Seeing your employees move on from your company is bittersweet. You’re happy that they found an opportunity and that they’re making a forward move in their careers, but…why’d they have to leave? What are you going to do now that you have a vacant position? It’s back to the drawing board of hiring, and that means advertising the job, interviewing, onboarding, and training. It also means being prepared to handle hiring risks. Yikes. On top of that, the employees who leave know how things work. They’re efficient, and their experience is invaluable.
It’s important that you’re able to keep your employees at your company. In order to make your company the best place to ever work, it’s important that you take steps to keep people at your business – and here are some tips to do just that.
1. Know why your employees are jumping ship.
First of all, you need to know why your employees are leaving your business so that you can make changes that will encourage others to stay on. Many employees leave because of miscommunication about the job expectations or a workload that’s too stressful or not busy enough. Sometimes they leave because they found a better opportunity elsewhere – a job that pays more or suits them better.
You can ask your employees what they like about their jobs. Then you can work on ways to make what they like even better. You can also ask them what they would change about their role and the company, and from there you can figure out a place to start.
2. Ask yourself if there are opportunities for mobility within your company.
People often start looking for new opportunities when there are no opportunities for growth at their workplace. They want to be able to move up in the company and gain a sense of satisfaction from their jobs.
And let’s be real – how’s the pay? The pay has to be competitive if you want to retain talented employees. If they can do the same work but make more money elsewhere, well…
3. Promote company culture.
Work should be enjoyable. One way to help make coming to work a positive in someone’s day is to have an energetic and welcoming workplace. You’ve also got to know how to prevent workplace bullying – no one wants to work somewhere that makes them feel unsafe. Having opportunities for your team to get to know each other can help people find a sense of belonging within your company, and that feeling of belonging can lead to loyalty.
One way to create a positive company culture is to be encouraging. Tell people you like them! Be supportive and make sure that they know they’re important and appreciated. Having a team that boosts each other up is super important.
4. Have goals across the board.
Everybody – executives and management included – should have goals that further the business. Everyone should be responsible for working towards them, and everyone should be accountable for the work they do. If management seems immune to the same expectations as everyone else, that won’t exactly make people feel like they’re part of a family or a team.
5. Be honest with employees who aren’t meeting those expectations – and work with them.
If there’s an employee who’s not quite hitting the mark, you can help them improve. Be supportive. Provide training and resources that will help them, and let them know about things they can do differently to get to where you want them to be. Don’t let them feel abandoned, but don’t hover, either. You want your employee to succeed, and they need to feel that.
6. Help employees see a future at your company.
If there are opportunities to move up within the company, you need to make that clear to people. As we said before, many employees are seeking a way to grow in experience and knowledge rather than being in the same place.
7. Have management work closely with employees.
Make sure that your employees feel like they know their managers. This helps them feel more like, well, people rather than lackies. Management can work one-on-one with employees and give constructive feedback, checking in with employees periodically, rather than doing the fear-inspiring, terrifying, knee-knocking performance review.
8. Offer benefits/perks.
Okay, now this may sound like base bribery. But it’s a way to boost morale and help your employees feel appreciated. Having perks that promote emotional, mental, and physical health are great ways to increase your employees’ happiness. Maybe that comes in the form of bringing donuts (okay, so maybe not healthy, but it’s comfort food!) every once in a while or having a ping pong table in the break room. Maybe that means offering things like gym memberships or discounts. Are there nice things you can do to show your employees how much they’re appreciated?
9. Don’t forget the exit survey.
If you do end up losing an employee to another job, don’t forget to follow up with them a few months after they leave by doing an exit survey. It’s best to wait a little while because the employee might be more willing to be honest if they aren’t worried about getting a reference and if they feel settled into their new job. You should focus on questions relating to their time at your company – what did they like about their job? What didn’t they like? Why did they leave? They may have had some time to gain some perspective on their true reasons for leaving, and that’s valuable for you to know as an employer.
10. Create your retention strategy.
Once you’ve figured out the specific reasons that people are leaving – they’re different for every company, so you have to know your business and your employees – you can create a strategy to keep your employees on-board. Then put it into action! Be serious about making sure your employees know they’re appreciated.
Employee turnover is costly for business once you add up the costs of recruiting, hiring, training, and other expenses of bringing a new person on-board. Plus, hiring opens you to up a host of employment practices risks. With some of the above tips, you may be able to keep your employees at your business and keep them from being tempted to look for opportunities elsewhere. Your employees are valuable to your company – don’t underestimate their worth.
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