A lot of time, effort and resources go into hiring top talent; all of which is lost when employees decide to leave your company for another. High employee turnover lowers the morale of your employees, reduces productivity, impacts negatively on customer satisfaction, and greatly affects succession planning.
Although rarely mentioned, employee retention is just as (if not more) important as good employee recruitment. If you cannot keep your best staff working for you, creating a great workforce will be extremely difficult as you’ll often find yourself hiring to fill vacancies instead of improving the workforce.
But employee retention is not easy. There is no one-time fix that will ensure that you keep all your top talent. It takes the continuous and consistent implementation of employee retention strategies to ensure that your top talent is not wooed away by the numerous suitors out there.
Here are some of the strategies you can implement to ensure you retain your best workers:
- Recruit well. This forms the foundation for all the recruitment strategies that come after it. Strengthen your recruitment processes to ensure that the people you bring into the organisation have the right skills and qualifications for the job, can fit into the company culture, and that they actually want to work for your organisation. If all hired employees are near perfect matches in these regards, the chances of them leaving the organisation are greatly reduced.
- Provide career advancement opportunities. High performing employees are highly driven individuals with big ambitions for their careers. If you don’t provide the opportunity for them to grow in your organisation, they will search for it elsewhere. You should ensure that each employee’s role in the organisation is well defined and career path information is made available.
Providing training and playing a role in your employee’s career development is a sure way of winning loyalty. Make it company policy to promote from within as this not only helps you keep your top talent but also helps you motivate the rest of the workforce.
- Encourage communication and openness. Create an open-door policy to encourage your staff to speak frankly with their supervisors and managers without the fear of repercussions. By allowing this, employees can bring forward their concerns which you could fix before it’s too late. Talk to your employees one-on-one to find out things that are going on inside the organisation. Welcome their ideas and implement the viable ones.
Since communication is a two-way street, in addition to listening to your employees, ensure that they also know about the important things happening in the organisation. Inform them of plans, setbacks, problems and the company’s performance – do not let rumours take over.
- Acknowledge and reward good work. Seems like a small thing but a simple acknowledgement of a job well done can help an employee feel valued and appreciated. Make your employees feel that their contributions are important to the business. In addition to providing verbal and public recognition, provide other tangible rewards. It doesn’t have to be money, a day off from work to spend with family could do the trick for some employees.
As a way of rewarding and encouraging good work, you also need to ensure that your employees are well remunerated. If they feel that their compensation does not match their contribution to the organisation, they will march.
- Conduct exit interviews. This might seem like a redundant measure since it’s already too late to change the mind of those already at this stage. However, the information you will gain from these kind of interviews will help you make changes that will help you retain your remaining top employees. All information gathered from exit interviews should be used to strengthen employee retention strategies with as little delay as possible to stop the “bleeding”.
Although you can’t completely eliminate employee turnover, you can bring it down to a minimum to ensure that a great percentage of your top employees remain in your organisation.