You have worked hard to assemble a stellar staff. Now you want to keep your employees — especially the top ones — from looking elsewhere or even thinking about leaving the company.
Having established and ongoing working relationships can create more success within your department and company. A team that meshes well can work more productively and efficiently. Just as importantly, your star employees undoubtedly have certain talents and skills that you want to retain and that would be difficult to replace if those staff members left the company. Also, it costs the company less to retain current employees rather than facing a higher turnover rate, which involves the time and expense of hiring and training new employees.
So there are some serious incentives to retaining employees, particularly your standout ones. But how specifically do you manage that?
You do that by making your workplace so attractive that employees are eager to stay. Here are seven strategies you can implement when your goal is employee retention and reduced turnover rates.
1. Improve Company Communication
Fostering a positive atmosphere for employees goes a long way toward keeping employees happy and wanting to stay in their jobs rather than looking elsewhere. Clearly communicate with employees what is expected of them, and be available to answer questions and provide guidance whenever needed. But don’t hover or micromanage. Give employees the information they need, and then let them work independently as much as possible.
Freely give kudos when deserved. Hold meetings during which you can catch up with your staff and keep communication going as often as necessary but not so often that employees are overloaded with meetings.
Make sure you keep the lines of communication open not only between you and your employees but also among coworkers. Pay attention to any conflicts that arise, and make sure to resolve them quickly. Conflict in the workplace can lead to employee turnover.
Also as part of your communication efforts, conduct informal surveys of star employees who have worked for the company a while. Ask them what they like and dislike about their jobs, the working atmosphere and the company. Also ask what would cause them to seek employment elsewhere. Based on the information you gather from them, make the changes that are practical.
Keep employees in the loop about what’s going on within your department and in the company as a whole. Email and print newsletters, social media and internal websites are great ways to accomplish that.
2. Schedule Staff Social Events
Team-building activities foster camaraderie and strong relationships among employees. So, occasionally, it’s a great idea to hold onsite or offsite staff social events. That could entail anything from a potluck lunch in the conference room for a birthday celebration or an outing to a local sporting event. An annual holiday party and summer picnic are always excellent opportunities to both socialize and encourage positive working relationships.
3. Offer Creative Employee Perks and Benefits
You want to provide your employees with the typical benefits like health and life insurance, vacation time and paid holidays, but try going beyond those and getting creative. How about providing free fresh fruits and other healthy snacks in the office?
Telecommuting, flextime, and job-sharing options are all highly desirable these days, as employees seek a better work-life balance. The innovative perks and benefits you offer don’t have to cost you a lot of money. Think outside the box, and get creative.
3. Provide Salary Increases
Money talks. There’s no denying that. When employees show loyalty to your company and do their jobs with excellence, recognize their efforts in a tangible and much-appreciated way by providing generous salary increases. This could be annual or more frequently than that, depending on how your company and salary system are structured.
Also consider giving employees bonuses at the end of the year or any other time based on exceptional job performance. But just make sure that salary increases and bonuses are in proportion to employees’ job performance and are generous enough to get employees excited.
Keep your compensation structure competitive with other employees. Remember, your star employees are likely in demand with other companies, and if they don’t receive compensation at your company that they deem sufficient, they will consider going elsewhere for better pay.
4. Promote from Within
When it’s time to hire for a vacant position in your department or company, the ideal candidate might be right under your nose. Rather than hiring someone outside the company, hiring current employees from within your ranks can be a great choice.
Current employees are already familiar with various aspects of the company, so the learning curve is typically less steep. Plus, they are a known quantity. In addition, hiring from within helps you stop losing star employees, because a common cause for employees leaving is that they have no path for career advancement within their current company. Promoting from within creates a win-win situation for everyone.
5. Give Recognition and Awards
Employees love to receive pats on the back and even more significant recognition of their efforts and abilities. So, go ahead and recognize them both with verbal praise and tangible awards. Ideas include the traditional “employee of the month” awards and “going the extra mile” recognition in a company-wide email or simply an announcement at the weekly employee meeting.
Even just taking a star employee aside and sharing how much you appreciate their efforts on a recent project goes a long way toward keeping them happy and wanting to stay with your company.
6. Offer Tuition and Training Reimbursement
Continuing education is important for all employees, no matter what job they do. They need to constantly be learning more so they can more capably complete the tasks required in their job. As a special perk that helps both your employees and you, provide reimbursement for training and tuition. This means the company pays for employees to attend classes at local or online universities or professional organization conferences and classes.
7. Give Extra Paid Time Off
It’s a perk that doesn’t cost you much but that employees absolutely love. Give your star employees some extra paid time off, even if that’s as simple as just allowing them to leave the office a couple hours early on a Friday or half a day early before a major holiday.
You Can Stop Losing Star Employees
By putting some effort into retaining your star employees, you will make your workplace so desirable that your greatest asset — your team members — will have serious second thoughts about leaving. Put some or all of these ideas into practice, depending on which ones suit your company and needs, and you will likely stop losing star employees. Your retention rates will go up right along with your employee satisfaction levels.