One of the key worries of any organization is how to retain employees, more so the deserving employees. Not just that it is a setback but also the company has to start afresh with hiring new talent, grooming and nurturing them. A lot has been written on effective employee retention strategies in scores of management books but you would not know what might work for your organization.
Here are some of the easiest to adopt employee retention ideas that will work irrespective of the size of the organization. These effective employee retention strategies should be a part of the HR module and one shouldn’t just wait for some resignations to put them in practice.
1. Get the head start
It is no rocket science when we say that hire right people from the beginning. Don’t just ask textbook questions in the interview, ask about what motivates them, what have been their accomplishments, how their weakness affects their work, what has made them apply for this job, what are their aspirations and so on.
This will not only tell you a lot about the person but also give you a pretty fair idea if his passion for work will align with yours. And so when you hire the best fit for your organization, you will know how to retain them without spending a lot of time making effective employee retention strategies.
2. Conducive work environment
Work environment is said to be conducive, among many other things, when the management knows where it is headed, when the organization has strong ethics and culture, when Monday morning blues are only limited to what to wear to work , when people feel like they belong there, when they see that everyone is treated just and when communication flows easily.
There will always be work-related stress because of deadlines, client meetings etc. but as an employer make sure that it is just temporary. Deadline is met, order a pizza and lighten up.
3. People don’t quit jobs…
They quit managers. It may not always be true but mostly it is. Since an employee is directly working with his manager and so more or less, he is representing the organization to the employee. It is then no wonder that his satisfaction level at work is directly proportional to his work-equation with his manager. That is one of the key reasons behind high attrition and not without a reason.
As an organization you should ensure that the line managers are not just technically sound but are also trained to empathize with their team members. That they are approachable and lead by example.
4. Match expectations, responsibilities and rewards
Most of the dissatisfaction at work is related to a clear mismatch between expectations. Then there is the part when they feel that their efforts are not being recognized and rewarded well or the disillusion of how their work is contributing in the bigger picture.
There should be clear discussions in the team about what is expected out of everyone, how everything is going to contribute to the bigger goal and most importantly, appreciate. Efforts should be duly rewarded.
5. The very critical ‘work-life balance’
In this overtly competitive world, most of us are struggling to strike a comfortable work-life balance. When an organization turns a blind eye to the fact that the employees are in fact not machines and it would be unreasonable to expect 100 per cent output from them at all times of the day, that is the time it is doomed. As an organization you do not want people to hold these grudges against you and then quit.
Giving them time off, allowing them to leave early on certain occasions, understanding that the person needs to switch off from work mode and respecting personal space are small things but go a long way to ensure people are rejuvenated and productive at work.
6. Training and growth
People join any organization to give their best, to learn and grow. Sure you are giving them training and signing them up for workshops, but are most of the training given to your employees centered around their current role?
You should help them grow further ahead in their career and that can happen if you provide them cross-functional training, help them develop new skills and explore bigger roles in the organization.
7. Show me the money
Now, we all know one of the main reasons to quit is better money. Even if it is fewer grands higher people do switch jobs. Money is one of the important motivations and the organization needs to understand this.
Make sure you give fair and just appraisal to every deserving candidate. A salary hike is one way to do sweeten the deal. Gamification (that is rewarding the employees on certain parameters like early to office or zero absenteeism), insurance benefits, stock options are some ways to reward the employees monetarily.
8. Open door, literally and figuratively
Many a time people have resentment against the management and they don’t know how to voice it. Many don’t even discuss it in the exit interview also.
Now this is something any organization can contain. Have an open door policy and not just on paper. Give people that freedom of walking up to you or the HR with any concern that is hampering their performance. Also ensure them that you will address those concerns and take an action.
9. Benefits go a long way
Not always do you have to really spend money to make your people happy. Often a rigid work structure, hierarchies do not cut it for most people.
Letting them have a slightly longer lunch break, going out for a coffee or tea, flexible work hours, long weekend offs, allowing a sabbatical can give people a breather and they know that the organization is indeed concerned about their well-being and wants them to do well.
10. Bond beyond work
In formal set ups, there are clear demarcations and hierarchies. People tend to work and leave. There is a formal communication, people talk what is expected out of their designations.
Go beyond that designation, get to know them better. Have informal chats over a cup of coffee on topics that don’t involve client call or upcoming presentation. This brings warmth and humane touch to an otherwise cold, formal relationship.