Contributed by staffwriter Amanda Fraraccio
Our focus in April will shift gears from technology to team member turnover. Spring is the time of year when we clean house. Its out with the old and in with the new. That may be a good strategy for our personal lives, but research shows it is not beneficial for companies. Employee turnover is costly in many ways. This month, we will look at how and why companies should focus on keeping their team.
Employee retention is critical to the long-term success of a business. Damage caused by a high rate of employee turnover goes well beyond the bottom line. In addition to the financial costs, customers are less satisfied, productivity suffers, and morale among remaining team members is lower. A company invests more than base salary in their employees. There is also training time, lost knowledge, opportunity costs,and time invested in the search for a new candidate. And what about that bottom line? It is estimated that losing an employee can cost a company anywhere from 50 to 200% of that team member’s salary.
So how can companies keep their employees? There are many ways people can be encouraged to stick around. Step one begins before an employee is hired. Recruitment is key. Each organization can benefit from identifying what aspects of the company culture and strategy are most important and then look for those values in their candidates. Beyond the resume, it is important to consider longevity, not only with previous employers, but also consider factors such as previous participation in team sports, volunteer work or any activities outside of work performed on a regular basis. Individuals who have these experiences show a potential for loyalty and longevity (Florentine, 2018). Once a company has decided on the best candidate, there are many things that can be done to retain them. According to authors Susan Heathfield and Cassandra Carver, they recommend the following:
- Set clear expectations. Changing expectations keep people on edge.
- Provide quality supervision. People leave managers and supervisors more often than they leave companies or jobs.
- Provide employees in supervisory positions with adequate training. Supervisors often have more staff reporting to them and minimal training.
- Solicit ideas and provide an environment in which people are comfortable providing feedback. Employees want to feel like a valued contributor.
- Make employees feel rewarded, recognized and appreciated. Something as simple as frequently saying, "Thank You" goes a long way. Monetary rewards, bonuses, and gifts are meaningful as well.
- Employees want to continue learning. Provide them with understandable raises tied to accomplishments and achievement as well as opportunities to develop their skills, such as industry specific reading material, in-house seminars and other continuing education opportunities.
- Create clear communication pathways so employees always learn important information first hand. This can help employees feel valued even when news is not good.
(Carver, 2017) (Heathfield, 2017)
Another key strategy in today’s market place is for companies to go beyond traditional incentives for employee retention. Though a good healthcare plan and a 401k match are still important, they are not the incentives that retain employees long term. Flexible work schedules, telecommuting opportunities, and generous paid leave policies rank high among employee benefits. These policies can help people feel valued as individuals, not just employees who perform a job well (Florentine, 2018).
Recent research has shown that most people do not leave a job for more money. People are looking for an organization who will help them balance work/life demands, who inject fun into the workplace, and allow them to contribute to the organization’s success. Instead of an employee handbook detailing every single expectation of an individual, companies who retain their employees tend to have “good judgment” policies which honor a person’s common sense and capabilities (Carver, 2017). In fact, our own BB Imaging Employee manual states “When faced with ethical issues, employees are expected to make the right professional decision” we wouldn’t have hired you if we didn’t think you could do so.
The bottom line for employers is to pay attention to employees and make sure they are being developed, rewarded, and recognized for their contributions. Doing these things consistently can help develop a positive reputation in the industry and make it easier to attract quality future applicants. Once established, a culture of value and support can be perpetuated by current employees who can share the sense of belonging with potential new employees and contribute to your goal of retention (Carver, 2017).
Carver, C. (2017, October 31st). http://www.astronsolutions.net. Retrieved from Astron Solutions: http://www.astronsolutions.net/keys-to-successful-employee-recruitment-and-retention/
Florentine, S. (2018, January 19th). https://www.cio.com/article/2868419/careers. Retrieved from CIO from IDG: https://www.cio.com/article/2868419/careers-staffing/how-to-improve-employee-retention.html
Heathfield, S. (2017, July 7th). thebalance.com. Retrieved from The Balance: https://www.thebalance.com/top-ways-to-retain-your-great-employees-1919038