Reboot your culture to retain your employees
If your business was impacted by the “Great Resignation,” you’re in good company. Every industry and region has felt the effects of a record 47.4 million people quitting or resigning in the US last year. And there’s no end in sight: Polls show 23%-40% of employees plan to leave their job within the next 12 months. As if that weren’t challenging enough, businesses need to fill more positions than ever—and it’s harder than ever to recruit employees. So it’s best to do everything you can to retain your current team members. Here’s how.
Without the opportunity to grow and progress, employees become bored and easy prey for recruiters. So ask team members what they want to learn and where they want to go in their career. And then create a path to help them achieve their goals. If it’s increased responsibility, build a ladder they can climb. Not everyone can be a director, but within roles, create a progression that recognizes advancement from junior through senior levels. If it’s gaining skills, offer professional development and training. Cover the costs and provide paid time off. Or support lateral moves to other areas of your business. Sometimes all people need is a change of pace.
Support your managers
Even the best managers are being challenged if they’re managing teams with on-site, remote and hybrid workers. It’s a whole new world coaching and advocating for their reports in this way. And since employees say supportive managers are key to workplace culture and loyalty, give your managers the time and training they need to continue to build trust in this new environment. After all, the converse of “people quit bad bosses, not bad jobs” is “people stick with great managers, not great jobs.”
Check in often
Exit interviews help you understand why someone is leaving, but by then it’s too late to do anything about it. So create regular opportunities for two-way conversation so you can learn about issues and address them before a team member moves on. Hold frequent one-on-ones and turn your performance reviews into “stay interviews.” Focus on what people need to perform their best and any challenges getting in the way. If you know an employee is struggling with childcare, for example, you can adjust their schedule to allow them to continue to work with you.
Recognize and reward
We all want to be valued and appreciated, and rewards and recognition are tangible ways of showing gratitude. They’re also proven to lower attrition. So give and encourage team members to offer each other frequent shows of thanks, public and private. Create a recognition program, give spot bonuses and public shout-outs in newsletters and on social media. Even notes saying “Thanks for going the extra mile” go a long way.
Communicate and listen
When people feel in the dark and left out of decisions, they’re less dedicated and engaged. So keep everyone up to date about the “state of the company” through regular all-team meetings and announcements. Be honest, even about bad news, and you’ll earn trust and loyalty. And involve employees in strategy and process discussions. Gather input through frequent pulse surveys, town halls, and even physical or virtual “suggestion boxes.” Acknowledge each person’s contributions and take their thoughts into consideration. That way, they’ll be invested in the outcomes.
Build connections and community
Friendship, camaraderie and sense of belonging form the glue that holds teams and workplaces together. So fill the calendar with options for people to gather, get to know each other, and have fun in and outside of work. Since everyone has a different appetite for company social events, don’t make them mandatory. But do make them frequent, varied and accessible by all. They’ll strengthen connections and commitment, making it harder to leave.
Invest in your employees and the employee experience
Yes, a competitive salary is important. But you can’t put a price on feeling valued, learning and growing, trusting and being trusted. To become a “sticky” employer, focus on compensation and culture. You’ll give team members priceless reasons to stick around.