Four tips for improving employee retention


Onboarding an employee is expensive. Estimates tend to range into the thousands of dollars per employee.

If you’re rolling your eyes thinking “there’s no way our onboarding costs that much,” think again. The popular job site Glassdoor breaks down the numbers to demonstrate where those costs originate.

Glassdoor points out that, along with the obvious expenses, bringing on a new member of the staff comes with several quiet costs. Administrative time, deferred productivity, and early turnover rates all factor into the mix, making it easy for any company, big or small, to drop plenty of cash on a new hire.

As is the case with sales, retention is the better way to go here. With that in mind, here are a few retention tips to help you keep your employees committed and engaged for the foreseeable future.

1. START WITH THE CAUSE

My first word of warning is to avoid splashy solutions. Don’t band-aid over your problems with fancy perks. Instead, start your employee retention efforts by taking a serious look inward.

Remember, modern bosses aren’t giving as much direction. Instead, we’re taking direction from empowered employees and leaders within our organizations.

This requires active listening and empathy. By tuning into the needs of others, you can root out areas that might be undermining employee retention. A bad culture, an uninterested boss, feeling overworked or underpaid—there are plenty of reasons companies struggle with retention. Figuring out your particular areas of concern can help target your response.

2. FOCUS ON UNISON AND PERSPECTIVE

Before you start thinking about perks and bonuses, I want to challenge you to think about a more nuanced subject: camaraderie. It’s easy for employees to think the grass is greener on the other side if they aren’t on the same page as you.

You can address this through things like healthy communication. Taking personality tests and sharing the results is another fun and productive way to cultivate a sense of unity in your ranks.

This can, by extension, help improve your staff’s opinion of their employer, which can enhance loyalty and encourage engagement.

3. BRUSH UP ON YOUR PERKS AND BENEFITS

You knew I’d touch on this, right? Perks and benefits are a huge part of the practical element of employee retention. But I’m not just talking about a beer fridge or casual Fridays.

You need to get a pulse on what is challenging your employees. What do they need? What perks can help you strike a balance between their desires and the betterment of your brand?

The options span the gamut, from 401(k) matching to health insurance, family leave, employee appreciation day, flextime, and more.

The point is to fight the temptation to use outward influences to choose your perks. Instead, consider what will help your employees be more happy and productive. Then focus on those areas.

4. DON’T FIGHT REMOTE WORK

The one perk I’m going to address on its own is remote work. Due to the pandemic, remote work, work from home, and hybrid work options have become commonplace.

And let me tell you—resisting them is dangerous. If you have an obvious reason to insist on in-person work, like operating a retail storefront, I get it. Fighting remote work for tradition’s sake or simply for old-school, face-to-face camaraderie, though, can come across as restrictive.

Instead, look for ways to replace the camaraderie and creativity of in-person offices. Use things like Slack feeds, video meetings, and asynchronous brainstorming sessions to keep your team focused.

Whatever you do, don’t cut off remote work without cause—or your employees will find another employer that is offering it.

IMPROVING EMPLOYEE RETENTION

The world is facing an employment crisis. Workers are leaving their positions in record numbers. If you want to keep your best talent, you have to fight for it.

So start with that initial retention analysis. Where are you doing the right things? Where can your retention efforts use a leg up? Make sure to do this proactively so that you aren’t left scrambling after someone critical to your operation hands in their two-week notice.


Jason is a healthcare executive specializing in technology and risk management focusing on the senior housing and long-term care industry. 





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