Practical Employee Retention Ideas That Reduce Staff Turnover Easily
The number-one employee retention strategy on the planet? Pay employees what they think they are worth. All kidding aside, though that might make employees happy as the proverbial pig in slop, throwing cash around isn’t always the best way to show appreciation and improve employee morale. The reason employee retention is so important is because the cost of recruiting, hiring, training is expensive. In fact, according to Zane Benefits, a company focused on employee benefits for small businesses, replacing a salaried employee can cost 2x their annual salary, depending on the position. And the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) estimates that it costs $3,500.00 to replace one $8.00-an-hour employee when all costs were considered. Of course, the higher the wage: the higher the turnover cost.
Businesses on a budget must be craftier than competitors when attracting and retaining employees. Here are seven low-cost ways you can make a difference with current and future employees:
1. Have a plan.
Build a foundation for success by documenting what you want to achieve. With a carefully constructed document that outlines your corporate vision, mission statement and policies surrounding employee appreciation, your managers will be more inclined to create an environment employees will celebrate.
2. Communication is key.
With the plan in hand, communicate to managers what you expect from them. The only way your plan will permeate your business is when all leaders are singing from the same song sheet. It’s important to help managers understand what you’re trying to achieve. Once they understand the culture you want to cultivate, you need to make sure they live and share that vision.
3. Set expectations for accountability
Once employees understand you’re creating an environment for them to thrive in, they will feel more connected. This is the ideal time to set expectations for each position and each employee. Clearly explain what you expect daily in their positions and how you will be measuring success. Employees like to know they are not being reviewed subjectively. A job description and review criteria with measurable attributes will communicate what you expect from them.
4. Coach employees to the top.
Lack of training and development is one of the top 10 reasons employees quit, so it’s wise to let your employees know you want to help them succeed. Let them know you value people who ask questions and strive to be the best. Provide opportunities for cross-training and exposure to other positions within your company so employees better understand how their responsibilities and contributions affect other employees and departments.
5. Set up staff for success.
One way to reach your staff is to set aside time to get to know them: who they are, what they’re about and what they do in their off hours. By showing employees that you’re interested in their lives outside work, they’ll feel you care about them as a person, not just an employee. When you establish a culture of caring, it’s much easier to engage in productive two-way dialog. This provides managers an opportunity to get valuable insight direct from the front lines, and it provides you an opportunity to talk with employees about their paths and what motivates them to succeed. You may be surprised to learn that money isn’t always the answer!
6. Be transparent.
Many employees refer to their jobs as “just a paycheck.” That’s probably a fair assessment if your staff is not plugged in to how your company makes — or loses — money. By sharing basic company goals regularly, you provide employees with a better sense of their roles in your success. Talk with your managers about the metrics that matter most to folks on the front lines and then share those statistics regularly. You may be surprised by how much they start to care about the numbers that matter most to you.
7. Acknowledge the work.
While employees value a paycheck, deposits into the ol’ emotional bank account are just as important. Recognizing and motivating employees in-the-moment for doing work that’s appreciated has a positive impact for days. A handwritten thank you card with a simple “thanks for going above and beyond” is always cherished. And when you acknowledge efforts with something tangible and personal, employees will feel an even deeper commitment. For example, if you know an employee loves movies, give them passes to the cineplex; or if they love to read, an Amazon gift card will do the trick.
The bottom line: If you have a plan, share it and then facilitate a culture that encourages appreciation, employees will feel valued and will express their gratitude with loyalty to your company.
Increase your employee retention rates by showing them you care. TrackSmart’s calendar event feature makes it easy to monitor and celebrate your employee’s birthdays and anniversaries, as well as plan team and company events. You can even download reports that illustrate turnover and how long your employees have worked for you.