It’s about the Bottom Line
Turnover is a money drain. Every time you lose a valued employee, you’re losing money. Despite the currently high unemployment rate, employee retention at all levels throughout your organization remains an important part of your business process. The more stable your workforce, the more focuses you can be on your mission and your bottom line.
When you have to replace and re-train an employee, it can be costly. You may be looking at paying overtime to existing employees who have to take up the slack, or hiring temporary or part-time workers to fill the void. Lost productivity is expensive, whether it is a timeline that gets behind schedule or customer service that isn’t up to snuff, and getting behind can cost you a customer.
Recruiting, selecting, and hiring a new employee takes time and money…whether you do it all in-house or call upon a professional recruiter. Once you’ve identified and brought the right individuals on board, you have to invest in training time and team building in order to keep and build momentum and productivity.
Eyes on the Prize
Company morale is highly affected by turnover. Unexpected departures are disconcerting for the workflow, interrupt timelines, and destabilize the folks who remain. When a deadline looms or an opportunity arises, you want your team to pitch in with no reserve and bring it together. The relationships that make a good team include trust and mutual support, something that gets interrupted and worn away when too many members of the team have left.
Continuity breeds efficiency. When the team has tenure and history, there is better communication and flow. People know what needs to be done, they aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel or play catch up. The confidence and motivation of a healthy team means that the work processes can flow efficiently and productively.
If you could spend 100% of your time focused on accomplishing your business objectives, you’d meet and exceed them that much sooner. When staff and management need to spend time training and indoctrinating new employees, this is a distraction from your main objectives. Your time if obviously better spent generating orders, communicating with your customers, and working closely with your team. Ideally your training budget can be focused on strengthening the skills of your current team, and increasing their productivity and contribution.
Manage Your Human Resources for Success
Hire the right people. Talent acquisition is a business in its own right. It is not cheap or easy to attract top talent, so when you find good people hire them. It may take more time to find the right people who have both the needed skill set and the fit with the company, but it makes a difference both to the longevity of the hire and to the integration within the team. Don’t invest money in people who are not going to be a loyal, dedicated part of your team.
Create Loyalty. To create loyalty in the people who work, you need to let them know that they are valued as an individual and member of the team. To show that you care, you need to recognize their needs. Treat everyone with respect and fairness, especially in matters of compensation and job security.
Create Pride. Communicate the positive impact of the company’s product and services on the greater society. Whether this is done through the good works of the principal business, or volunteer and financial contributions to worthy causes and efforts, we all take pride in the accomplishments of our employer and identify with the reputation and results of our company that we see in our communities.
Provide work-life Balance. People need to balance work and non-work priorities, work-life balance. An easy approach to this is allowing flexible work schedules. Consider flexibility in working hours so people can work when they want to. It may be a question of caring for family members or participating in the community, or it may be as simple as avoiding rush hour traffic. Accommodating such needs or preferences can quickly build loyalty and motivation.
Reward Performance. Everyone wants to be rewarded for their hard work and recognized for their achievements. When people do a great job, let them know. Whether this is a direct commission structure or a simple public display of appreciation depends on the circumstances. When excellence is rewarded and celebrated, individuals are proud, and the bar gets set higher for all. An email, a pat on the back, movie tickets, gift certificates, catered lunch, company party, end of year bonus; it’s the recognition and gesture that counts.
Provide Development Opportunities. People want to learn and grow. Offering training shows that the company is willing to invest in employees. Not only will employees be gratified and the company will benefit from growing the skills and leveraging the talent in place.
Be a Part of the Team. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. Employee retention levels are higher in companies where the boss is highly visible to the workers. Make sure that communication lines are open, that relationships can flourish. Have coffee and dialogue with your employees and make sure you build the relationships and trust in the workplace. Many of us spend more waking hours with coworkers than our families, we need to feel in touch, respected and valued.
Be a leader. The best managers are intelligent and empathetic, and they can create enthusiasm and obtain commitment from their employees. Inspire purpose in the company mission and in the daily work. Be a coach and a mentor; facilitate the work of your employees. Create teams and promote autonomy; people will rise to meet expectations.