3 ways to Improve Employee Retention

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3 ways to Improve Employee Retention

We all know that the days of the 30-year career at one organization are long gone, but frequent job hopping is quickly becoming the norm — especially in a time of record unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3 million workers voluntarily quit their jobs in July 2018. This is the highest number since 2001 and a sign of employee confidence in a strong job market.

In a small or medium-sized business, one or two employees leaving can wreak havoc on day-to-day business. Some amount of turnover is natural in any organization, but it can also be a sign of an unhealthy company culture.

No matter which industry your business is in, here are a few ways to ensure that you are creating a work environment that encourages employees to stick around.

When in Doubt, Over Communicate

As a manager or small business owner, you may feel like you over communicate at times. But, are those messages making it to lower-level employees?

Remember that no one likes to feel left out. This is just as true in the office as it was on the playground in elementary school.

Take the time to make sure everyone is in the loop about what’s happening in your organization. Send email updates after important meetings or make the notes available on shared spaces like Slack or Trello if you use them. Your employees might not read every word, but knowing that they are there says a lot about a commitment to transparency.

Without a clear flow of information coming from the top of an organization, gossip and rumors step in to fill the void. Tools like Slack make it even easier to spread misinformation and plant seeds of doubt about company culture.

Taking the extra time to make sure everyone is on the same page will nip rumors in the bud before they spread and will lead to a more transparent company culture.

Be Flexible When You Can

If you manage young employees, then you know the days of “punching the clock” at certain times each day are quickly coming to a close. A system that was designed to control production schedules at factories decades ago does not translate well into an office environment.

There’s no reason everyone needs to come in at the same time and leave at the same time every day, especially when technology gives us the ability to connect with each other whenever and wherever we want to. Take full advantage of this by allowing your employees to work from home or have flexible schedules.

If you can’t give someone the schedule they want, they will find someone else who can. More and more companies are allowing employees to work hours that best suit them to create a better work/life balance. If you can, consider making it part of your recruiting strategy and the benefits package that you offer to new and existing employees.

Make a Good Match From the Start

In a time when unemployment is at a record low, it’s easier than ever for a competitor to lure away your employees. But, if that employee is happy and engaged, he or she will be much less likely to be looking for the door.

Creating this sense of engagement begins at the interview stage. Hiring assessments provide an opportunity to ensure that a prospective hire is going to be a good fit for your company culture. Adding a pre-employment assessment to your hiring process will stretch out the timeline, but will be well worth it when you are not doing another search again in six months or a year. 

Once someone starts, make sure that they are doing the job you hired them to do. Otherwise, you’ll see motivation and productivity decrease pretty quickly and watch someone you thought was going to be your star hire head right out the door. There are always going to be “other duties as assigned,” but those tasks should be few and far between.

You might not be able to buck the job-jumping trend completely, but with a little planning and day-to-day coordination, you can keep a happy, successful, and engaged team for as long as possible.

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