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Want to keep employees around? Here is what companies should be doing.

“Clients do not come first. employees come first. if you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”​ –Richard Branson

With the Great Resignation still fresh in people’s minds, employee retention has become a hot topic of late. Is this something that companies should worry about though?

Why is it important to retain employees?

Failure to retain employees can have a massive impact on a company. For a start, there’s the cost. If you have to replace somebody, you have to spend time advertising and interviewing for the vacant position. Then, when you do find the right candidate, you have to train them. It all takes time and time, as they say, is money. Of course, if your employees are spending their time interviewing and training, they aren’t doing their regular job, so there’s also the opportunity cost. There’s also the time it takes for new and old employees to get used to each other and form a coherent team.

Finally, there’s also the concern that clients and customers might start to have doubts about a company that has a high turnover rate. Clients like consistency and if there’s constant change of personnel, they can’t be sure they’re going to get it.

So, when is it time to start working towards retaining your employees? Don’t wait until they hand in their notice because they’re already out the door at that point. Work to keep them whilst they’re not looking.

So let’s look at some ways that you can retain staff.

 Salary and Compensation

Though it’s not always the main reason, an employee’s compensation package can be a big reason why they might start to look elsewhere. We’re in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, so it’s essential that wages at least keep up with inflation, otherwise, as an employer, you’re effectively giving a real terms pay cut to your employees. Compensation isn’t just about salary though. Pensions, share options, bonuses, health insurance, and so on, all form a part of an employee’s compensation and it all counts. Other things that companies could offer might include benefits like early finishes on a Friday, an extra day off for birthdays, membership in employee perks programs giving discounts on products and services, the list goes on…

Know what your employees are worth (and tell them)

No, we didn’t just cover this. This is not about salary, rather it’s about letting your employees know that you value them. A part of this is giving praise where it’s due, but that’s not the whole picture either. Adopting a more consultative approach to leadership, where employers listen to their employees’ ideas and feedback can do an awful lot to help them feel invested in the company’s goals. After all, if they feel like they’re a part of things and can really make a difference, the company’s goals become the employees’ goals.

Be honest

If an employee doesn’t feel like they’re being given the full story, or if they feel like they’re being actively deceived, then you might start to alienate them. We all know that businesses can’t necessarily share every single detail with their employees, but having a cavalier attitude to the reality of a situation won’t help. It’s not a good way to build trust and, once you’ve lost trust, it’s only a matter of time before you lose the employee.

Be Kind

How you handle praise is at least as important as how you handle problems. In an environment where people feel like any kind of failure, no matter how minor, will be met with an aggressive tirade of beratement, they’re always going to play it safe. If they play it safe, its another pathway to disengagement. Not only that, but you also don’t get the best out of employees who are living in fear of being scolded and the business suffers.

When things go wrong, don’t dwell on the problem, but instead, concentrate on the solution. Use it as a learning experience without making the employee feel like they have failed. Chances are, they may already feel like that anyway, so try to lift them up. In short, be kind.

Celebrate Difference

A successful company is a diverse company. People from different backgrounds with a diverse range of skills and experience have so many different gifts to bring to the table. There is not one way to do things and people have their own way of doing things, based on their skills and weaknesses.

People have their own way of working and you don’t get the best out of employees by forcing rigid frameworks on them. Set employees tasks and help them where needed, but let them explore their own ways of doing things. It helps them to feel more invested in their work and allows them to utilise their own unique skills to the fullest. And on that topic…

Keep them interested

Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to” – Richard Branson

 There are lots of different ways to keep your employees interested in their work, but one of the main ones is investing in their career development. Give them the opportunity to learn and use new skills, whether that be through formalised training or through being exposed to new tasks and duties in the workplace.

Of course, one method by which you can help develop your employees and keep them interested is through relocation. Sending employees on assignments can help them develop new skills and open them up to new experiences. If you are interested in relocating your employees, Cornerstone can, of course, help.

Work-life balance

Work-life balance is of massive importance to employees. If they’re being overworked and stressed they are, of course, going to consider leaving. Some employees want work that can work around their personal life, especially those with children or other outside commitments.

Where you work matters

The place of work is also an important factor to consider. Since the pandemic, working from home, either full-time, or on a hybrid basis, has become more and more accepted, and even expected, by employees, so that’s why it’s important to be able to make provisions for it. When employees are in the office, the conditions and facilities there do matter to them as well and, if they’re not great, they might start thinking about looking elsewhere.

Also, consider the location of your place of work. If it’s in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to do nearby during lunch breaks or after hours, it might not appeal to employees you’re looking to attract, let alone retain. Talking of having things to do…

Be Social

Organising company activities and get-togethers is a great way of maintaining and enhancing the cohesion of your team. Dedicating a member of staff or, if the company is big enough, a whole social committee, to working out and organising events for staff to participate in. Remember though, not everyone likes to be social, so don’t put undue pressure on people to attend when they don’t want to. By the same token, try to be inclusive when you’re organising events and be mindful of people’s needs and preferences.

In the end

Ultimately, if you look after your employees they will look after the business. That’s why it’s so important to treat them well so that they want to stay. Your employees are your company’s biggest asset, so it makes a lot of sense to look after them and make sure they’re happy.

 

 

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