Many businesses face employee retention problems, especially since job-hopping has become a trend with the younger working force. But employee turnover can be incredibly damaging for a company, with a single employee turnover costing the company between 50% and 150% of that employee’s yearly salary. If just one employee threatens to accrue such an expense for a company, hypothetically consider how costly half a dozen employees leaving the workplace in one year would be.
So what’s to be done about this retention crisis? What are some ways in which employers can put in just a little extra effort to make sure they not only retain their employees, but ensure employees remain content and motivated in the workplace?
Let’s dive into proven ways that businesses can prioritize employee retention in the workplace.
From step one, hire the right people
Retention begins at the start of the recruitment process. If the candidate’s five-year plan ends with them pursuing an entirely separate industry, they aren’t likely to stay very long at a company serving unrelated needs. Taking the time to find and properly onboard the right people will save you and your HR department a lot of money and time in the future.
And don’t be afraid to let employees go. This need not be a personal thing, but rather a move for the betterment of the company. Some people simply do not fit into the culture of the company itself, a rift that can cause much dissent and anxiety in a working environment. This may lead to some of your best employees choosing to leave if the environment becomes toxic. If you take the time to understand who really backs the mission of your business, and which employees are at continual odds with that mission, you can create a healthier, happier working environment for everyone.
Maintain considerable flexibility
Few people flourish under an iron fist. As greater emphasis on work/life balance characterizes our culture, it’s important to understand the need people have for their employers to be understanding. Perhaps you have a single mother working for you, who needs to adjust her hours in order to accommodate her children’s respective schedules. Or perhaps you have an individual taking master’s classes once a week, who requests to adjust his or her schedule one day a week in order to be on time for their class. Be considerate of these needs; just as your personal life is important, so, too, are those of your employees.
Maintain room for growth
When a job becomes stagnant, employees grow bored; when they get bored, their work performance can decrease, or they might leave the job entirely in search of one with greater potential for growth. It’s important for retention to give your employees opportunities to flourish and advance. Perhaps this means presenting new responsibilities in their current job, giving them a sense of ownership. Perhaps it’s a promotion, if they’ve proven themselves as valuable, knowledgeable employees. By giving employees goals to work toward, you can improve retention by keeping everyone motivated in their pursuit of new achievements.
Recognize achievements and compensate accordingly
When someone finishes a project early, exceeds your expectations on a report or leads a meeting flawlessly, recognize the moment and the accomplishment. Praise and encouragement go a long way in employee retention, because people not only feel recognized, they also need to know that their hard work has been appreciated. Additionally, grow with your employees – when they’ve proven themselves valuable to the company for a long period of time, don’t take advantage of it. Compensate demonstrated loyalty with benefits – perhaps with a pay raise or whatever form of gratitude it may be – which coincides with their hard work.
Make sure you consider an EAP
An EAP, or employee assistance program, provides 24-hour confidential services to employees in the workplace. When the challenges of one’s personal life could benefit from attention – whether that means help in managing personal finances, treatment for substance use challenges or therapy for relationship issues – an EAP can provide support to employees in a way which keeps them from giving up on their work, providing strength to persevere and to thrive.
At Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP, we understand exactly how important your employees are to the future of your business. If you’re ready for help in supporting your company’s most important asset – its employees – we’re ready to help. Call 1-800-543-5080 today, or reach out online to take steps toward fostering a positive, productive, motivated work environment.
Employees need to know they’re more than worker bees. Take the time to check in on them, ask what you can do for them and appropriately recognize or compensate them for their work or years of service. By taking the time to provide employees with the day-to-day support they need, you can save your company time (and money) in the long run.