Ten years ago, the number one reason people left their jobs was to seek out opportunities for better pay, now the trend suggests our best employees are leaving in droves because of company culture, morale, lack of recognition, trust, and incentive.
Your employees started out motivated, enthusiastic and fully engaged. Somewhere along the way, they started playing video games and watching the clock. That means it’s your job to understand what went wrong. Disengagement doesn’t just happen spontaneously — it’s the result of company mismanagement.
However, many studies show that businesses with highly engaged employees are more productive, more profitable, and have better customer service. There is no doubt that, as a business owner, productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction are high on your priority list, so let’s take a look at how we can keep our best people.
What to Do to Keep Your Best Employees?
A strong employee engagement program starts with hiring the right people. Write a job description and think through the needs of the business before hiring anyone. You should always aim to hire the best people for the job. Do not hire out of desperation or favor. Hire for people skills and attitude. Sure, hiring someone with strong technical skills is important, but you also need someone that you are going to enjoy working with, who works well with the rest of your team and interfaces well with your customers and vendors. No one likes working with a grump. Technical skills can be taught in months, a good attitude is something that may never be learned. Remember, good, hard-working employees want to work with like-minded professionals. When you don’t do the hard work of hiring good people, it’s a major demotivator for those stuck working alongside them.
2. Proper Training
Often times, employees leave because they don’t see a clear path for climbing the corporate ladder. Many employers resist training employees to move into other areas, simply because once they find good employees, they want to keep them in that role. But that’s to your detriment. Professional development and training are one of the areas that especially junior and mid-level employees working their way up ask about when evaluating a new opportunity. Investing in training that builds their professional skills gives you a more vested, more productive employee.
Employees need to understand their purpose in your organization beginning with your first point of contact – the job description. The best companies have systems in place that help them achieve this from orientation to the employee’s day-to-day work. If the employee loses this sense of meaning, it’s easy for them to feel disenfranchised and become bored.
3. Give Feedback
Watch out for high drama, low office morale, micromanagement, or poor communication within your staff. It’s your job to pay attention to how the workers are faring and take measures to improve nasty situations.
If your instincts tell you there’s a problem, don’t ignore it. It’s a lot easier to discuss it and come up with a workable solution than to replace people for situations that could have been easily turned around. Giving employees both positive and constructive feedback is critical to an employee’s sense of worth and value in any organization.
4. Reward The Best People
One quick way to lose your workers is by failing to acknowledge their good work. Great employees aren’t likely to stick around long if they feel underappreciated and unacknowledged. There’s a reason 88% of companies have a formal employee recognition program and you can reward your staff without spending money.
Recognition is highly effective when it occurs on a consistent basis. This means you need to keep acknowledging the work of your best people. If you know how workers are contributing and reward them appropriately, you can foster a positive company culture and cut back on toxic office politics.
5. Market Pay and Benefits
Some employers think that if they pay their employees really well they don’t have to worry about the rest. Other employers think they don’t have to pay employees market value if they do the rest of the stuff. Try to compensate all of your employees fairly. Having a fair paycheck, along with working in a good environment is what is going to make your employees stay. Money is not everything, especially to Millenials, but it is important. Remember, it’s important to look at your company’s overall benefits package as well. Employees aren’t only motivated by the cash compensation: Flexibility, work/life balance, and health care are all important factors employees consider when staying with a company.
6. Don’t Overwork
Some periods of stress and feeling overwhelmed come with most jobs, but nothing burns out great employees faster than overwork. And often it’s the best employees–the most capable and committed, your most trusted–you overload the most. If they find themselves constantly taking on more and more, especially in the absence of recognition such as promotions and raises, they come to feel they’re being taken advantage of. And who could blame them? You’d feel the same.
7. Provide Incentive
In a perfect world, our best employees would stay at your company simply because they love their work. But in reality, that doesn’t always happen. Do your part by providing employee incentives to do a good job. Incentives could be as simple as having a Casual Jean Friday or monthly staff dinner or employee contests, such as on-the-spot bonuses or a Florida vacation for reaching certain milestones. At the very least, make sure your employees are getting a pat on the back whenever they go above and beyond the call of duty. You’d be surprised how far a little appreciation can go.
If you want your best people to stay, you need to think carefully about how you treat them and provide incentives. Good employees aren’t easy to come by – they’re made; by way of recruitment, training, reward, and incentives and talent. Remember their talent gives them an abundance of options, so you need to make them want to stay.