There are many ways to keep employees around. The key to employee retention is to create an environment that any reasonable employee will enjoy being a part of. Not every job is glamorous, and many times people do not enjoy what they do. Creating a happy working environment and having great managers by following the below steps will make things much better!
- Track your retention levels
There is no way to effectively manage the retention level in your organization if you do not track it. The most common goal for employee retention is around 90%, but the reality is every field and organization is different. The caliber of your staff that are leaving and the critical positions they are vacating might be crippling to your organization even if the number is higher than 90%. Additionally, a little turnover is a good thing; fresh ideas, fresh perspective, fresh attitude, and the motivation of a new employee can be a great boost to the team!
Culture is what you make of it. You can deliberately determine culture, or you can let the culture grow on its own developing into whatever it happens to become. Most managers do not take an active role in culture, and that is why many organizations have a poor or negative culture. The first step to changing the culture is to decide what culture you want. Write it down! Print it on paper and tape it to your desk or in another area that is visible and read it often. These parts of the culture you write down will need to guide your decision making. If you are making policy and decisions, you should ask if your decisions and policies are in line with the culture you are trying to create. If not, you need to change the decisions or the cultural goals.
- Invest in your Employees
Investing in your employees is usually seen as providing them education or training that helps the organization. And if you can align a person’s wishes or passion and your organization’s goals, then you have the winning formula. But in many cases, you will have a box packer that wants to be a nurse. Or a concrete finisher that seeks to be a CPA. So, in this case giving them training in the field they are currently in, will only get you a marginal improvement. If you can make it happen, the best thing to do would be to provide aid for your box packer to go to nursing school. Or give them a week of paid time-off so they can spend some time with a real nurse to see if it is something they want to do. If you can help your employees realize their dreams, good things will always come back to the organization. And it is the best thing to do. Who knows, maybe you can bring him/her back after nursing school to create an on-site nurse position/department.
Recognition is one of the easiest things to do, but one of the most neglected. A formal recognition program is mandatory. If your company does not have one, then create one. But outside of the formal program, you need to pay attention to the opportunities presented to recognize high-quality performers. Add a reminder to your phone on a weekly basis to get out from behind your computer or whatever you are doing and find people doing good things. Leaders seek out opportunities to thank their people and encourage positive behavior.
This is another thing that is easy but often neglected. Informal feedback is super easy and very powerful. Formal feedback can be detached and robotic if not done properly. The key is to have clear examples of the behavior the person displays and use these models to eliminate negative behaviors and reinforce positive behaviors.
- Quality evaluations that strengthen the all of the above initiatives
Lastly, build or rework the evaluation system of your organization. Take the time to review what your evaluations value. What message do they send? They need to incorporate the new culture, initiatives and measure the performance of your people against the critical standards.