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Employee Retention should not be your Last Resort

All businesses depend on their employees to achieve goals and deadlines. Any business cannot operate with just one person running the show. Employees are the drivers and stabilizers of the company. Without them, there is no company!!

What is Employee Retention?

Retaining your key employees or top performers is essential for the long-term health and success of your organization. Everyone knows that keeping your employees is the most important aspect of your business, yet year after year, employees come and go. You helplessly look on as people work, perform and leave. What seems to be the problem?

Employees have cited that these are the top 3 reasons as to why people move:

  1. 53% desire better compensation and benefits for their efforts

  2. 35% found the role they are in does not offer career development or potential to grow.

  3. 32% want to try something new and are ready for a new experience in their career.

You may think, some of these reasons are too difficult to manage for each employee. As well some organisations are OK with a certain level of staff turnover as it enables fresh talent to be hired. However everyone would acknowledge that high staff turnover is not a sign of a healthy organisation. Hence why staff retention is important.

What can we do?

There are many articles and information out there instructing organizations and managers on how to retain their best and key employees. The focus will be on the initial induction of the employee and how you portray the company culture to him/her.

  • Prior to the individual joining the organization, ensure they have the right skillsets and the right attitude. The use of behavioural tests and competency examinations are more and more common. Though the recruitment process will be longer, it will benefit in the long term when the employee is retained.

  • Provide opportunities and demonstrate respect to the employee. Everyone has an opinion and their own method of performing their role. You never know if someone might offer you an operational improvement or suggestion that could be revolutionary. Give your employees the chance to speak and speak their minds on certain matters. If you are too busy, organize a time for a meeting but don’t block them out!

  • Allow for flexible working hours when there is a need. The individual will be happier and efficient if they can attend to personal matters. The bonus to doing so, reveals you have a caring attitude.

  • Mentorship and ongoing training is very important. It’s a key plank in the ongoing development of the person. Otherwise employees run the risk of becoming stale in their job.

  • Celebrate your employees’ success or achievements. It could be as little as an announcement to the team that this individual has done something extraordinary. If you want to, creating an award to signify their success isn’t too much either!

  • Communication of the organization’s objectives enables employees to buy into the company’s goals and work together to achieve the target. People like to know what they do has value in achieving the bigger picture.

  • Remuneration can be tricky for some organisations. It’s important that you reward staff in line or if possible, above market rates. Having said that, there are examples of organisations that pay below market rates, yet have high staff retention. So it’s not always about the money. However, to increase staff retention, it’s important to pay a person what the job is worth in the market.

Take Home Message:

To successfully retain your employees, it does not start when you hear about the employee is looking to leave your organization. Retaining your employee starts as soon as they become a part of the organization. Pay them what the job is worth, communicate, recognise great performance, coach, train and develop, guide them to be a part of the team and care about them. A happy and engaged employee means a productive employee. If you show you care, they will care about the company too.

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