Top Tips for Employee Retention

Published June 15, 2016

Seems to be a common struggle to find excellent employees who really care about their job.  So once you have them, let’s try to keep them around, especially if you’ve invested in training or if they occupy a key position on the team

So before we get to the tips… All the employee retention experts agree that the place to start is the hiring process. It’s about getting the right employee, with the right skills, for the job in question. You can go a long way by improving your hiring procedures to ensure your new hire fits into the company and the job itself:

  • Post job descriptions that are accurate and less vague.
  • Enhance your screening process to eliminate unsuitable and weak candidates.
  • Make your interviews more “on point” rather than asking cookie cutter questions that don’t relate to actual job.
  • Always check references.

Now, here are some of the best strategies for retaining your employees:

Perks & Benefits

Perks are one thing. Benefits are another, so let’s start with the most important.

Benefits will attract candidates to job postings, guaranteed. And once hired, employees are likely to stay if you have a competitive benefits package that includes health insurance, life insurance and a pension or pension savings plan.

Perks, such as the options of flextime, telework or job-sharing, show employees you’re willing to accommodate their personal lives and desire for work-life balance. There are as many small perks as you can think up. You can offer free stuff like food and snacks or a beverage service. You can create a fun and inviting environment like having a company bike available to take for a spin, or featuring a ping-pong or billiard table in a game room for some stress relief, or installing an inviting garden bench or patio with a waterfall to help calm busy minds.

Incentives & Recognition

Incent, reward and recognize your employees with raises and bonuses (also stock options if that applies). Offer financial awards to those who surpass performance expectations and for length of service. Even contests can help keep staff motivated and feel excited about the company. Studies show that when employee recognition programs are in place, businesses have higher retention rates. It feels great to be recognized by your boss and your colleagues!

Feedback & Involvement

Creating an open and transparent company culture where employees are encouraged to communicate frankly, ask questions and offer solutions will contribute to employee retention.

Communications is nothing if not a two-way street, but begin by communicating your company’s mission, vision and core values. If you always keep these in focus, employees will develop a stake in them and feel more connected to the business. Don’t be timid about sharing your passion about the business with staff; it will foster their enthusiasm and loyalty.

Employee turnover can be reduced when there is ongoing open communication between employees and managers, including practices like regular meetings, suggestion boxes and open door policies.

Consider surveying your staff, especially long-time employees, about why they’ve stayed with the company, what they like about the company culture and what improvements they would make. This information is powerful and can help businesses to attract and retain staff.

Development & Promotion

If you’re looking to boost your retention rates, put a process in place for employee learning and development. Some businesses pair a “learning plan” process with the annual performance review. It can involve training for new skills, temporary assignments elsewhere in the company, time off to take courses, or reimbursement of education costs.

Career development and learning are not just for employees but for managers too. How often have you heard of someone leaving a job because they had a “bad manager”? Good managers aren’t just born: they need to be trained and educated in best practices when it comes to HR management. In turn, they are responsible for helping to develop the staff. When skilled managers are involved in coaching, mentoring and developing employees, both parties will feel more invested in their work and the company.

Finally, let’s not forget about promotions. If employees have an opportunity for advancement within the company and see others being promoted, it will help them to see a future path, encourage them to stay on and reduce career frustration.

Clear Expectations

It sounds trite, but many employees report not knowing exactly what is expected of them. When they aren’t clear on their responsibilities and your performance expectations, they are less likely to meet your standards. Setting out plain and transparent expectations will contribute to employee retention in the long run.

The Moral of the Story

Successful businesses need to avoid high employee turnover because it costs time, money and productivity. Finding a new employee and training them to replace someone who left costs money that could otherwise be spent on other salary and operating needs. Not only are there financial repercussions, but a high turnover rate can also drain your company’s knowledge and brain trust, affect performance and impact morale. Implementing some, if not all, of the above measures will boost your staff retention rates.

Whether it’s punctuality or meeting deadlines on specific projects, Punchtime collects and gives you accurate information to recognize your top employees.  It also ensures that your employees are paid for all hours worked–no more uncomfortable conversations between employer and employees regarding paychecks.  Everybody wins!

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