We all know turnover can be costly and disruptive, leading to decreased productivity and lower morale. Which is one of the reasons why companies want to hold on to their brightest and best employees.
So why don’t most companies notice that an employee is unhappy until after they give their notice? What can be done to reduce the risk of losing talented workers to other organizations?
Here are a few tips you might consider to increase the likelihood that your employees will be satisfied with their job and decrease the chances of them leaving:
Recognize that you must manage people differently, depending on their circumstances. For example, the work/life balance expectations of a single 27-year-old employee who is just starting a career may differ from an older employee with two kids, a mortgage and a working partner. One size does not fit all.
Provide your employees with challenging and interesting work. My experience is that this is far more important than compensation. For the most part, individuals want work that builds new skills, strengthens their portfolio of experience, and positions them for advancement in the company or even outside the company.
Help your employees understand the ‘big picture.’ Most individuals, regardless of rank, want to know the long-term vision of the company, not just short-term targets. Communicating your vision will motivate them to work toward that goal as it helps them understand just where they fit.
Treat your employees as people. Like you (hopefully), your employees have a life outside of work that involves family, fitness, clubs, education, or other interests. Flexibility around working hours, days off, or working from home can go a long way to building loyalty.
Look for opportunities to praise accomplishments. A sincere ‘thank you’ for a job well done or some other form of recognition does wonders for an employee’s morale and helps retain top talent.
Encourage key employees to become engaged in volunteer work or community service. For example, joining professional organizations, or coaching minor sports, will help up-and-comers develop their leadership skills and strengthen their capabilities in working with new people. They may also develop business relationships that can help grow your business.
While pay and benefits are important, the decision to leave a company and join another is rarely based on compensation alone. You only have to be fair and competitive in this area.