“Here’s my letter of resignation…”
Phrases that truly bring dread!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a department head, HR manager, or senior leader in the company. Losing employees is not a happy situation. Especially when it’s a more conscientious, highly contributing, and valuable team member.
When this happens, there ensues an all-around scramble to find ways to keep the employee from walking out.
But remember! When you hear those words, it’s already too late. In most cases, there’s going to be very little you can do to keep your employee from quitting.
So how can you reduce employee turnover, keep employees engaged and improve employee retention? The good news is that there are measures you can put in place to improve company culture and hopefully keep your better employees.
But, first things first. Let’s look at a few top reasons that cause employee turnover.
What makes employees want to leave?
Managing employee turnover and making sure that talented employees continue to contribute and add value to the company are challenges that have plagued HR professionals for a long time.
Companies have taken plenty of initiatives to keep employees from leaving because employee retention:
- Keeps employee morale high: It’s a great feeling to show up every day in a work environment that’s familiar and friendly. There’s a higher level of understanding and belongingness which translates into higher morale and better engagement. It’s also encouraging for new recruits to see employees that have been with your organization for longer than a few years.
This article is helpful if you’re looking to build and maintain team synergy.
- Enhances the level of customer service: Most employees who are with you for a long time have a better understanding of your company policies, product, and/or service. They are, thus, better able to serve your customers, providing them with more efficient service in a shorter time.
- Decreases costs: There is always a cost associated with replacing an employee. This includes advertising, recruitment, training, etc. The better the talent lost, the higher the cost of replacing them. It’s easier to train and retain the talent you already have.
- Contributes to the growth and strength of the organization: With tenure comes a sense of ownership of the organization. With ownership comes a responsibility to contribute to the well-being of the company.
- Preserves the talent pool: Retaining your best employees converts to maintaining a high level of talent, skills, and knowledge within your organization. However, it then becomes your responsibility to upskill, train and promote your best employees to ensure their career growth and the growth of your company.
However, there are plenty of reasons that make employees leave. In fact, since early 2021, so many employees across sectors and countries have voluntarily quit their jobs that the term ‘Great Resignation’ was coined.
This phenomenon is far from over, with about 20% of employees indicating that they lean heavily towards switching jobs. In this recent study conducted by PwC, employees are most likely to look for other jobs because they:
- Don’t find their current jobs fulfilling
- Aren’t able to be authentic at work
- Are dissatisfied with their financial remuneration
- Feel disconnected from other team members
- Feel ignored by their managers
So what can you do to keep from losing your employees?
Here’s a list of:
7 Ways to Keep Your Employees From Quitting
1. Start from the beginning
The trick is not to block their exit, it’s to make sure they don’t find reasons to go. This can be done by having a solid orientation and induction program. During the first couple of months, employees are most receptive. Make the most of this period to impress upon them your company culture, the various avenues for career advancement, and other aspects of your employee retention strategy.
Setting this foundation and then following up on the commitments made will ensure employee satisfaction.
If you don’t have one yet, this article will guide you on how to create a winning employee retention strategy.
2. Check-in regularly
Who doesn’t like constructive feedback and the occasional pat on the back for a well-done job? Talented employees with high levels of job satisfaction are easy to spot and appreciate. But it’s equally important to make a note of other team members – those that are seemingly on the sidelines.
Staying equally connected with all your team members brings about cohesiveness that boosts engagement. Many employees may not be winning top achiever awards but may be performing consistently. A few may be struggling – some with personal issues, others with skills that don’t match the job.
Finding out what’s affecting their performance and giving them relevant feedback will make them appreciative. They feel like they matter, and this is another way of reducing employee turnover.
One thing to remember when giving feedback is not to be too critical. Don’t just point out what’s wrong. Help your team by giving them suggestions on how to improve and get it right.
3. Encourage contribution and creativity
One way to create a company culture of inclusion and participation is to involve your employees. Asking them to contribute with their suggestions and ideas makes them feel a part of the process. It makes them feel involved.
Many companies that have been in business for a long time have developed a particular way of doing things and processes that have allowed them to be successful. The culture in such workplaces is “we’ve always done it this way.” Thus ignoring easier and better ways of getting things done.
But asking your teams for their input and getting employees engaged may bring in fresh ideas on how to make your processes quicker and more efficient. There are other ways that you can keep your employees engaged. This article gives you an insight into the top trends for 2022.
Employee participation in work processes makes them feel involved and fosters a sense of belonging.
4. Ensure flexibility in company policies
While company policies are essential to establish discipline and to guarantee that all employees are treated fairly, it is also essential to take care not to make them too strict and uncompromising.
It is crucial, above all, to be kind. And treating your employees with kindness is a surefire way to boost your employee retention strategy.
Some ways of bringing in job satisfaction through flexibility are to explore the options of working from home or a hybrid mode of working. While this is not possible with all jobs or in all companies, offering the option when possible could help you keep your talented employees.
Offering project-based work which focuses on deliverables rather than the time spent on the work is another way to make employees feel like their skills and talent are appreciated.
Flexible schedules allow many employees to give their best because they appreciate being allowed to be a part of important events away from work.
5. Create a balanced work-play culture
Gone are the days when work was meant to be serious, and fun was to be had at anywhere-except-work!
Given the work pressure that many employees feel today, it’s vital to create a balanced company culture. The more challenging the work is, the more critical it is to intentionally wind down and relax.
Introduce a few fun activities – every other week or every month. Encourage your team to plan and take the leave they’re entitled to. While on leave, make sure they’re not bothered with work demands or calls.
6. Pay fairly and reward excellence
While money is not the only factor that employees consider, it is still among the top considerations when they decide if you are an ‘employer of choice.’ Remuneration, thus, becomes a significant factor in determining employee retention. Fair payment in exchange for talent and skills is not only an ethical way to do business. It’s also the smart way. Remember, it will cost you more to replace your better employees than to retain them.
When an employee’s performance has been excellent when they’ve gone over and above to assist a customer, or even if they’ve been a top-notch team player, be sure to publicly appreciate their efforts. A reward, bonus, promotion, or a trip will also be welcome!
7. Create opportunities for growth
You can’t and shouldn’t grudge an employee for leaving for career advancement and growth. But it’s not in good form to lose employees because you didn’t pay attention and create an opportunity for them to learn and grow within your organization.
When you’re tuned in, you can offer employees a change in jobs that match their skills. You can spot those whose talents are underutilized and train them accordingly. You become aware of what motivates and stimulates your employees and use that knowledge to build a more robust talent pool.
When employees see adequate opportunities for career growth in your organisation, they usually don’t look elsewhere.
And sometimes, despite doing everything you think you can, your better employees will still leave! While you graciously wish them good luck, don’t forget to schedule an exit interview with them. This session could give you valuable insights into the actual work environment and company culture. It could also give you suggestions on what to do to keep other team members from walking out the door!