Employee retention should be at the forefront of all leaders’ minds right now.
COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the world of work, and employees have many options at their disposal. Replacing employees is expensive, time-consuming, and can hurt employee morale & culture, leading to more turnover.
So how do you retain your people and make sure that you are doing all you can as an employer?
Looking at metrics of Employee Retention
Most people think that looking at employee tenure is how you measure employee retention. While it is one metric, it’s not the only one.
It would be best if you had conversations about why people are staying with your organization. If you aren’t having these conversations with your people, then now is the time to start. If you are having these conversations, then a resignation should never catch you off guard.
What do these conversations look like though? Let’s talk about the four components of those conversations.
Look in the Mirror
First, you need to look in the mirror. Do your employees KNOW that you care about their life and career? Are you having conversations about their scorecard? Do you understand what is essential to that individual from a personal, professional, and financial standpoint? If not, then this is the number one area of improvement. If yes, that’s awesome that you know their scorecard but are you actively engaging them and attempting to foster a culture internally that helps them achieve those goals?
Respect and Value Your Employees
Do your employees feel respected and valued in the workplace. Feeling respected and valued ties into their scorecard as well, but also it’s about your management style. Are you respecting their boundaries? Understanding their life outside of work? Are you giving genuine praise not only in private one on one conversations but in group settings when either a client is happy or internal stakeholders are impressed? Are you rewarding them for significant achievements – raises, promotions, extra time off, etc? Investing in their growth by putting them in a position to learn new skills with specific projects or training courses?
All of these can show your employees that you value them as well as respect them.
Not being challenged is a massive reason that employees will leave an organization. Most people don’t want to come and do the same thing day in and day out for years after mastering the skill. So as a leader, it would help if you made sure you are continually pushing your people to new heights. Adding new responsibilities or pushing them into leadership roles. Having conversations about where they may feel stagnant and want a new challenge internally is a great way to make sure they continue to keep growing and feeling engaged.
Lastly, collaboration internally is a huge factor in keeping your people engaged and retained.
How does your team, tenured and newer people, work together? Do more tenured people talk down or get frustrated when someone new is learning/onboarding, or do they take the time to collaborate with them and show them the ropes truly? When a new person comes with a new idea for improving, is leadership receptive, or do they immediately shoot it down? Are your employees able to have conversations and work together effectively?
It all comes down to open and direct communication. Are you fostering an environment that employees feel confident engaging with their managers in these types of conversations openly and honestly? Without fear of retribution or disciplinary action if they are having issues. If you want your retention to improve, these are the type of conversations you need to be having with your people.