In today’s labor economy there is a fast turn over of talent. How can you combat this and keep your high performing employees for longer?
We reached out to industry leaders to get their take on how to keep your employees for longer, here is what they had to say.
#1 Communication is the key to effective engagement
Most businesses are in a state of transformation or on a journey of change. And the fact is, most people hate change. But most likely, you'll want your people (or most of them) to help drive your change journey forward and get your business to where it needs to be. Communication is the critical and decisive lever of business change, human fulfillment and commercial performance. Get this right and more or less everything else works out. People at work want to understand where we're going, why change is happening and what's expected of them as a result. The more open, honest and consistent you can be, the more likely you are to retain your top talent and motivate them to play a role in making your business perform better.
Contributors: Nicole Dorskind from ThirtyThree
#2 Coaching and Mentoring
Providing employees with all levels of coaching and mentoring from internal and external experts can provide high-quality, meaningful experiences. It drives retention. Why? It's an incentive and benefit that helps individuals prepare for their futures, building ties to their employers at the same time. New roles and responsibilities emerge every day, and technology and innovative solutions threaten traditional models.
Coaches and mentors help employees and leaders both navigate changes, gain new insights, and work through threats and opportunities. All are advantages to the employees - a reason to stay with an organization. At the same time, the employer wins, retaining leaders and high potential employees who understand this investment in them. They experience opportunities to help them succeed today and prepare for the next steps in their jobs or careers.
Contributors: Mike Harris from Patina Solutions
#3 Only hiring in Win-Win situations
The easiest employees to retain are those who feel fulfilled and balanced in their role and perceive their job as meaningfully contributing to their long-term career. Creating this situation for employees is less about catering to employees needs and more about finding the right candidates to hire. Traditional hiring approaches focus on confirming the abilities of the candidate to successfully execute the responsibilities of the role. While this is obviously fundamentally important, it only represents half of the equation.
Employers who want to retain employees need to also concern themselves with meeting the needs and supporting the aspirations of employees. Hiring somebody who can do the job but is not fulfilled by the job is a recipe for turnover but hiring somebody who can do the job AND is fulfilled by the job is a win-win and invites both high performance and loyalty to the employer.
Contributors: Mike Cox from Cox Innovations
#4 Slower is Faster with People
"Slower is faster with people". This advice was given to me after I rushed a conversation with an employee and missed an opportunity to teach and connect. As a businessman, I’m generally in a hurry, because I’ve got a lot to accomplish, so I got on the phone, asked the question, and then hung up super fast. After I hang up, a mentor of mine held me accountable and illustrates to me the damage that I had just done to the connection that I was trying to build with that employee, and then he said, “Nick, slower is faster with people.” It took a few days for it to all sink in, but once it did, the POWER that came from following the advice was incredible!
If you want to retain your employees, all you need to do is build a connection with them. That connection is going to come from listening to them, and going at their speed. Then you can invest in them with teaching and training that will be customized for them because you know who they are!
Contributors: Nick Glassett from Origin Leadership Group
I totally agree with this. Very well written.
#5 Invest in your employees’ development
Investing in training, education and personal development is crucial for the long-term retention of employees. The majority of the time, you're not going to find someone who fits your spec to a tee, so you need to be willing to invest in your people to get them where you need them to be. If you no longer have easy access to a particular skill set, your first port of call should be to look inwards to your team, and ask yourself; what can I do to build that skill set from within my current workforce?
Appealing to new employees, and keeping your current employees' happy means engaging with them, understanding what you can do to make their lives better and in turn, make them more productive. This might mean embracing emerging working practices such as flexible or remote working, having a proper structure and plan in place for advancement, or offering a reward or bonus system to ensure your employees feel appreciated.
Contributors: James McDonagh from Nigel Frank International
#6 Change Up Your Employees’ Tasks Often
Employees can get bored and tired of the same old work tasks. They may wind up not finding the job exciting or interesting anymore and possibly be on the verge of resigning. To keep your employees, change up their work tasks every once in a while whether it be a new project or collaborating with others.
Contributors: Holly Zink from The Powerline Group
#7 Freedom and Trust
An underrated way to keep employees for longer is to give them more freedom and trust that they can use in their everyday lives. This includes not micromanaging or pestering them with updates multiple times a day. It also includes giving them more autonomy over their own time including working from home days and being flexible when they request it.
Contributors: Stacy Caprio from Conversiono
#8 Dig deep and hire intelligently
One of my Michelin chef friends distilled the big wine and food company’s essence into 8 words: printed them on paper and that’s what he hands potential employees to tell him what those words mean to them. This dictates exactly where their best fit is, and if they are suitable in every way for the company. And it forces the interviewer to really listen, and look at the person in front of them. He also printed those words and pasted them - blown up into a huge font - on the back kitchen wall.
