Estimating the true cost of employee turnover is notoriously difficult, but all you need is anecdotal evidence to see how consequential it is. When someone leaves, suddenly you have a hole in your workforce, have to focus time and energy on recruiting, and will likely bring in a new hire that can’t perfectly replace what you’ve lost. For those reasons, employee retention needs to be a priority in 2016 and beyond. Here are a few effective strategies to help you improve your efforts:
Make Work Meaningful
Today’s employees are looking for more than just a paycheck. They are unsatisfied spending their days doing menial tasks that don’t seem to contribute to any larger project or goal. Feeling useless and dispensable quickly leads to burn out and impulsive resignations. Show your employees that each and every one of them is making a valuable contribution to the overall success of the company. Go a step further and acknowledge that contribution while expressing your sincere gratitude. That has a powerful impact on employee engagement and it costs you nothing more than time.
The hierarchical nature of most enterprises creates a strong disconnect between lower-level employees who do most of the work and upper-level executives who make most of the decisions. That can leave those lower-level employees feeling like they are operating in the dark and have little control over their professional lives. Successful companies have learned to operate transparently, letting all employees know about important information and involving everyone in the decision-making process.
Millennials now make up the majority of the workforce, and this generation is curious by nature. Traditionally, employees have faced penalties when they’ve asked questions and criticized methods, but this approach won’t work with today’s workforce. When employees are invited to offer constructive criticisms, and then see those criticisms evolve into improved operations, it creates a strong feeling of engagement.
Improve the Work/Life Balance
Employees in 2016 are not willing to sacrifice their personal lives just to get ahead in their career. Adhering to the old mentality that employees should be willing even happy to work nights, weekends, and holidays, often with no extra pay is very shortsighted. Give your staff the freedom to set their own schedule, work from home, and take unplanned time off as necessary. Then trust that they will make the most of this freedom and continue to be productive, efficient, and innovative. When you eliminate a major source of professional stress you end up with a happier staff that is more invested in your company.
You can do a lot to reduce turnover, but no company has succeeded in eliminating it entirely. A certain ebb and flow within your workforce is inevitable, which means that you need to prioritize recruiting just as much as retention. Before your next vacancy presents itself, learn about strategic staffing from the experts at Morris Bixby.