Jon Hainstock
Posted by Jon Hainstock

Employee retention is one of the key aspects to a company’s success. Nearly 70% of organisations report that staff turnover has a negative financial impact due to the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement employee and the overtime work of current employees that’s required until the organisation can fill the vacant position (BLR). All things considered, it’s been estimated that a lost employee can cost 6 to 9 months of that employee’s salary on average.

Employee turnover is a major problem, and there are many factors at work, including generational factors, the economy, sweeping changes in the workplaces, and more.Learning the following actionable strategies will help you reduce employee turnover, and retain the talent you need to run your company.

1. Provide More Positive Feedback

We all know that employees need feedback to improve and to do their best work – both positive, and constructive advice. But in what proportion? A study by Harvard Business Review shows that the ideal ratio between positive and negative suggestions is 5.6 (positive) to 1 (corrective).

Positive feedback should be given frequently to motivate employees and to give them the determination they need to do their best work. But constructive and corrective feedback is also important, particularly when there’s an urgent issue that needs to be nipped in the bud. Moving forward, become more aware of how many negative comments you’re saying to your employees in relation to positive comments.

Your action step: Give each employee one positive bit of feedback each week. For example, tell a waiter, “I really liked how you confidently provided your recommendations for entrees when the customer asked. Keep up the great work.”

2. Give Your Employees An Opportunity To Grow

Many companies promote people from outside of the organisation and don’t offer ongoing training and education for their workers.As a result, there is no way to advance or improve, employees become disillusioned in their roles and are less likely to stay. Per Sharon Florentine at CIO, ongoing education makes employees feel valued and gives them something to look forward to.

When there is a clearly laid-out path for advancement, your workforce will feel like they are a critical part of the company’s success.By promoting from within and implementing a training program, or by leveraging outside resources and tools (such as workshops, books, online courses, etc.), you can create a powerful incentive for your team members to stay over the long haul. Employees see these initiatives as an investment in their future.

Your action step: Find a course or a book for your employees to study this month.

3. Challenge Your Employees In A Balanced Way

Doing the same thing day in and day out can lead to boredom and apathy. On the other hand, getting your employees to complete difficult projects or jump through too many hoops could make them feel demoralised and ambivalent about their future in the company. Kristi Hedges, contributor at Forbes notes that finding the balance between challenge and support is rarely easy. This is because every employee is different, and what one might find rewarding, another might find tedious and too complex. Hedges suggests:

Expressing belief in your employees. Leaders are in a position of authority, and when they express the potential they see in them, their belief in self-grows.

Pushing people out of their comfort zone. Give them a chance to take a risk.

Seeing failure as a learning opportunity. Process failure together by learning from it.

Encourage a growth mindset. Reward effort – not just talent and brains.

Your action step: Determine which of your employees are looking for more to do, and give them one added responsibility this week. Empower them by providing the tools they need and give them full responsibility for the project instead of micromanaging them at every stage.

4. Encourage Creativity

Although many companies say they value creativity, they don’t necessarily have any initiatives or policies in place to support it. Michael Poh, freelance blogger at Hongkiat suggests the following steps for encouraging creativity in the workplace:

Offer rewards. If you’re going to encourage suggestions, take them seriously. Recognise and incentivise employees that contribute in a tangible way.

Provide an outlet. Not all employees are going to want to be named or recognised for their ideas. Create opportunities for both public and private contributions or feedback.

Set up innovation teams. These are individual teams that are tasked with coming up with ideas on a specific topic.

Demonstrate the value you place on creativity. Encourage risk-taking.

Hire a variety of different people. Creativity will not come from a group of people that all think alike.

Have fun. Create a positive working environment where creativity and spontaneity can occur.

Your action step: This week, give your employees 30 minutes of creative time to brainstorm ideas or work on side projects that interest them.

5. Foster Respect In The Workplace

More than ever, people are looking for respect at their jobs. They don’t want to feel devalued or unimportant within an organisation, which can result from a lack of respect. CEB’s Quarterly Global Labor Market research showed that the top five things people look for in a new job are:

1. Stability
2. Compensation
3. Respect
4. Health benefits
5. Work-life balance

Does your workplace value respect as highly as workers do?
A culture of respect can be fostered by implementing many of the strategies suggested on this list, including; feedback, recognition, encouraging creativity, collaboration, and so on.It is also essential to empower your team members with the tools and resources they need, and demonstrating kindness and thoughtfulness can also go a long way.

Your action step: This week, say “thank you” to employees that hand in their assignments. Instead of interrogating them about work they need to complete, simply ask if they require your help in any way (and provide them with the help they need if they ask).

6. Earn The Trust Of Your Employees

Employees perform better when they trust management and the people assigning them tasks. 46% of employees stated that a lack of transparent leadership communication is driving them to seek new employment. Meanwhile, 79% of highly engaged employees have trust and confidence in their leaders (Novarete).

As you’re looking to create more trust with your employees, it will be necessary to: build personal connections, emphasise honesty and transparency, motivate your team members, give credit and shoulder blame, avoid favouritism, and demonstrate competence in your work.

Your action step: this week, make it your goal to get to know each of your employees a little better. Have open-ended conversations with them, and make them feel welcome and free to discuss what’s on their mind.

7. Encourage Your Employees To Give You Feedback

It’s one thing to give feedback to your employees, but you must also accept feedback from them. When workers don’t feel like their thoughts are being heard, they assume the company has no interest in improving or pursuing worthy ideas. Many employees have a tendency of thinking that nothing will change, even if they do propose something new. Hay Group found that high levels of employee engagement can boost revenue by 2.5x (KaiNexus).

This extends into providing them with the right tools and resources, offering feedback, and so on, in addition to encouraging them to give you feedback. Create a culture where staff members feel comfortable offering their thoughts.

Your action step: Ask your employees to offer their feedback on an important project this week. For example, it could be about company culture, a high-level executive decision, or a new development in the marketplace that may require your company to adapt.

Now you and start implementing these strategies within your business and see the positive reaction from your employees. All of these steps will help you achieve the employee retention goals so stay tuned for Employee Retention Strategies You Can Start Today Part 2!

Jon Hainstock is the co-founder of ZoomShift, employee scheduling and time clock software for independent coffee shops. You can connect with Jon on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

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