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Your 5-Point Checklist for Employee Retention

Your 5-Point Checklist for Employee Retention_Yellow Spark Blog
Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash

Your 5-Point Checklist for Employee Retention

Remember celebrating your father or uncle’s retirement day and being in awe that he spent 40 long years at the same job? And importantly, retired a happy man? Those days are long gone! Today’s job market is extremely competitive, and skillsets have to be constantly upgraded to stay relevant. However, employee retention is as much the onus of the company (as much as that of the employees) to make sure employees have reasons to stay and remain resourceful.

Today’s employees, especially millennials (between the ages of 19 to 34) are constantly switching jobs. What they’re looking for is not job security and stability and constancy, but novelty, and personal growth. They are not afraid of change to achieve these goals.

At the same time, companies are pulling out all the stops to make sure they have a stable, well-functioning workforce. Every organisation puts in time and money to make the new recruit corporate-ready material and bring them to the level of current employees. These employees, when prompted by factors such as lucrative salary, good timings or growth prospects, tend to look for a change. No matter how much you do to influence them, ultimately the employee is the one who decides whether to go or to stay.

Retaining skilled employees is vital to the success of a business. A high rate of employee turnover can result in a loss of knowledge and skills, and can negatively impact a company’s bottom line. The cost of losing an employee includes not only lost productivity, but also the expense of recruiting, selecting, and training a new employee. So how do you strike the balance?

Here’s a 5-point checklist to help you build a good employee retention strategy for your company:

1. Build your company’s brand:

Everybody likes to be associated with a good brand. Your company’s brand is the way you’re perceived by employees, both current and future. It defines what kind of candidates want to work for you, and how desirable you are as an employer. Branding defines your business to yourself, your team and your external audiences.

Customers of all sorts of businesses are so savvy today that they can see through attempts by companies to gloss, spin or charm their way to sales. When customers connect with your brand – as they share the same values and beliefs – it leads to higher sales. People like to work for successful companies. A strong brand, therefore, encourages loyalty, advocacy and employee retention.

Not only that, but it is also important you care for your employee’s holistic well-being. Are your core values geared towards long-term success? Employee satisfaction, loyalty, fair treatment go a long way in maintaining the company reputation as do ethics, trust integrity, and honesty. These are often what build the important core values of the business. They are the identity of the business and add to the long-term satisfaction of your employees as well.

You might be thinking that employees leave good companies too. Well yes they do, but then there is also a long queue of potential employees waiting to join the company owing to its ‘good employer’ reputation.

How to develop a strong employer brand?

Employer brand is a set of tangible qualities that a company possesses as an employer. It is these qualities which become the identity of the company among all those who work or intend to work in the company. Simply put, your employer brand encourages new employees to join you, remain with you and recommend you to their other colleagues. Here’s what does it take to develop a strong ‘Employer Brand’.

2. Ensure good leadership:

Want good people? Be good to people. This sums it all up. It reinforces how important it is to treat your employees the way you would want to be treated. This doesn’t mean that the manager needs to be nice; it just means that the manager needs to behave appropriately based on a situation at hand. That is usually the tricky part. Having a reputation of fair treatment can go a long way. Being in charge isn’t easy; it takes skill to manage an effective team. But, all the management training in the world would hardly matter if you didn’t treat everyone with equal respect.

If your star performer leaves your company for a better opportunity, then it may be a good time to reflect on your leadership skills. Losing an employee doesn’t always add up to just monetary reasons. It could be because of the ineffective leadership within your company. People rarely leave for a better opportunity. Most often, what drives the need for change is to leave the current company rather than moving on to another.

In formal setups, there are clear demarcations and hierarchies. There is a formal communication, people talk what is expected out of their designations. Go beyond that designation, get to know them better. This brings warmth and humane touch to an otherwise cold, formal relationship.

What qualities make a successful leader?

Even a seasoned team leader can sometimes find his or her job challenging. Whether they have been assigned a new team, or are taking over an existing one, the effort and experience are more or less the same. Here are six winning tips to help you build and lead a productive, collaborative team while taking your leadership skills to the next level.

3. Offer challenging and fulfilling job responsibilities:

Challenging work can be a great motivator, as it can keep employees engaged and interested in their role. For many employees, having to overcome some level of difficulty in their work is preferable to the boredom of an easy, unchallenging job.

