In today's job market, employers implement employee retention projects as a proactive approach to retain top job candidates.
In trades such as engineering, construction, as well as businesses that require specialty skills like IT, retaining employees is a critical element for a company's long-term vitality. When a good employee leaves, it not only creates a hole that must be filled but also affects the remaining employees.
Co-workers left behind have to pull together to cover the extra work, and may even feel insecure or apprehensive about who will be brought into a now unstable work atmosphere. New responsibilities laid upon existing employees result in a jockeying for positions or resistance to taking on more than they were hired to do. During this time, lower efficiency and dissatisfaction spread. If your company experiences a high turnover rate, it may even earn a poor reputation in the job market and in the long run keep future candidates from applying for a job with your firm and thus compounding the effect of losing a valued employee.
Professional Retention Services
Professional employee retention services provide employers with consulting services and tools to identify and correct reasons for employee turnover:
- Root cause of employee turnover
- Summary of retention need for top talent
- A retention strategy
- Implementation plan
Such a services help employers to measure existing and develop new procedures for identifying factors that influence employee retention.
Developing Employee Retention Projects
Like any project, an employee retention project must be managed. If you use a service, they manage the project, but even if you install an in-house manager to oversee the project, the manager needs to impart direction and necessary guidance to keep the project on task.
It's most effective for this manager to be on-site and available to provide information and resources as needed and in a timely fashion. The right person for this job needx to be trustworthy and proven in the handling of confidential information because they will have access to personnel records including those employees who have previously left and those currently employed.
The project manager will also have the right to access organizational policies, procedures, files regarding the company's structure and all the processes which influence retention.
When making use of employee retention projects, one of the things that will need to be identified is employee motivation. For example, what has motivated previous employees to leave? Did they actively seek another position? Were they dissatisfied or did another company offer them something more? This is one side of motivation.
On the positive side, understanding the motivation factor will help design an employee retention project that works for your company. Common elements that help motivate employees to stay include:
- Compensation and benefits
- Job satisfaction-employee feels valued
- Good communication
- Clearly established operating principles that foster teamwork
Improve Management Skills
A common reason employees become dissatisfied in the workplace is a poor relationship with their manager. One way to prevent this is to require management to take part in regular leadership training to help them stay in tune with the company's mission and values. With the right training, management will show a real interest in an employee's development. This in turn gives the employee a sense of value and a desire to stay.
Starting From Day One
When hiring a new employee, remember their first impression when they arrive on the job may influence their future with your company. Part of a proactive employee retention project will be to design a new employee integration plan. Such a plan will include items like:
- A welcome letter
- Be sure the employees workspace is furnished and complete when they arrive
- Plan ahead, have someone greet the new employee and introduce them to fellow workers
- Arrange for the new employee to have lunch with other employees
- Make it clear who the new employee should ask if they have questions
- Provide new employee orientation
After your employee is introduced into the workforce, maintain momentum. An effective retention plan will demonstrate a long-term commitment to employee development by helping employees reach their objectives by providing training programs.Don't let the excitement of the new job evaporate-instead, encourage employees to set long and short-term goals. What does the employee hope to achieve? If this is identified, both management and the employee will be on the same page and encourage open communication. All of these factors work to instill employee satisfaction.
Keep Communication Open
As with any relationship, communication in the work place is a vital factor in keeping employees happy. Employee retention projects instill an understanding that management needs to be approachable. One way to make this quality a reality to employees is to have management work along side employees on selected projects. This tactic proves management is approachable.
Other ways to encourage communication between management and employees are:
- Hold an informal meeting with employees that offers lunch (or breakfast for a morning meeting)
- Create employee surveys
- Rewards and recognition programs
Communication between employees and management opens opportunities to discuss strategies and goals as well a provide times to offer and give feedback. All of this give-and-take will make the employee feel valued and more likely to stay.