Today, so much attention is placed on hiring: how do you attract young talent to your organization? What does your employer brand look like, and how do you refine it? What is the candidate experience? But hiring top talent isn’t much of an achievement if you can’t keep them around. Employee retention and churn rates should be receiving just as much of your time as search and recruitment.
Employee turnover is costly, and not just to the company’s bottom line. Studies by the Society for Human Resource Management suggest that replacing an employee could cost as much as 50-60% of their annual salary, which includes not only the obvious spends like accrued PTO and hiring, but also loss of productivity, loyal clients, and position-specific knowledge. Losing a valued employee can also harm morale, disrupt your company’s culture, and plant the seed of leaving for other people in your organization.
Your employees are among the most, if not the most crucial asset in your organization, and with top talent in such high demand, if you’re not keeping your employees happy, your competitors are just waiting to step in and give it a go. Here are six strategies for engaging employees so that they’ll want to stick around.
1. Consider Culture
Creating and maintaining the right culture for your organization is essential. When you strike the right balance between your employees’ needs and the business’s goals, it’s that much easier to achieve a happy, productive workplace. That’s why it’s so important to find employees that identify with your culture: when employees feel a secure connection, they are less likely to leave.
Hiring employees that don't mesh well with the existing the company culture has repercussions, and they can manifest in many ways. Your new hires may take longer to train, struggle to mesh with their teammates, and produce lower-quality work. For existing employees, a disruption to the culture could mean decreased job satisfaction and even perhaps a toxic environment, slowing productivity to a halt. Taking care to recruit good-fit candidates and investing the resources into maintaining your company’s culture can help you ensure that your best performers stay satisfied.
2. Avoid Micromanaging
If you have ever been micromanaged, you know it's hard to be productive. The constant feeling of someone looking over your shoulder can cause frustration and anxiety, breeding resentment the longer it goes on.
If you notice yourself or other managers checking in on your employees constantly throughout the day, try loosening the reins. By taking a step back and letting employees take on new projects, you're encouraging their professional growth. Allowing your workers to take a few risks is beneficial for both the employee and the organization--you get a fresh perspective on achieving business goals, and they get a broader pool of experience to use in their position.
3. Offer Training
When employees feel they have reached the limit of what an organization can offer them, boredom and a lackluster work ethic set in. Even worse, they may think their career is going stagnant. People, especially young people, want to continue learning, and investing in the continuous development of your employees will help your organization flourish. This also a way you can show your employees you care about their professional growth.
4. Be Transparent
Being transparent with your employees is essential for mutual trust. Without transparency, employees may feel insecure about their stake in the organization. Be sure to share relevant insights that help employees understand the direction of the company is going. Having this level of openness has been shown to increase retention with employees dramatically.
5. Hire the Right People
In order to retain your talent, you need to hire them first. When hiring, you should always keep an eye out for people who are willing to grow with your company. Many organizations have adopted hiring assessments during their recruitment process to see if potential employees are a good match for the culture, but there are also a few quick methods that can help. For example, look past their work experience to the time they spent at each position. Did they spend a few years with one company, or have they hopped from one to another? The skills might be there, but if you don’t have evidence of loyalty, your company may end up as just another entry on their resume.
6. Be More Flexible
Having a flexible mindset is a simple idea with a significant impact on retention. Keep in mind that your employees have lives outside of work. They may not be willing to answer clients call after hours, or their long commute could be cutting into their family time. If you’re willing to listen to your employees and be considerate of their time, they’re more likely to offer the same care to the work they do. People put value in being heard and understood, and making small compromises can go a long way towards retaining your employees.
What is a business without its people? An empty building. Employees are the lifeblood of an organization, and failing to address their feelings and needs can negatively impact the organization at all levels. So when you’re looking to improve your people strategy, monitoring employee turnover and making changes to improve retention is just as important as hiring smart to achieve modern business success.