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In a study conducted by BambooHR, 31 percent of those surveyed reported quitting a job within the first six months. Worse, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3 million Americans quit their job each month.
Why? What are the underlying causes of high employee turnover?
From poor management to lack of competitive pay and even boredom on the job, there are many factors that play into employee retention rates. If your organization fails to recognize or solve these issues, company morale and culture will ultimately suffer.
"I quit SO hard right now."
As the war for acquiring top talent rages on, it’s important that your organization values new hires as well as current staff. Below are seven ways on how you can keep retention rates high now and down the road.
It’s in our human nature to gravitate towards people that are more transparent than others. When we’re transparent, we’re more likely to have feelings of trust and form a deeper connection with one another. The same is true with business culture. Upper levels of management all the way down to interns should be transparent in their work. Employees and managers need to keep each other informed about business dealings—what’s going well and what the company is working to improve on. When changes are made, have open conversations with employees to explain the decision process and what to expect in the future. Upper management can set the tone of a transparent culture and employees will appreciate when organizations are honest with them.
Talented employees will want and need challenges at work in order to grow their skillset. Give them the same mind-numbing tasks, and they’ll quickly be out the door. Challenges allow employees to not only become more engaged in their job, but allows for internal growth.
Furthermore, if managers don’t take the time to sit down with employees and map out job and career goals and how they plan to execute those goals, employee’s growth will be stunted and stalled. This process doesn’t need to be super formal and can be as simple as creating an individual growth template for employees to fill out. Have an open, honest conversation with employees to really hash out what they want in the job and in their career overall.
Training and career growth should start as early as onboarding and there should be periods of check-ins (not just end-of-year performance reviews) to see how the employee is doing. Managers and employees should both be accountable for the execution of action items.
Strong Recognition and Rewards Culture
How effectively do you recognize your staff for a job well done? From handwritten letters to service awards, it’s important that your company has recognition culture and programs that personally recognize employees.
At Awardco, we know the importance of a strong recognition culture and recognition program that promotes engagement and satisfaction. Through our technology and partnerships for fulfillment (Amazon Business, Priceline Hotels, ticket events, company store and custom items), we are able to focus on the development of custom programs that map to an organization’s needs. Our programs—from service awards to spot recognition and social/peer-to-peer recognition—lead the employee recognition industry.
Hiring the Right People
Part of your retention problem could be due to the fact that you are hiring poorly. One of the biggest hiring flaws? Hiring someone that is qualified for the job but is actually harmful to your established company culture.
"It was Professor Plum in the break room with the microwaved fish."
Instead of having a single hiring manager that conducts the interview, have a hiring panel of three to five people. That way, they can convene after the interview and determine if the person is a good fit for the organization. A hiring panel is also a great way to avoid getting duped by applicants. In addition to panels, look for ways to enhance and improve your hiring process. This can include test assignments and other screening measures.
Offer Competitive Benefits
From flexible work schedules to health benefits, retirement plans and competitive salaries/bonuses, you need to make sure your organization is on trend within the current industry and then review these benefits annually. This is especially true when acquiring top talent, so make sure you can offer benefits that make your organization unique and desirable for applicants.
Create a Fun and Engaging Culture
Keeping retention rates high means having a company culture that employees enjoy and actively contribute to. Managers should work hard to create cultures where employees feel free to show their unique personalities and that they can develop friendships with coworkers.
A great way to enhance company culture is to create and celebrate organization traditions. This can range from summer outings to monthly volunteer activities, holiday parties, etc.—really any tradition you want to celebrate. Furthermore, these traditions can also serve as good team building activities.
"Eat our dust, sales team!"
Lastly, your organization should honor a work-life balance. A job is just one aspect of an employee’s life, and managers need to work with employees to make sure they can achieve that balance and avoid burnout. When employees feel burned out, the work and business suffer. Again, one-on-one meetings are a great way for managers to find out what provisions need to be in place, such as a flexible work schedule, etc.
With these seven tips, it can help keep your employee retention rate up this year and in the years to come.