Author: Paul Silvio, President, Alexander Technology Group
Cultivating a high-performance team is the goal of every hiring manager, and there are a lot of components that factor into employee retention once a team has been assembled. After spending time, money, and resources on developing and training a winning workforce, every business owner and manager knows it’s more cost effective to retain their staff than to fall prey to elevated turnover rates.
The current climate when it comes to “the great reshuffle” and the possibility of a recession only compounds this pain point – talented employees are reconsidering their positions and are more willing to change companies for things like improved compensation, flexibility, growth, and work-life balance. Now, more than ever, it’s imperative that companies develop and implement strategies to maximize workforce retention.
Benefits of Staff Retention
- Retaining employees saves money – hiring new employees can be expensive when it comes to time spent recruiting and training, and time lost when a skilled employee leaves the organization.
- On the note of time, recruiting takes a lot of it! For most organizations, this involves vetting internal candidates, sharing the job opening online, sourcing new candidates, reviewing resumes, interviewing, and so on. Therefore, many companies find themselves utilizing the support of a staffing agency.
- Retaining staff improves morale and culture on your team. While most of your team members likely understand that from time to time, their coworkers will leave the company for another opportunity, excessive turnover sets off red flags for employees and creates a lack of confidence in the company and their long-term employment.
- Employees that stay with an organization long term create stronger internal and external partnerships. For example, losing a tenured employee who has strong client relationships can and does cause your clients to look at other options or consider a “plan B” vendor rather than continue business with your company. Relationships are everything.
Tips for Boosting Staff Retention
It’s easy to understand why employee retention is beneficial but creating a business that fosters long-term careers can be very complex and challenging! These ideas must be adjusted and customized for each business and their unique needs and adapted over time as the company grows and goals are modified.
While there are many factors to cultivating an environment that encourages staff to stay on long-term, giving attention to the following key aspects could give your retention statistics a big boost!
- Give employees a sense of safety and confidence in their roles. When the news is rife with talk about a recession, your team members may start to consider what the future looks like. To ease this discomfort, remember to provide consistent positive feedback and create a culture that prioritizes mentorship. Employees who feel their leadership is investing in their future are more likely to feel confident in their role and stick around!
- One way to initiate that culture of mentorship is good quality new hire training. This is an investment in the future. Realistically, if you throw people into a new job and ask them simply to “figure it out,” some will sink and some will swim. This creates an immediate turnover issue that could be easily prevented with an engaging training program.
- The training should not stop after the first few weeks! Ongoing training is essential, and well-trained employees will contribute to training efforts in the future, allowing your organizational structure to grow.
- Most of your team members are likely looking for growth, but growth looks different to different people. Some are looking to climb the ranks in management, some are looking for an improved title, others are looking to develop certain skills. Understand what growth your individual employees are looking for and show them the path. The daily grind can only be sustained so long, and they will be more likely to continue working for you if they can see what they’re working towards.
- Incorporating training, volunteer, and educational opportunities on topics like diversity, philanthropy, and mentorship can encourage teamwork and camaraderie among staff as well and are topics many employees are passionate about seeing companies cultivating.
- The debate over remote work vs. hybrid work vs. on-site work has been prolific over the past year, as many companies consider what their policies will look like. Overwhelmingly, employees have made it clear that they prefer either a hybrid or remote environment. Less time commuting and working from the comfort of one’s home simply allows for a better work/life balance, which is a huge motivation for many team members. If you choose a mandatory on-site model, you’ll need to be prepared to either offer substantially better compensation and benefits then your competitors or be prepared to lose team members to remote opportunities with your competitors.
- Be honest and clear in your job posts and interviews. If your team members feel they were misled into accepting a position, they will be looking for a new company to work for in no time.
- Compensation – Let’s be honest, the main reason we work is to make a living and provide for ourselves and our families. Compensation will always be a top motivator when it comes to staying with a job or leaving for another company. This means a fair salary and bonus structure, adjusted to market rates, as well as PTO and good quality benefits. The market is shifting rapidly, and businesses need to stay abreast of fair compensation.
Ultimately, fostering a culture of mutual trust sums up all these factors. Hire good people, provide them with training, mentorship, growth, and fair pay – and then trust them to do what you hired them to do. Employees want to feel accomplishment and satisfaction in their careers and giving them the tools and opportunities to obtain personal and professional growth is crucial to retaining a high-performance workforce. If an employee doesn’t meet expectations and their performance cannot be corrected with training, it can be addressed, but trust in your employees should always be at the forefront of your retention strategy.
Pairing trust with a diverse, honest culture that supports and encourages employee growth will certainly set your business ahead of competitors and make your employees, and you, happier in the long term.