Regularly losing staff is not only costly but also demoralising (for you, but also for the remaining team members), the worst-case scenario is that one leaver will trigger others to leave as well. Michelin, in North America, a company with 22,000 employees has a fantastic approach to staff retention, and it’s entirely built around staff well-being. They really seem to care about their staff stating: “our goal is to make sure all our employees retire healthy and prepared for retirement financially”.
In the financial crisis of 2008 they demonstrated their commitment to their staff by reducing their hours (rather than letting them go completely). When the market turned around, those who stayed not only regained their full-time hours but received bonuses to boot! There is no doubt that this savvy company saved themselves a fortune in recruitment costs, as well as gaining respect from loyal staff who felt truly valued.
Why do people leave?
A feeling that the job or workplace is not what they expected.
Little or no coaching, feedback or appraisals.
Too few growth and advancement opportunities.
Feeling undervalued and unrecognised.
Feeling stressed or overworked, suffering from work/life imbalance.
A loss of trust and confidence in a manager, founder or other senior.
7 ways to keep your peeps
1) Hire the right people!
Obvious yes, easy no, but if you try to hire for cultural fit you’ll be one step closer to getting the right guy/girl for the job. This major step towards staff retention sets you on a strong path to retaining a good employee from the beginning.
How to do this? It’s all about considering the character of people as equally as you consider their skills and experience, you can ask them what their goals in life are, what they value, or ask questions about their characteristics. Of course, in order to hire in line with your company culture you have first to know yours is, which leads to the next point…
2) Instill a positive culture
All the perks in the world can’t compensate for burnout and work-related stress, which lead to a loss of focus and disengagement. If left unchecked these afflictions will eventually drive an employee to leave. If you want someone to stay with the company you have to create an environment that is welcoming, as calm as possible and one in which open communication reigns supreme. In this environment when there are hiccups, issues and discontent, staff will be able to air their grievances as they arise, allowing managers to deal with them swiftly rather than have molehills turn into mountains, and good staff packing their bags. Managers can (and should) model open, approachable behavior and it will then easily become normal culture in the company.
Don’t be afraid to scale back workloads when necessary (e.g in times of employee personal stress), research suggests that working less (and stressing less) can actually result in achieving more.
3) Offer opportunities for growth
It’s likely your best people are ambitious and if you can’t support their growth and offer development opportunities, they won’t stick around for long. To keep these people, you must make it possible for them to fulfill their ambitions, (or at the least be clear at the hiring stage what you can offer in terms of development opportunities).
Training and mentoring are good places to begin. Buddying staff up with seniors can help them to grow, to stay engaged and to develop. Encourage creativity, innovation and risk-taking rather than rigidly sticking to the ways things have always been done. This is both a step towards a more positive culture, and at the same time encourages staff to challenge themselves and grow in an environment where they know their ideas will be considered rather than rejected. (Fostering an environment of innovation and ideas will also help keep your business ahead of the curve!).
4) Find your purpose
Being clear on your purpose as a company and defining this purpose will help you to provide your staff with meaning in their work. Here at citrusHR our purpose is to take the pain out of HR by working with small and medium sized businesses in a friendly and supportive manner. Because we really care about small businesses and feel that supporting them has a wider and positive ripple effect in communities, the staff here have a clear meaning behind the work they do. The result is a team that are driven to work hard with this purpose in mind, a team who like what they do, and most importantly the environment is happy and positive. The knock-on effect is that the service is also happy and positive.
This seems to be of high importance to Millennials – who are known for leaving roles and even taking a pay cut in favour of more meaningful work.
5) Appreciate your people
Where would you be without them? Your people are your business, make sure they know it and it’s unlikely they’ll want to leave. You can show your appreciation through offering good wages, bonuses, benefits (that they can actually benefit from), regular informal feedback and thanks for a job well done, as well as more structured and formal appraisals that help everybody stay on the same page.
6) Social events and team activities
Far from a waste of time, providing your employees with opportunities to bond outside of the formal working environment brings warmth and humanity to what can otherwise be cold and staid relationships. If your team are encouraged to get to know each other as people they will naturally be able to work more cohesively together, they will begin to know and use each other’s strengths and support each other’s weaknesses, and they will feel that they are part of a group, which we are all naturally programmed to want. When you feel part of something you are far less likely to want to leave that environment for an unknown other.
7) Provide flexible working opportunities
By providing flexible working opportunities your team will be empowered to produce better results. Flexibility refers to the environment, time of day or way of working that best suits a person. Good managers take these factors into account and realise that one size doesn’t fit all. To get the best from a team and to retain them, managers should try to accommodate how each person will work the best and be the happiest. This kind of flexibility (amongst other factors) goes a long way in creating loyalty to a business.
It’s truly easy to manage remote and flexible workers with HR software. Our system is accessible from a mobile and each employee has their own portal. Click here for a free trial, call us on 0333 444 0165 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.