Employers face many challenges in the modern market, but one of the greatest is finding, and then keeping, excellent employees. Staff retention is essential for forging a stable, effective team, and building a strong foundation for your business, but it can be very tricky. If you’re constantly having to replace employees, and you’re repeatedly feeling the sting of losing really good people, here are five little known factors that could effect your staff retention…
1. Working environment
The creation and maintenance of a workplace environment that attracts, nourishes, and retains excellent employees is central to any staff retention strategy. Workplace environment is an umbrella term that covers a range of elements, including the development of your corporate mission, the value system you have in place in your company, and the culture of your brand as a whole. It should also include your insistence that the working environment your employees function in is safe, with logical, clear, and consistent policies concerning operations and procedures.
An environmental approach to employee retention is a fundamental concern, but it’s often overlooked because the workplace environment is taken for granted. We seldom consider how elements of business, such as values and ethics, affect our staff retention, yet their impact can be huge. To improve in this area, focus on making your organisation a place in which people feel safe, secure, and actively want to come to work.
2. Employee relationships
The manner in which you treat your employees is an obvious aspect of employee retention, yet it’s more complex than most people credit. You need to be proactive in the development of relationship strategies that are effective. The extent to which your supervisors and managers have been trained in relationship management has a far greater bearing than you might expect. Not all individuals at managerial level (even those who are great at their job) have any experience or a true understanding of managing relationships. In all but very small organisations, your employees are really working for their supervisor or manager, not directly for you. That is the primary relationship they have at work and it is the one you should be nurturing.
3. Employee support
The support strategies you have in place for your employees are another obvious but often overlooked factor in staff retention. There’s a general perception that, as a measure specifically designed to care for your staff, it should be acting in your favour. It’s quite possible for your employee support to act against you if you miss out key elements or get it wrong. If your staff feel like they have all the tools, equipment, knowledge and support to perform their jobs well, their satisfaction levels increase drastically. If, however, they feel support is lacking, they will quickly look for more fulfilling work elsewhere.
Ensure your employees have the room and resources to excel. Make certain there are enough resources available for every individual and every level. And don’t forget that your workers need mental and moral support, as well as physical and practical support.
4. Employee growth
Tied to employee support is growth. Your employees need to have room to grow, both professionally and personally. If they feel there is ample space for them to advance in their role, they will be happy. If, however, they feel stagnated and limited by their work, they will quickly lose their love of the role. Their self-esteem and confidence may suffer, and their overall desire to remain where they are will plummet. All good employees naturally want to continue to learn and grow, developing their skills and moving on to better things. Ensure there’s a clear trajectory for all your employees to take. Don’t simply throw up some generic training or learning opportunities. Be specific – exactly where can they go from the position they are currently in, and what will it take for them to get there?
5. Employee compensation
Money alone is never enough to retain employees. Simply paying people for the time they work, and ensuring they get regular salary bumps when they earn them through additional training and experience is no longer enough. More and more businesses are basing their compensation packages on performance. It’s no longer the province of sales, it can be applied anywhere. And money isn’t the only currency. Rewarding your employees for their hard work with a wide range of rewards that are beneficial to both their personal and professional lives is the best strategy, but it’s often overlooked. The other element to this that is often forgotten is that employees need to be crystal clear on exactly what they have to do in order to perform well, and earn those rewards. Having a great reward system in place won’t get you very far if nobody knows how to hit their targets, or even what the specific targets are.
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