High Turnover? 8 Strategies for Employee Retention [Guest Post]
A high turnover rate is always an unwelcome sign, especially for project managers who rely on a committed team. The scouting and rehiring process costs precious money and time, resources that could be better used to complete company projects.
Fortunately, there are ways to retain your workforce that don’t just rely on giving raises. Here are eight organic strategies that can improve your employee retention rate.
8 Strategies for Employee Retention
1. Focus on the Interview Process
In the case of employee retention, the root of any potential problems lies within the job interview process. Regardless of how much you want an employee to stay, no amount of persuasion will change their mind if they’ve already decided to jump ship. The only solution is to hire the best of the bunch and then proceed to balance out your personal hiring goals with their professional aspirations within the company.
2. Offer Positive Feedback
Employees thrive on feedback, both positive and critical. It’s easy to blow it out of proportion, however, and sometimes managers forget to say anything due to busy or stressful work days. According to a study posted on Harvard Business Review, the ideal proportion between positive and corrective feedback is 5.6 to 1.
Let your employees know when they’ve made exceptional progress on a project, and praise them for a job well done once it’s finished. Taking this initiative will keep your team motivated and ready for the next challenge.
3. Promote from Within
For many companies, promoting from within is a foreign concept. As a result, employees leave their stations after a few loyal years of work. If you don’t give your employees the option to grow within the company, their only other option will be to look elsewhere for that opportunity.
Begin promoting established employees and offer a training program that consists of outside sources, like books, workshops, and web-based courses. These learning opportunities can serve as a powerful incentive for employees to stay aboard.
4. Let Them Speak Freely
As long as they communicate respectfully when voicing their opinions, employees should be given complete freedom to express how they feel about the progress of a project.
Do your project managers regularly solicit ideas from employees and promote a safe, comfortable environment that allows for open discussion? These strategies not only lower turnover rates but also encourage greater collaboration on projects and gives employees the chance to vent any frustrations that inhibit their productivity within the team.
5. Let Them Use Their Respective Talents
People feel more confident when they can work to their full potential on a project. Someone who’s great at creating PowerPoint presentations and using Photoshop might be stuck doing cold calls while someone who works well with clients might be stuck with spreadsheets all day.
An employee who gets to contribute to work areas outside of their job title is motivated and more likely to stick with you.
6. Give Them the Tools and Platform to Thrive
Lack of tools and training can frustrate talented employees and force them to resign even if they are satisfied with their salary and work benefits. Give them the right hardware and software tools to perform their tasks proficiently.
Ergonomic chairs, keyboards, and mice, headsets, and microphones – all of these are essential tools for a successful office environment. Additionally, software platforms that improve communication and simplify task completion are bigger investments, but worth considering for your business.
7. Maintain a Professional Relationship
While being a friend first and a boss second may sound ideal, being too friendly can sometimes lead to uncomfortable situations, misinterpreted motives, and, in extreme cases, lawsuits.
It’s always best to maintain a professional relationship with your employees – don’t play favorites, keep a fair distance, and never divulge too much information about your personal life. Also, keep jokes light and casual; you don’t want to appear uptight, but neither do you want to come off as crass and unprofessional.
8. Reward Them
Host contests and give out prizes to reward and motivate your employees. If executed properly, these incentive programs can keep your employees concentrated, refreshed, and excited to work and contribute to the company. It doesn’t even have to be a luxurious prize. Hard-bound planners, a set of coffee cups, specialty pens, or a discount coupon book all serve as great ways to keep your employees enthusiastic at work.
It’s not just about filling a seat and handing out a paycheck every other week when recruiting and retaining employees. In order to ensure a stunning project portfolio while also keeping great talent on board, you’ll have to show that their teamwork is invaluable and irreplaceable.
Ryan Bridges is a contributing writer and media specialist for the Management Training Institute. He regularly produces content for a variety of career and professional blogs, based around the challenges that come with improving one’s leadership and management skills.