It seems like every week, a new article is published telling you why you should care about employee retention. It's an important topic, and the baseline for employee satisfaction changes continually.
But if you run a small business with an even smaller human resources department, when would you have the time to create an employee retention program? There is good news for entrepreneurs with growing businesses, it doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Here are some simple things you can do to provide a meaningful experience for your employees and why you can’t afford not to think about your employee retention strategy.
Hire the Right Managers
When hiring managers, it’s common to look for someone who will fit in with the culture. However, Forbes recommends that hiring someone whose skill-set aligns with the job is the best route. The thought process here is that a person with the proper skill-set is better equipped to succeed in their role and motivate direct reports to do the same.
Choosing a candidate who may seem to be a good fit personality-wise could backfire if they do not have the experience necessary to lead a group of people or the vision to strategize for the future. People who report to the new manager may become resentful, which leads to lower productivity, gossip, and eventually, turnover.
Provide Career Navigation and Growth Strategy
Experts suggest hiring people that are planning their careers with the company, rather than just filling roles. During interviews, ask candidates what their goals are, what motivates them, and then assess whether those answers coincide with what your company can provide for them. Once you’ve hired the person you feel will be the best fit, be sure to sit down with them and outline an individualized path for success.
It’s really this simple: people like to invest in companies that invest in them. Remember to have regular check-ins to touch base with your employees as time goes on. This practice will build long term loyalty to your business, which will increase your employee retention naturally. As a bonus, you may notice your employees becoming more productive.
Staff recognition and appreciation seems to be one of the most overlooked, but least expensive elements of an employee retention strategy. HR directors are usually far more concerned with time-sensitive issues than recognizing well-performing employees. However, after years of being overlooked, even the best employees will start to feel under-appreciated.
It’s important to remember that motivation is not a one-size-fits-all system. While monetary rewards will be the catalyst for one person, it could be investment shares, a gift card, or extra vacation time for another. Be flexible in your rewards system and be willing to negotiate if the winning employee would like to tweak the prize just a bit. It doesn’t mean they aren’t appreciative -- they are just trying to tell you what works for them.
Why Employee Retention Matters
A popular argument for pushing employee retention strategy to the back-burner is that the cost of losing an employee is difficult to monetize. Yet, it doesn’t take a whole lot to realize the impact turnover can have on your business. Poor morale, lower productivity, more frequent mistakes, and disengagement are all issues that can cost your company dearly, but do not have a price sticker.
An employee retention strategy is often overlooked in small businesses that are otherwise strapped for resources. Not investing time in such areas can have a drastic and costly effect on your businesses. As J.W. Marriott famously said, “If you take care of your people, your people will take care of your customers, and your business will take care of itself.”
What are you doing to improve your employee retention strategy? Let us know in the comments below!