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After putting in a lot of effort to bring the right people into your business, the last thing you want is for them to leave. While employee turnover is an inescapable part of business, if left unchecked, it can become a very costly problem. It takes time and money to find and train a replacement. That why it makes sense for businesses to focus their attention on reducing turnover as much as possible. Fortunately, you can use free and inexpensive methods to make your employees want to stick around.
Hire the right people
It’s very hard to keep hold of employees if you hired the wrong people to begin with. Obviously, hiring employees who have a skill set that matches the job description is essential. But other than their skills and past experience, what else are your new hires bringing to the table? Will they make a good fit for the overall culture and ethos of your business?
You should aim to hire employees who are behavioural and cultural fits for the role. At interview, you can ask employees behavioral interview questions to find out how they would react in tricky situations. Also, be sure to show candidates around your business and have a conversation with them about your company culture. Candidates who get the impression they won’t fit in will hopefully eliminate themselves from the process at this point.
Employees who don’t fit into their work environment are never going to feel happy in their role and are unlikely to go the extra mile to exceed expectations. An outstanding candidate that doesn’t match the culture of your business won’t stay around long. They’ll take their skills somewhere where they fit in.
Offer a competitive salary and benefits package
As the old adage goes, ‘if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’. It’s only natural that people want to be compensated for the time and effort they put in at work. They likely have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and holidays to plan. If you don’t pay your employees in line with the market average, they’ll be quick to seek out another company that will.
Find out what your competitors pay their employees. Research a competitive salary range based on similar jobs in your local area. At Venturi, we are constantly doing market research on behalf of our clients to ensure they are bench-marking salaries correctly. But a paycheck on it’s own isn’t enough. Benefits are important too. Look into common employee benefits then, find out what benefits competitors and other businesses in your area offer.
Give praise where praise is due
This point can’t be stressed enough. Numerous studies have shown that recognition of employee contributions is your most powerful form of employee reinforcement and retention. People want to know that their work makes a difference. Don’t go overboard though, it’s not necessary to shower your employees with praise for small routine tasks. But when they do a good job on an important project, let them know you recognise and appreciate the work they put in. It has more impact than you might think.
The goal is to create an encouraging, positive work environment. When employees feel needed, acknowledged, and respected, they are more likely to stay. Best of all, this powerful retention strategy won’t cost you a penny. You just have to use your words.
Clearly outline a career path
Employees like to know that they’ll have opportunities to progress in their chosen career path. Most are keen to learn new skills and knowledge that will help them get ahead. Sitting down with employees individually to discuss a projected career path can help give them a sense of direction and purpose.
Where can they go from their current position? Maybe it’s an upward move or perhaps a lateral one. Even if they remain in the same role, employees should have the opportunity to earn more responsibility. To keep employees in the dark when it comes to their future at the company won’t do you any favours when it comes to retention. Ideally you should be coaching your employees along the way and offering them numerous opportunities to learn and practice new skills.
Let employees create informal networks
Try not to inhibit interaction between employees across departments. Your whole business will perform better when employees are empowered to work cross-functionally with others. Your company should always operate with one shared vision regardless of who is working with who. This way whatever task your employees are engaged in, they’re doing so with same end goal in mind.
Allow flexible working hours
Where possible allow flexible working schedules. A flexible start and end to the working day makes it much easier for employees to manage their work life balance. Always remember that most people have busy lives at home. When employees have enough time to live their lives outside work they will be more satisfied (and productive) when they are in work.
While flexible work schedules may not be possible for all businesses. Your employees might need to be in work during certain hours. But there still might be ways you can offer some degree of flexibility, such as flexible lunch times.
Get to know employees beyond work
For employees to continue progressing, it’s helpful to know where they stand outside of work and more importantly, where they would like to be in the future. It’s not that you become great friends with each employee, but you’ll find the more you see them as a real person with concerns beyond work, the easier it will be to work together. It may even help to spend a bit of time figuring out what type of manager you are.
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