Each time an employee resigns, they take away a part of their work, efficiency, and talent from your business. As an employer, you have to fill up the vacancy by searching for new people with the same level of knowledge and capability.
The searching and hiring process is time-consuming and frustrating. You don't always get good candidates. That's why investing in solving employee retention problems is an important aspect of staff management.
Let's see what you can do to tackle the retention problems at work.
1. Be careful when changing your expectations
Employees apply for and accept a position because they're aware of what they're expected to do in that job. Most of the time, managers express their expectations and requirements whenever they hire new people. This makes the whole hiring process clear, and everyone knows exactly what they should do.
However, as your business grows, you may start to have higher expectations towards your employees. You may want them to do a better job and take on new responsibilities. Some staff may start to feel uncertain and stressed out. This can lead to the tendency of leaving their job.
To avoid this problem, you have to be direct and clear with your employees in terms of expectations and responsibilities. If you want a better work result, explain clearly what you expect them to do, and show them how they can achieve it.
It's also important to evaluate the potential of each employee and see if they can meet the more difficult requirements of the job. Otherwise, it'd be a mess if you assigned tasks that are too hard for your people.
2. Recognize, acknowledge, and reward
Recognizing and acknowledging your employees' work is an effective way to boost employee engagement and retention.
Besides sending thank-you notes and emails, you can give them small rewards such as a cup of coffee. This makes the recognition meaningful, and eventually motivates your staff to continue making contributions.
You can also consider giving your employees pay raise if they constantly bring up positive results and efficiency. Show them that their work contributes to the general success of the team. Merit increase matters, and who doesn't want a salary increase?!
3. Maybe it's you!?
Most employees' decision to leave or stay depends a lot on their direct manager.
Are you a competent manager? Do you care enough about the relationship between you and your employees? Do you care about your employee's feelings besides their work performance?
If you're saying no to all of the questions above, those might be the reasons why your employees are leaving.
Qualified and competent people expect more from their boss. Anything a manager does that makes employees feel underrated leads to a higher turnover rate.
You might wonder, at what point do employees find their boss "bad"? It can be the lack of transparency about expectations and salary, unclear performance evaluation, inability to lead the team, or lack of resources and provision to complete specific tasks.
You should embrace transparency and never overpromise. Take quick but meaningful action, upgrade your team management skills, show them you're able to lead. Create the connection between you and your employees via frequent check-ins, team activities, etc. Make them feel that you’re a leader and a friend.
4. Let them speak up
The workplace needs to be a place for employees to nurture their talents and voice their opinions. Many people feel overshadowed by their seniors and leaders, as well as the pressure of the tasks. This makes them feel nervous to speak up, resulting in retention problems.
Give opportunities for your staff to raise their ideas. Create room for debates and discussions. Ask them for their feedback. Let them talk about their difficulties at work.
Nobody wants to work in silence all the time as there’s no chance for them to prosper and get promoted.
By listening to the employees’ opinions, you can also identify problems that need to be improved, as well as better understanding your staff’s expectations and satisfaction at work.
5. Be transparent and fair
When a manager assigns a salesperson to customers with a high potential for success, the remaining salespeople might see it as a biased decision. Some of these people may start to find new job opportunities in other companies.
You should bear in mind that your decisions on tasks and salaries affect directly the retention rate of your business. So you need to be transparent and fair with all your employees.
Don’t make them think that you’re biased. Treat everybody equally, and provide opportunities for everyone to develop their abilities.
6. Better the work environment
The work environment largely influences the retention rate of your company.
Imagine working in a narrow space with cubical boxes of computers, and no time for a break or activities. Or working in a place surrounded by gossipers and bullies, etc.
These negative aspects in the company make employees feel pressured, overwhelmed, and eventually, quit.
Regularly organize activities such as Christmas parties, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. to show that you care, and give a chance for everyone to relax.
Connect members. Notice the rumor-makers and bullies in the workplace, and step in when something not right is up. Improve the workspace by setting some comfortable zones for your employees to relax, have a bite, or simply doze off a little bit.
7. Raise the bars
Sometimes, it’s not your fault that your employees decide to leave their job. It’s the tasks that aren’t challenging enough for them.
Not all employees work for money, especially those who are passionate about their profession. They might want to have a specific career path and competitive opportunities for personal development.
To retain talented employees, you can put them in a healthy competitive environment. Assigning important tasks to good employees will give them a sense of responsibility and challenge. Discussing important matters with them also makes them feel valued.
When your staff can take control of their work and freely propose ideas, they'll feel like your company is the place to stay.
By maintaining a talented workforce, you can save your time and budget, ensure customers’ satisfaction, and improve profitability. If you're struggling to keep the best staff with your business, we hope the 7 ways above can help you solve employee retention problems.