else or a short-term job.