If there’s one complaint I hear more than any other from business owners, it’s that they go through employees too often. They start the hiring process, find what appears to be a qualified team member, and bring them on only to have that person leave within a short period. If you’re building an organization where you’re trying to grow, having continuity and regularity within your team is vital. Therefore, you need to jam up that revolving door. Give people multiple reasons to stay with your company using these employee retention ideas.
I’ve seen clients who are constantly having to hire somebody new. Either they don’t pay people enough, or they treat their team members poorly. Their culture is just awful. They don’t respect others or delegate properly. They don’t trust or train. Yet, you can be different. You can retain employees (almost) forever by following these simple steps:
Let employees know what you expect of them and what they can expect from you. Constantly changing expectations can create undue stress on employees.
The second thing you have to do if you’re going to retain your employees is to respect them. Everyone wants to feel respected and appreciated. However, respect doesn’t mean you have to yield to outrageous demands or insubordination. Respect means valuing team members’ advice even if it sounds silly or unrealistic to you. It means taking the time to talk through conflicts and issues.
The third thing you can do is you can create responsibility. Like we talked about in the last article, show your team members you trust them by giving them responsibilities that allow them to grow and gain new skills. Help them reach the next rung on your company’s ladder.
Another way you can retain employees is to provide quality management supervision. People leave companies because of managers, supervisors, business owners, and others in charge, not because of their peers. Go back to the first point and lay out your expectations clearly. Have your managers mentor team members, and let aspiring team members shadow managers.
If you constantly berate team members about doing their jobs poorly, but you never provide any other feedback, then you will lose all of your employees. Therefore, hold quarterly or semi-annual reviews where you give positive feedback about what team members are doing right. Then, transition into what they can do better. But remember, coach them. Don’t just tell them what they’re doing right or wrong. Give examples and then help them develop plans to increase or improve performance.
I realize that life happens to everybody, but as a business owner, you should keep your scheduled meetings, especially the ones where you’re providing feedback to employees. Show them that their work matters to you. Actually, show them that they matter to you. Don’t schedule meetings you can’t keep with employees. It’s demoralizing.
If you’re trying to retain your employees, you should also provide them with opportunities for advancement within your company. Don’t give them reasons to look to your competitors for more money, better titles, or greater opportunities.
Additionally, if you’re going to ask employees to do a job, then you need to provide them with the needed tools. This can be video tutorials, manuals, mentors, or coaches. But don’t just give them the tools; show them how to use them if necessary.
A great way you can help keep your employees happy is through revenue sharing. Tie part of your team members’ wages to your company’s performance or incorporate a bonus structure that motivates employees to reach organizational and team goals.
I realize how crazy and simple this sounds, but don’t forget to show your team members appreciation. It works. You want to reward your team members by speaking well of them, by complimenting them, by giving them increased compensation, or by doing other small things to make them feel appreciated. All team members are making sacrifices to be at work, so show them you appreciate what they do for your business.
One of the ways you can show appreciation is by giving team members needed time off. Sure, you probably have a set number of sick days or personal days, but go beyond that if necessary. Give them bereavement days, mental health days, or recoup days periodically if they need them. Be as fair with days off as possible without putting your business in financial jeopardy.
Finally, if you have had limited results with those other options for retaining in your organization, then this may. I call it “golden handcuffs.” Similarly, if you want employees to stay, pay for their health insurance or provide other invaluable benefits to them and their families. Make it difficult for them to find anything better by providing the best yourself. Be forewarned, this option can put monetary risk to things. For example, if you offer a 401(k), add vesting to it. Make sure employees stay with you a certain amount of time before they can access their benefits. Or have team members sign non-compete or non-solicit agreements.
RELATED READING: Employee Incentive Programs – Which are the Best Fit Your Business?
I hope this gives you some great ideas about how to retain your employees. The bottom line is it’s you. You’re the owner. You’re the one setting the values, culture, expectations, and supervision. Therefore, make your employees’ experiences happy. Make your organization a safe place for them.
Don’t miss our next article: Employee Performance: Clearly Setting Expectations for Team Success
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