“Creating a positive workplace begins with having a set of effective employee retention strategies.”
What is Employee Retention and why is it important?
Employee Retention, as the name implies refers to practices employed by the management of an organization to make employees stay with the organization for longer periods. Research says nearly one-third of new hires quit their jobs after about six months of joining. How do you build a successful company if your employees come and go in rapid succession?
When an employee decides to seek employment elsewhere, it costs roughly 20% of the employee’s salary to replace them. Moreover, constantly training new employees is a waste of resources. To maintain consistency, there is a vital need for effective employee retention strategies.
Retention Starts with Hiring
Right from the application process to screening resumes to selecting the ones for interviewing, you aren’t just recruiting but are sowing the seeds of your success and reputation. A good recruiting process focuses and aligns recruiters to deliver the best to the organization. Hiring the right person results in better quality service with better skills, lead to job satisfaction and creates an effective and motivated workforce. If you are recruiting with retention in mind, then note the following:
- A clear job description: A crystal clear picture of what employers want in an employee and what a candidate perceives of his job role must be presented in the job description, in a self-explanatory way.
- Emphasize professional development and learning: Candidates must be aware of learning opportunities and skill development in their field. This potentially indicates values they can offer in the long-run and not just what they can do for the company NOW.
- Identify Cultural Fitness: Introducing psychometric assessments at the time of recruitment could prove a useful tool in ensuring employee’s beliefs and behavior are in alignment with the company’s core culture & values.
Hiring individuals with shared values and cultural beliefs contribute to winning results and employees are likely to remain in the organization for a longer time, contributing efficiently. Strengthening your business starts with keeping such employees on board.
Then next in line for employee retention is effective on-boarding.
There’s much more to on-boarding than “here’s your laptop and here’s your desk”. The key transition period of imparting the values, culture and modus operandi of the organization, if done well, is a right first step in keeping talented people excited, happy and engaged for long.
Did you know?
According to a study by the Wynhurst Group, when employees go through structured onboarding, they are 58% more likely to remain with the organization after three years.
The onboarding process is not complicated and it starts prior to hiring. Let’s get through it.
- Presenting: A brief and convincing presentation about the job role, growth patterns, pay scale and the organizational culture before the actual hiring could be the initial step.
- Planning: IBM sets a good example here. They prepare a workstation and a mentor is assigned to welcome recruits on the first day. They also introduce new employees to the workplace culture.
- Mentoring: The next step is a well-defined mentorship program, where you walk them through how things work and get them familiar with the company’s vision; ensuring they imbibe the culture seamlessly.
Find out Motivators
Motivation drives individuals to function optimally and exceed expectations. To comprehend a candidate’s motivation gives you a comprehensive library which measures inspiration on 8 key helpers under 3 noteworthy requirements:
- Sustainability needs: Money is an effective staff motivator. Salary, pay rates, reward, medical coverage, retirement benefits come under this category.
- Relatability needs: Can be a great way of motivation if provided when needed and tracked well. The intrinsic power in employee recognition and a sense of competition helps keep an employee pumped up hence, resulting in increased productivity.
- Growth needs: Opportunities to improve skills, broaden knowledge, giving them the power to make some decisions and a sense of achievement, goes a long way in affecting employee’s motivation. Empowering employees, appreciating them for their efforts and performances and making them realize their value to the company induces motivation and reduces employee attrition.
Create an Employee Development Plan
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
Every employee joins an organization with a mindset to advance their careers and hone their skills. With an extended range of abilities, they offer more to enable your business to move forward. It’s a win-win! An employee development program needs to be in place to help with this. Take these four steps to create an effective development plan.
- Consider Business Goals: Align employee’s developmental needs with the organization’s vision. Once done, identify necessary skills and competencies that support the business objectives. Bridge gaps between current employee skills and required ones.
- Employer-Employee Conversation: Have mid or less formal conversations with employees and get a better understanding of their career goals and challenges. Figure out their short and long-term plans and opportunities to learn about them.
- Capability and Readiness: Take into consideration a situation where an employee may have the skills, knowledge and enough potential for a job role but isn’t ready to move into it.
- Training and Development: There are specific assignments and projects that can help employees acquire new skills. One-on-one mentoring, creating groups or online courses are the ways in which the learning and development program can be executed without breaking the bank.
After successful training, employees are equipped with new skills needed, which could be a strong reason to stay longer.
An evaluation, outlining employees performances should be written and documented. Gather and review all documents and records related to an employee’s performance, productivity and behavior. Once done, write a performance review that must contain:
- Employers set goals for the job and employee
- How aligned employee is in relation to expected goals
- Logical and valid reasons for drawing conclusions
Also, a meeting should be set up. A meeting that would be long enough to discuss issues thoroughly. It has to be specific, realistic and honest enough. It has to be an interactive one and not a formal boring “come-listen-and-go” meeting. Probe subtly, get to know them better. This generates warmth and humane touch to an otherwise cold, formal relationship.
A successful employee development plan makes your workforce knowledgeable and hence, satisfied. And when your employees are happy, they are less likely to look somewhere else.
You can’t stand to approach employee retention in a passive way. All that you do ought to be a part of the complete and central system. Investing in employee incentives to boost and maintain staff retention can and will help build your organization and is a step becoming organizational growth.