How to Retain Employees, Part I
Many employers think they can keep their workforce happy simply by rewarding them financially (i.e. salary). While compensation is important, studies find that it is not the number one reason employees will stay with your company. There are many ways to ensure employees don’t want to leave your company.
Some studies are finding that recognition is the most important component of employee happiness. Recognition is a powerful form of feedback and there are various ways to hand it out. Recognition is best when it comes from both peers and managers. Setting up a platform so that peers can acknowledge a job well done will help foster a social connection between staff, which also helps to retain employees (discussed more in depth later). Making feedback continuous and immediate is important. The happiest employees are the ones that have been recognized within the last month. Continuous feedback also sends the message that success and accomplishments are valuable to the company because they are always at the forefront and not ignored for 364 days of the year. If your company has a clear mission and acknowledges employees for upholding it, it gives them a great connection and purpose to their work. This makes job satisfaction soar.
Social Connection Between Co-Workers
It is quite simple – relationships among co-workers retain employees. Co-workers don’t need to be best friends. However, encouraging your office to be a place where people enjoy each others company is a must for a happy workplace. Management can help by providing an avenue for employees to get to know each other on professional and personal levels. One way to do this is to encourage communication and support between employees (hello, recognition?!?). Help make your employees “teammates” instead of “co-workers.” As a new employee is brought on board, help them get to know your staff and not feel like an outsider. You can increase social connections between employees without a lot of time or money spent, but that small investment can pay off big for your company.
Relationship with Management
Many of the above points relate to this area as well. As a boss or manager, if you are closed-off, uncommunicative, and not willing to spend time encouraging a positive relationship with your employees…why would they want to work for you? A positive relationship leads to an environment where people have a deeper connection to their job and employer. Again, this can be cost-free and take minimal time. Make it a point to know a bit about the lives of your employees and have a conversation that doesn’t involve work. Of course, there are some employees that will resist a relationship with the boss, it’s important to know who is working for you and get to know them in a way in which they are comfortable.
Keep in Touch with Employees
Communication, communication, communication! To know if your employees are happy, ASK THEM! Know how they feel about their workload, office space, and pending projects. Schedule formal reviews (annually, quarterly, or monthly – whatever makes sense for your company) and informal conversations. Have an honest dialogue, mean what you say and say what you mean. This will encourage staff to be honest with you as well. By having their voice heard they will feel they are an integral part of the team and a valued member of your organization. And guess what? This makes them want to stay with your company!
Please stay posted for part 2 of How to Retain Employees.