A riddle: what’s the one thing you can lose in business that’s worse than losing money? Answer: good employees.
First, you’ve lost a trusted and reliable employee. Second, you’ve lost all the effort that went into that employee – the training and mentorship – which is now going to help some other business grow. Finally, you have to start all over, hiring a new person, who may never become as good as the employee you’ve just lost.
Raising salaries is the obvious way to keep people longer. You don’t always have that option, though. Fear not: here are three ways to improve employee retention that don’t involve raising salaries:
People do all sorts of things for free. They conduct fundraisers for their kids’ schools. They plan church picnics. They organize and run fantasy football leagues.
Why do people do them? Because they feel good about the project and they can do them however they see fit. Make your employees feel that way about work. Empower them. Let them own their work.
One key aspect of this process: don’t micromanage. Step in if needed and make sure you are maintaining good communication and providing consistent constructive feedback. But if the work is getting done well and on time, intervene as little as possible.
Your employees might not do things exactly as you would, but leaving them on their own will build respect and allow them to feel in control of their work day.
2. Work/Life Balance
Keeping someone close might involve encouraging them to have outside interests.
Good employees are willing to put in the extra hours and to take on the extra responsibility. But all-out dedication might not be sustainable.
The employee putting consistently putting in the 60-hour work week might burn out or get fed up. Or they might experience a change in life – getting married, having a kid, etc. – that forces them to step back from the company in ways that can be disruptive because you rely so heavily on them.
So don’t get annoyed when workers take vacations. In fact, encourage it (within reason). Also, let employees have flexible schedules, as much as that is possible, and be generous with family leave.
Encouraging a strong work/life balance may seem like surrendering short-term productivity. Maybe. But a more sustainable mix of work and outside interests creates a relationship that can last longer and be more productive in the long term.
3. Hire Right In First Place
Having trouble with high employee turnover? Maybe it’s not how you keep them. Maybe it’s how you find them.
A hidden key to strong retention rates is hiring the right employees in the first place. If you are losing a lot of people, it might be time to rethink some of your recruitment and training procedures.
Maybe you are not communicating the job expectations properly early in the process, leading to confusion later. Maybe you need a longer training process, so people don’t feel frustrated once the job begins. Reviewing the recruitment and onboarding steps might uncover a hidden mistake that is leading people out the door.
Partner With PrideStaff
In this regard, an outside opinion might be helpful. Partnering with an expert staffing firm can help shore up your hiring process and bring in the kind of quality employees you want to keep long term. Contact PrideStaff now to discuss other things you can do to improve your employee retention rate.