However, at the same time, work cannot become so challenging that it’s practically impossible to complete tasks or make employees feel they don’t have the skills or resources or management support to overcome them. So strike a balance. Make sure that you offer access to good training, and staff support where necessary and the management is approachable. Completing challenging tasks leaves employees with a sense of fulfilment, growth and contribution to their own betterment as well as the company’s.

How to engage with high potential employees?

High potential employees are the ones who are able and willing to contribute the most to the company. These are the people, whom we all love to work with because of their passion, commitment and a constant desire to level up. They push their mental and professional boundaries for their own growth, as well as the growth of the company. High potential employees have their own set of values, principles, discipline, and manner of working. They are able to give their best to the company with confidence as they are aware of their worth an asset.

However, as much as having such people on board is an asset for the company, equally high is the risk of losing such valuable talent. Therefore, leaders have a tough task of keeping these high potential employees engaged for as long as possible in the organisation.

4. Reward and recognise employees:

To keep the positive morale flowing in the office, you need to reward and recognise employees regularly, at least when they have done something exemplary. It reinforces positive behaviour for the individual and also sets an example for the whole organisation and demonstrates your appreciation for the team.

Keep track of salary and pay grades in your sector and be clear about how your employees can earn a pay raise. Make sure you link pay to performance through a transparent, constructive appraisal system, they will know exactly what they need to do to earn more. They will offer more if they know hard work pays off.

At the same time, rewards can also be non-monetary. You can offer flexibility to the employee, provide more facilities at work, offer a more competitive salary structure, or find several more creative ways to recognise individual contribution. Recognition is something all individuals look for. A transparent reward system is essential to garner the trust of employees.

How to reward employee?

Employees carry forth the vision of the company – they create new opportunities, help you and work with you to overcome challenges, manage the day to day operations to help you achieve consistent growth over time. Without satisfied employees, your productivity can erode away and the progressive upward trend of your company can collapse. Here are some ways in which you can acknowledge your employees without monetary compensation.

5. Reduce employee pain:

When an employee’s work and life balance is out of sync, there’s pain. Begin with finding the pain point. This can be done through employee surveys, getting direct feedback, or paying attention to industry trends, find out what is a point of frustration for employees in your industry.

For example, people in consulting firms have crazy schedules; living in one city and having to fly to other cities where clients are based is very normal. The obvious solution is to make sure that not only are they are compensated so well that time spent at work is justifiable but also given timeoff and flexibility.

A more alternative way would be to offer less harsh schedules, or leave of absence where required. Or have more people working on the same project, to ensure that the work doesn’t suffer and the burden isn’t on one person.

Don’t let the pain build elsewhere. Good workers are easily taken for granted. Be on guard for employees who may not be complaining, but are quietly feeling exhausted or frustrated about the amount of work expected from them. Be sensitive. Showing an employee you care is important. Communicate with your staff and keep an eye out for areas that have caused grumbling. Those are pain points.

The mantra is quite simple. A successful employee development plan makes your workforce knowledgeable and hence, satisfied. And when your employees are happy, they are less likely to look somewhere else.

What are the indicators of stress and how to reduce them?

In order to manage the increasing stress at workplace, you have to be vigilant and observe the various indicators or red flags that could warn you about it. Unlike the common cold, there’s no obvious or direct indicator that shows if someone is stressed or not. However, there are a lot of indirect cues or signs that you may associate stress with. Here are a few indicators of stress that you must not overlook.

Every employee is unique. Get the best out of your employees by figuring out what makes them tick professionally, and what kind of environment suits them. Some thrive on routine, while others like to be able to work when inspiration strikes. Some enjoy coming into the office and working alongside a team, while others are happier working from home collaborating online. Provided it makes sense for your business, be open to suggestions. Your employees might surprise you with solutions that improve efficiency or save on overheads.

Remember, a business relationship is still a relationship. And if you’ve invested time and effort recruiting, training and developing employees, it’s because they matter.

At Yellow Spark, we design holistic employee development plans to ensure job retention. To know more please write to us at contact@yellowspark.in

Author Profile: Aparna Joshi Khandwala is a passionate HR professional. She co-founded Yellow Spark to work with like-minded people who believe in the power of leadership, which is the only business differentiator in today’s time.