Contributors: Chris Matheson Green from Off the Hotplate
#9 Recognise achievements
Take note of those who stay late, go the extra mile, take a few sick days and always offer to help and take on more work. Behind the scenes, they are usually the ones holding it together and do more than you would realize.
Contributors: Gina Hutchings from The Treatment Tester
#10 Give them a 10-20% raise every two years
The average pay raise in America is 3% while the average pay bump a person gets when changing positions is 10-20%. Exceptional performers will never stay if they only receive the Finance-approved standard raise, so you have to find ways around this economic reality as a manager. The easiest way to justify a 10-20% raise is through a title change, so be sure to understand the career progressions for your employees. Your HR team will deny your 10% salary increase for their current role, but will often approve 20% as a part of a merit-based promotion.
Contributors: Josh Braaten from Brandish Insights
#11 Bi-weekly Face to Face Meetings
My tips for retaining employees is to ensure managers have biweekly 1:1 meetings with their direct reports. Each quarter a career development discussion should occur whereby learning and development goals are set and progress made reviewed. Often employees focus only on senior-level leaders as well as high potentials. All employees should have development plans. Leaders are failing their people if they don't partner with their people on their development.
Contributors: Susan Power from Power HR Inc.
#12 Keep Them Happy
You are much more likely to retain your employees if they are happy in their jobs. Even if they receive better offers from other companies, they will feel they have a lot to lose if they leave a company they are happy at, so they will be less likely to resign. Of course, there are a lot of factors that contribute to an employee’s overall happiness. As well as a fair salary and a valuable benefits package, employees also need a comfortable working space and a happy working environment.
In general, to retain employees, you should create a happy company culture. Create a relaxed, social atmosphere for your employees to work in to reduce stress levels and keep staff happy. As well as this, you will need to recognize their milestones and achievements so that they feel valued. Organise social events for employees that are tailored to their preferences. Don’t take staff go-karting if they’d prefer to just watch a film with a few beers and relax. Treat them to lunch occasionally, too. There really is no single secret rule to help to keep all of your employees happy, but all of these things together will certainly help.
Contributors: Steve Pritchard from ASPLI
#13 Invest in Strengths
Everyone has natural talents – you, your best employee, and your worst employee. The best teams invest in strengths. Know your own strengths and don’t worry about being the best at everything. That’s not a real thing and it keeps you from excelling. The same is true for your staff. There are many strengths-based programs and ideologies you can look to these days.
I’ve found tremendous success using the Clifton StrengthsFinder from Gallup with my staff, so much so, that I am now a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and started my own coaching and consulting business. Employees who get to use their strengths every day look forward to going to work, are more positive toward coworkers, treat customers better, are more creative, are more productive, and more likely to stay in their job.
Contributors: Anne Brackett from Strengths University
#14 Assistance Program
Provide your employees with solutions to problems that they are facing not just inside the workplace, but in their personal lives. Helping them tackle debt like student loans or credit cards can build incredible loyalty with them. A lot of companies are even starting to offer free or discounted financial coaching to their employees and even others are offering student loan reimbursement benefits.
Contributors: Stephen Newland from Find Your Money Path
#15 Hiring for Cultural Fit
An employee that will last is one that fits in and relates to the culture and goals, which means holding on to employees begins as early as the hiring process. Make sure you understand your company culture, so you can properly relay it to candidates, and make sure you ask the kind of questions that give insight into whether or not a candidate will be a good fit. Give applicants a feel for your company culture by including your values and/or focus statement in the job description. If the applicants can see the kind of company and employee spirit you are looking for, they'll know from the get-go if they'll be a good fit. When interviewing, I like to have candidates speak with other employees of the company, even some outside of their department. Their general rapport with other employees is a clue to their long-term success with the company.
Contributors: Jason Zickerman from The Alternative Board
#16 Creating a positive company culture
Regardless of a competitive salary, if the culture seems stiff and tense, it's probably not going to be a good fit for many candidates or a long-term career for current employees. Employees appreciate when their employer offers special perks like occasional catered lunches, a work from home day, or an investment in your health with a subsidized gym membership or sponsored workout classes. These types of small investments make employees feel valued and happy to come to work each day, and thus will help to retain talent.
Contributors: Jill Caponera from Codes
#17 Offer Robust Health Insurance Benefits
According to a recent survey, 60% of small businesses offer health insurance coverage to hire and retain the best workers. For good reason. Research shows that 56% of employees indicate coverage remains a key factor in their choice to stay at their current job. Health insurance benefits can also help small businesses compete for top talent with larger employers while also lowering hiring costs associated with turnover. Access to high-quality health benefits can also play an important role in keeping employees healthy and reducing their time away from work.
Contributors: Anthony Lopez from eHealth
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