Employee Retention: How Not to Scare Your Employees Away

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In today’s globalised economy, the days of employees staying part of the same organisation are far behind us. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, on average, 18-38-year-olds stayed in their jobs for 1.6 years as of 2016. With Millennials set to make up to 50% of the workforce in 2020, this situation will remain commonplace in the years to come.

It can be difficult to estimate the true cost of replacing an employee, but it can easily range from tens of thousands of dollars once hiring, training, onboarding and lower productivity are taken into account.

Businesses must adapt, learn and find new ways to retain their best- performing employees to avoid a nightmare scenario. Here are some examples to avoid scaring them away this Halloween!

A Clear Company Purpose

To quote Mark Zuckerberg’s advice to Harvard graduates this year: “Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves”. Although this could be simply applied to everyday life, employees should feel that they each have a part to play in the organisation’s own purpose and goals.

A 2016 LinkedIn study found that 52% of job seekers want purpose in their job and organisations simply don’t deliver it, 65% stated that it is a deal-breaker when considering applying. While the research focused on job applicants, the same can be said for the employed, a lack of internal communication of the company mission and values can have a negative effect on employee retention.

Recognising and rewarding specific behaviours and values can help bridge the communication gap and assist in creating a more cohesive company culture. Social recognition platforms, like Encore, can be the perfect solution thanks to gamification elements such as badges, live recognition feed, analytics and global reward capability.

Encourage Feedback

Every company culture is different and unique, and that’s how it should be. With that in mind, good communication within the different levels of the hierarchy can be beneficial for any entity of any size. Finding ways for employees to provide feedback can help identify issues, help improve employee-manager relations and give insight into what’s helping drive morale internally.

Google famously encourages as much internal feedback as possible with a plethora of surveys, feedback meetings and one-to-one coaching along with the opportunity for every employee to pitch ideas to the tech giant’s top executives.

Having an open-door policy also helps flatten the hierarchical structure and allows team members to be listened and feel valued, further reducing employee churn.

Reward and Recognition

Feeling rewarded in one’s job plays a key part in employee retention strategies as employee recognition helps employees feel excited, motivated and engaged in their organisation. But when it comes to employee recognition, one size does not fit all with every team member being unique to your business.

This is very much the case when applied on a global scale with the culture, local rewards and international fulfilment adding complexity to your programme.

In our recent article regarding non-monetary recognition, we underlined the advantages of gift cards over cash. With more choice, flexibility and low fulfilment costs for digital rewards, gift cards are a great way to recognise your team this end of the year for all their hard work.

Training and Personal Development

Any Human Resource professional will tell you that learning and development opportunities for staff are essential, especially for graduates and people starting out in their careers. Offering:

  • mentoring programmes,
  • staff training days,
  • external events and
  • ongoing learning

will show that your organisation is invested in your employee’s future success. This will yield long-term results regarding internal hiring, increase performance, job satisfaction, and of course employee retention.

Learning and engagement platforms such as Learn Amp can be useful for L&D departments as it allows you to curate relevant content and provide access to a large database of articles, videos and training courses.

Another option is to set up regular meetings with employees, managers and HR to ensure that they feel that they get the support and know-how to do their job and able to plan their desired path within the company.

To summarise, employee retention is going to be of increasing importance for organisations in the years to come. Creating a corporate culture of purpose, recognition and personal development will help reduce employee turnover and provide long-term returns.

To learn more about how you can improve employee retention in your organisation, get in touch with Ovation today!