Unemployment levels are at a record low. While it is great for employees, it complicates matters for employers who are trying to retain their workforce. An estimated 3 million American leave their jobs monthly in search of better ones, and 31% of current employees quit before even reaching six months. This is extremely hard on employers because the constant worker turnover becomes very expensive.
Most business owners have a few employees that they are scared to lose – those who have valuable education or life experience that cannot be easily replaced. Approximately 25% of employees fall into this group or are considered, “high risk.” It is crucial to retain these workers. What are some strategies that can help a business owner retain them?
1. Be Sure Salary and Benefits Are Competitive
According to a recent Glassdoor survey, 45% of employees who leave to find other employment, leave because of compensation. While employee retention is not always about the money, money does indeed matter. Your benefit and compensation package must be comparable to other similar businesses in your area.
2. Hire the Right Employees
While this may seem obvious if you expect an employee to stay, hire the type of employee who plans on it. The majority of hiring managers are hiring employees with the assumption that 35% of the new hires will leave within a year.
Part of hiring the right person is ensuring potential new hires completely understand what the position entails. Misinformed employees often are surprised with tasks they did not know they would have to perform. Be honest with new hires about what your expectations are. Transparency is vital.
3. Reduce Employee Stressors
There will always be things about a workplace that employees will not like, but there are often recurring issues or problems that can be addressed. If you can help alleviate pressure on your employees, why not do it? Happier employees are more productive employees.
Use employee surveys, feedback, or industry research to find out what significant frustrations your employees deal with that make their personal or work lives more difficult. Many small businesses cannot offer the highest benefit or wage package, but if you can alleviate some of the common irritants that workers deal with in your field, many employees value that as much as a pay increase.
4. Be a Leader, Not a Boss
Workers tend to follow leaders as opposed to bosses and value that type of leadership. Here are a few main characteristics of a good leader:
- Gives employees enough information to see a clear vision or direction of the company
- Calm under pressure
- Has a genuine desire to excel and offer the best possible services and products
- Values the individual
- Inspires confidence
- Is available, relatable, and approachable
- Organized and structured
5. Monitor Your Managers
Quite often, employees leave a company because of a manager, not because of the job itself. Your management team sets the tone for your company. While training your manager, be sure to teach them some people skills in addition to the actual skilled knowledge for the product or service. Be sure they know how to properly encourage and motivate their workers, can resolve conflict, and other such issues. As a final note, be sure that management is held to the same standard as all the rest of the workers.
6. Engage Employees
Employees who do not feel engaged and challenged at work are incredibly likely to look elsewhere for one that does. Here are a few ways to keep your employees motivated and engaged in their job:
- Offer learning opportunities. A great way to do this is to offer cross-training across several different positions, mentoring programs, etc.
- Enable position advancement. Be sure that employees feel that there is some form of professional development or advancement potential.
- Let employees have apparent success. Employees want to know that they are valued, and their abilities are making a difference in the business. Provide attainable goals that let the employee see the physical results of their effort.
7. Have a Brand They Can Be Proud Of
People today want to stand behind a cause or feel like they are part of a solution to a problem. Make sure your business is involved in and supports charities or other beneficial organizations, your local community, or other social issues like the environment or equality. Lastly, hire employees that will get behind your business’s goals and passions. You are all a team and must act as one.