The job market is strong, and unemployment is low, which means that job applicants have a relatively easy time getting hired. Employees won’t think twice about leaving their current jobs, knowing that another company will scoop them up quickly. But if you keep your employees satisfied, they won’t want to leave you. Here’s how you can develop a retention strategy that works.
Offer competitive benefits
About half of the employees who quit their jobs do so because their salary isn’t enough. People want financial stability, decent health care, and other benefits. Check out what other companies in your industry and in your geographic area are doing to their employees to make sure you’re in the same ballpark. If your benefits package is substantially less, you’ll eventually see some of your employees walking out the door.
Look for the best candidates
Be careful when you hire. Take your time—but not too much time—to interview thoroughly and check references. Evaluate their characters, work ethic, integrity, and other soft skills that might indicate whether they’ll remain committed to your company. Prepare a comprehensive onboarding process so that new employees feel welcomed into your company culture and are prepared for the work ahead of them.
Keep your employees happy
Treat your employees like people. Praise them when they do well, acknowledge their efforts, and be merciful when they mess up. Be available to hear questions, concerns, opinions, and ideas. Boost their confidence, challenge them, and offer professional development. All of your managers should do the same. Train them to manage interpersonal conflicts, deal with various personalities, manage crises, and handle stress.
Create structure and consistency
Provide your employees’ work schedules well in advance so that they can plan their lives and achieve that ever-elusive work-life balance. If they feel overworked and pulled in too many different directions, the stress will consume them, productivity will suffer, and work satisfaction will diminish. Treat all of your employees fairly according to your employee handbook so they know what to expect and feel like they can have faith in you and the system. Uncertainty leads to mistrust and sometimes fear.
Motivate your employees to stay engaged
When employees aren’t motivated, they get easily distracted, and they’ll check out of their work. But if you can keep them focused by providing more learning opportunities, offering promotions and other opportunities for advancement, and celebrate their achievements. Consider developing a mentor program and designing an obvious pattern for leadership and advancement. When employees know they’re likely to move up into more prestigious positions, higher income brackets, and more challenging roles, they’re more likely to stick with your company.
Develop a sense of purpose
Everyone wants to work for a company they can be proud of, a company they can brag about to friends and family. Establish a brand that takes charity and helping the greater community seriously.