Did you know that roughly 70% of lottery winners will go bankrupt within a few years?
It’s because so many of us dream about winning big in life, but so few of us actually know how to hold on to what we’ve been given.
Now, as an employer, your aspirations might be a bit more level-headed than trying to win a lottery. You use careful planning and a combination of diligence, discipline, and determination to get your business to the top.
But at a certain point, you can’t do that alone. You need the help of talented and trustworthy professionals who share your vision. And because you need to rely on your employees, the chances of your business winning out are equal to their involvement in your company.
So when you find an employee that you can tell is a winning ticket, how do you hold on to them?
In today’s article, we’ll explore several superb answers to that very question! Here are some ready-to-go rules for retaining employees!
Start before they do
Some employers think that retention is a last-minute effort to keep staff from leaving when they’re already halfway out the door. But those employers are likely hemorrhaging good workers (and the money they invested in onboarding).
Good employee retention strategies are ongoing, and are established as practices by your business before you even hire someone.
One of the key things that any employee needs is to trust that their employer has their best interests in mind — and when they enter a business that vocalizes the value of its employees without prompting, they’ll have that trust from day one.
Create shared goals
Remember as a child, when you or another kid would always ask “Why? Why? WHY?”
Perhaps sometimes you were just trying to get a rise out of someone, but mostly it was because you were curious. You felt a need to understand the connections and motivations of the different things happening around you.
Well guess what? Now that we’re all grown up, we still feel that way!
If you want to keep your employees engaged, you need to set shared goals with them so that they have a clear definition of WHY they’re doing what they’re doing.
Plus, when you set goals about their personal development, it shows you have a vested interest in their growth.
Frequent feedback sessions
Has an employee ever quit on you with no warning whatsoever? Maybe not you personally, but this situation happens to employers all the time. It leaves them asking themselves what went wrong?
But by that point, it’s too late to find out — and way too late to do anything about it. So rather than waiting and analyzing after the fact, get active about employee feedback!
You can hold regular employee engagement surveys to get a general feeling about your workforce. But we recommend that you also have 1-on-1 sessions with your team members so that you can both GIVE and RECEIVE feedback.
And be sure to give positive feedback as well — this is a chance to discuss what’s working for you and them as much as what isn’t.
Set up support structures
Just like you can’t run your business by yourself, your employees need support to manage their workload.
Make sure that they are given access to the knowledge and tools that they will need. Have experienced staff members guide them on how to apply them to their daily work.
Consider creating a mentor program where tenured staff and leadership can work closely to develop skills and plan for success with a fledgling employee.
Give them a sense of ownership
Employees who feel like they are part of a company, and not an extension of it, are more loyal and less likely to leave.
Consider sharing the rewards of your business with the people who make it work — things like stock options or bonuses based on company performance.
And let them lead themselves, as well. When possible, give them projects that offer them autonomy and a bit of freedom. Fostering a sense of trust that they will own up to any challenge will challenge them to do work that the whole company can be proud of.
Acknowledge their accomplishments
One of the number one reasons employees quit is because they don’t feel appreciated.
And we’re not saying you need to shower them with gifts and hold a ticker tape parade every time they do something right. In fact, acknowledging their accomplishments doesn’t have to cost any time or money whatsoever.
When you make a consistent effort to honestly mention and express gratitude on the regular — even just saying thank you in passing — you are instilling a sense of value that will make your workers value their job.
And if one of your employees does something big for your business, you can still consider a big gesture in kind!
Provide development opportunities
We all need room to grow. And when we don’t have it, we bail.
You might call it a sort of “career claustrophobia”, meaning: when we feel stuck we just want to get out.
Make sure your employees have as many opportunities as you can offer them in terms of personal and professional development.
Encourage them to take training courses, attend workshops, and set personal goals. When they see you as someone who cares about their growth, not just their performance, they’ll stand by you.
One of the main things job seekers look for these days is work-life flexibility. They idealize things like flex hours, remote work, and leave allowances.
So if you don’t want your workers to start seeking out other jobs, then you should try to make working with you as flexible as possible.
Make sure you encourage your current employees to make use of their allowances as well. Ensuring they get proper rest and relaxation helps them avoid burnout, and shows you care about their wellbeing.
Humans might think we want a cushy job. But the truth is we want something that pushes us just a little bit outside of our comfort zone.
Make sure you are challenging your employees to improve themselves and the business overall. Don’t keep them locked at a desk, repeating the same tasks day in and day out.
Send them to a networking meetup. Or ask them to help you meet a new client. Or ask them to create a presentation for their teammates.
Whatever they could be doing outside their immediate job description, so long as it supports their development, is a great way to inspire them.
By keeping them on their toes, they’ll soon get addicted to the excitement that each new day with your company brings.