New Year’s resolutions often prioritize the old adage “out with the old and in with the new,” so it may feel odd to focus on employee retention this year. But, knowing how to keep the right people leads to better workplace morale, higher economic growth and can even enhance future recruitment efforts.
Here are some ways to make employee retention your number one resolution in 2018.
1. Reevaluate company culture.
Be honest about what you want your company’s culture to be. If your workplace has one too many dysfunctional teams, redundant projects or a general sense of low morale, it may be time to restructure. With input from your employees, you’ll have access to better understand the natural ebbs and flows of day-to-day activities. But, it’s your job to keep an eye on your company’s vision and be aware of how you, your employees and your company are in line with it.
2. Create a stable environment in times of change.
You can’t anticipate every change that will happen in your company but you can choose to be the face of collected calm and leadership during transition. Let your employees know their jobs are secure during times of flux by sharing your progress on the road to stabilization. Encourage open communication from your employees and provide transparency back to them. Acknowledge specific challenges they may face and provide relevant resources to help them overcome potential setbacks. A sense of stability will come from the top and it’s the job of company leadership to provide this.
3. Revitalize your hiring strategy.
In order to cut down on turnover, the first step is to ensure that the individuals you’re hiring actually want to be there. Front-load information about your company’s culture during the interview process. If you need team members to be available and on call late into the night, your new hires should know to expect a 10:00 pm phone call. Have your team keep a list of their own daily tasks (also a great way for you to better manage them) and have outgoing employees write descriptions for their empty positions – allowing for more detailed expectations for new staff members. Offering employee referral benefits is another great way to revitalize your hiring strategy.
4. Improve your training processes.
New employees should receive training conducted by experts in each department. You can either use in-house talent or hire an outside professional to lead on-the-job learning. This should introduce employees to new information, allow them to demonstrate their skills and knowledge and give them a tangible method to monitor their own improvement. Many successful training programs offer cloud-based components providing employees access to additional materials, allowing them to invest in self-directed learning.
5. Create room to grow.
Employees won’t stay with your company if they can’t imagine their future there. New hires should understand their potential for advancement. Meet annually to discuss their growth, encourage training programs and remain flexible to new challenges they might want to take on. Promote from within the company (rather than externally hiring for leadership positions) – it’s a great way display that your employees have a path forward and you want to help lead them there.
6. Welcome employee feedback.
Regular surveys are a great way to gauge what employees need in order to be successful – and to learn where you can step up, as an employer. Exit interviews are equally important. Don’t ask for feedback just for show. Let your employees know their problems are heard and that you want to resolve them by making changes based on their recommendations.
7. Build trust between employees and managers.
Management is often an employee’s first point of contact when they are experiencing a problem. Encourage an open door policy to ensure that employees come to management when issues first arise, not when they’ve reached a point-of-no-return. Management should be transparent with their expectations of all employees and offer positive reinforcement and support.
8. Be more flexible.
Work-life balance is crucial for managing stress, promoting creativity and generating enthusiasm for work. Giving employees the option to telecommute, offering a flexible schedule and allowing for “personal days” can show employees you are invested in their well-being, not just their bottom line.
9. Buff up your benefits package.
Offer benefits that your employees want – as well as what they need. Currently, the most requested benefits are: better healthcare coverage, flexible hours, work-from-home options, mental and physical health perks (like “personal” days, yoga classes and gym memberships), tuition assistance programs and making financial wellness education a priority. Employees are looking for benefits that make their lives outside (and inside) the office more enjoyable. When employees are more secure in their personal lives, they are more likely to feel satisfied in their work.
10. Invest in employee wellbeing.
Employees will stay at a company longer when they feel that they’re being challenged and respected. Benefits packages providing employees with avenues for self-improvement such as: financial management tools, on-the-job training programs and tuition reimbursement – can be even more attractive than salary increases. No one likes to feel stagnant in their career. Providing opportunities for growth inside and outside of work is essential for your employees, and their retention.