A great employee is a rare gem: He/she is hard to find to begin with and once you find one, throngs of suitors will be lining up at your door to snatch them away from you. Although difficult, getting a good employee is not the hardest part, retaining them is. It will cost you time, money and effort but compared to losing a valued employee, this is a small price to pay.
Losing an employee no matter how long they have been with your organisation is costly. Some of the costs that can be directly attributed to employee turnover include:
Lost training time and investment
Lost knowledge and skills
Lost morale on the part of co-workers
Drop in productivity due to labour gaps.
It is estimated that losing a middle manager will cost your organisation up to a 100% of their salary. A senior executive could cost your organisation at least double their annual salary.
Although controlling human actions is a nearly impossible task, there are ways in which you can reduce employee turnover to bearable levels.
Here are ten tips to help you retain your best employees:
- Track retention. If it’s not measured, it won’t improve. You need to first evaluate your organisations track record in terms of employee retention. Identify which departments have the highest turnovers. Compare your figures with your industry’s to know where you stand. Make strategies to improve your position.
- Communication. Your employees should be allowed to speak their minds freely within your organisation. Solicit ideas from them, make them feel comfortable to offer feedback and welcome criticism. If employees find themselves in trouble for offering their honest opinions, you can be sure they’ll jump ship as soon as the opportunity arises.
- Train your first level supervisors. Your supervisors play a critical role in employee retention. Most often than not, employees quit because they do not get along with their supervisors, not because they dislike their jobs. Your supervisors should be trained on how to handle those under their supervision.
- Utilise your employee’s talent and skills. Most employees would love to work in other areas outside their job descriptions. Know your employees’ skills, talents and experience and use this information to identify the employees who could contribute more than they already are. Your workers will feel valued and appreciated
- Employer expectations. Your employees should know clearly what is expected of them by their employer. Changing expectations frequently creates unhealthy stress and keeps your employees on edge.
- Remuneration. Pay your employees market rates as soon as your organisation is able to afford it. At least for your star performers. Employees do not leave an employer for more money, they leave because they feel that the compensation does not equal the value they bring to the organisation.
- Get the right employees. Instead focussing on a personality match, focus on the candidates skills. This will most likely lead to longer tenures.
- Reinforce positive feedback with tangible rewards. In addition to verbally acknowledging a job well done, gift your performing employees with something tangible. It doesn’t have to be money. A simple dinner paid for by the organisation would go a long way.
- Create opportunities for your employees to grow. Advertise new opportunities internally first before looking outside the organisation. Let existing employees who can stretch into the new position fill it. Allow them to grow to the next level.
- Be fair. Employees will feel hard done if they see a person who offers less to the organisation getting more rewards and recognition. Ensure that rewards and promotions are awarded to deserving employees.
In addition to the above strategies, you should also conduct exit interviews to understand why the employee decided to leave.
It may be too late for that particular employee but the information gathered could help retain other employees.
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