Recruiting and hiring the best talent is only the beginning. After a talented employee is hired, many businesses and companies forget that employee retention is an equally important part of the equation. Here are some of the most effective tips and strategies to improve employee retention, and keep top performers from taking their skills and talents somewhere else.
Salary is not the only – or even the most important factor in employee retention and satisfaction. Retaining talented professionals can be challenging for a number of reasons, from resignations due to more competitive offers, to personal and “culture fit” issues. If your company is suffering from high turnover and low retention rates, it may be time to re-examine your policies and take an in depth look at the company’s culture and workplace practices.
Here are some of the most common factors that can cause good employees to jump ship:
Lack of Flexibility
In addition to feeling unfulfilled or bored by the work and lacking a clear path for growth and professional development, many professionals consider greater flexibility (and remote working options) as an essential component of their employment with a firm. Rigid management hierarchies, structures, and schedules are increasingly becoming a thing of the past, particularly in highly skilled and in demand sectors.
Stress and Burnout
Depending on your industry, long hours, stress, and performance pressure may just be the nature of the beast. But according to a survey of over 10,000 tech workers, high stress and burnout rates at some of the world’s top companies hovered over 60% of survey respondents.
Although there is no “one size fits all” solution, addressing issues like workplace stress and employee satisfaction are important in order to identify where your company may be falling short, before a “brain drain” sets in. Addressing culture issues before they become ossified, and putting the right people in the right roles are great places to start.According to Fast Company, additional factors that can help to retain and build quality employees and leaders include:
1. Prioritize open communication and clarity of purpose between management and their departments.
2. Don’t take employees for granted – recognition is an important factor in everything from boosting morale to improving motivation.
3. Encourage feedback – from both managers and employees.
4. Provide real opportunities for growth and advancement.
5. Offer competitive compensation and incentives. Taking your work force’s “temperature” and asking for feedback is a great place to start and to identify area’s in which your policies may be falling short.
The successful efforts some organizations have made to create a great work environment and culture has led to the concept of becoming an employer of choice. But what does being an “employer of choice” truly mean? Is it about being listed as a best company to work for… or is it something more?
Some would say being a company people want to work for is rolled up in fairly obvious traits including great benefits packages, competitive wages, sufficient paid time off, job security, and room for growth. Going beyond that means thinking about the entire employee engagement journey. When someone joins a company that’s truly an employer of choice, within a few days they realize they didn’t just accept a job – they’ve taken on a calling.
Working for an employer of choice provides a level of satisfaction that few things in life can. “It is about aligning individual personal success with organizational success,” explains Kim Michel-Clark, Senior HR Consultant at Adept HR Solutions.
Do your employees enjoy their job and the company of those around them on a daily basis, or are they merely going through the motions? This is one of the most crucial questions to ask and a great starting point. Sit down and map out your company’s employee engagement journey. How are you communicating at every stage of that journey? Plan to evaluate progress through employee surveys at strategic points along that journey. Ideally, surveys should be conducted based on where the employee is in their journey, as opposed to a company-wide survey just because “we do this annually.”
These points are a great way to evaluate your company’s success in working toward the distinction of an employer of choice. But how do you know what to measure?. Important criteria shared by employers of choice may include the following:
By looking for traits such as those above and assessing the morale of an organization’s employees, a sufficient framework for evaluation should emerge. Beyond internal evaluation, you’ll want to assess how others who come in contact with the company feel – are they satisfied with how they were treated and served by employees?
“Another area that I think is critical is communication and transparency,” Michel-Clark continued. “Employees want to be involved and know what is going on, they need to have meaning in their work and be a valued member of the team.” Your company can get closer to this status with focused effort and evaluations regarding areas that can be used to improve employee satisfaction.
“It is about the relationship an employee has with his or her manager,” says Michel-Clark. “Did they feel a connection, did they learn with their manager, did they get stretched and prepared for their next assignment?”
For Michel-Clark, “being an employer of choice is about employee experience, if they leave for any reason, would that employee recommend your organization to others as a place to work?”
Balancing company goals with employee needs is a challenge in any organization. When a company is a true employer of choice, those two objectives become the basis for satisfaction for everyone involved. Employees know that their work is meaningful, and management takes the time to explain how the individual’s success supports the company’s growth and success. This can come in the form of OKR’s and celebrating individual, team and company achievements.
Once the company’s goals are woven into employees’ definition of success, the organization must also work to support employee needs. Beyond the basics of good benefits and working conditions, do the employees and the organization value the same things? Does the company support the communities in which it operates? Are there other ways the company can support the people that make success possible?
“It’s about getting to know what your employees value,” remarked Michel-Clark, “not what the hottest trend is. Flexibility is not why people leave , yet everyone thinks they need to allow remote work, etc. Get to know what will make your team flourish!”
Some tried and true methods to become a choice employer tend to focus on the relationship between employer and employee. Essentially, this will mean clearly defining your culture and the type of people you want supporting it. A significant effort should be made to attract the right cultural fit. Remember that skills can be taught – cultural fit cannot.
A method of quickly addressing any concerns as they emerge will also go a long way towards a favorable view of the organization. It is helpful if employees feel that their superiors actually care about them and want to solve the same problems. Certainly, train your leader to make sure that team member’s work is focused on both individual and organizational goals. As an employer of choice, your organization’s culture supports learning and growth while still achieving the agreed-upon objectives.
Above all, being an employer of choice is really all about providing the right tools for everyone in your organization to remain satisfied through positive reinforcement and relevant opportunities.
Train leaders to have the difficult conversations well. Michel-Clark says the most vital element of becoming an employer of choice is, “communication, tough conversations, being HONEST!”
With this knowledge in hand, begin by evaluating where you are now and craft a specific strategy for your company to become an employer of choice. Don’t neglect the cultural needs of your organization. In addition, make sure your strategy touches all aspects of the employee engagement journey. With that, you can begin the work of becoming a true employer of choice.
According to the Bureau of National Affairs, employee turnover is responsible for the loss of approximately 11 billion dollars per year. Studies show that highly engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave their companies than those that are less engaged. Disengagement is potentially the leading cause of turnover and may be a reason some employees think they need a union on their side. Create a positive employee experience and keep your employees highly engaged!
When employees are engaged, they become passionate about their contributions to the company. They adopt the culture and values of their organization. Engaged employees are willing to go the extra mile to help the company succeed. So, how can you transform a culture of disengagement into a healthy, positive working environment for your employees?
Today’s culture is not like the past where most employees had a desire to stay in one place until retirement. Employee benefits have changed, and most companies no longer offer a pension for employee loyalty. Today’s companies also tend to reorganize with no advanced notice, leaving employees insecure in their level of job security. However, you should strive to can create an environment that promotes partnership. Employees are more likely to feel motivated to stay and grow with the company even through difficult changes.
In most organizations, there is a handful of people that are actually doing the majority of the work. On the other hand, you have others who are merely skating by with next to nothing going on. To remedy this, put together a plan to divide the work more evenly between all employees in each department.
For many employees, it’s all about the paycheck. If you want to keep your best people, then you need to make sure you’re paying them well enough to make their time and energy worth it.
However, don’t forget that it’s not all about the money for everybody. In this day and age, it could be argued that time, not money, is the key engagement element.
A crucial part of creating a positive employee experience is making sure they know they can discuss their thoughts and concerns with management. A great way to do this is to host small group sessions for each department. Include all levels of management in these sessions and encourage open communication.
Modern companies are beginning to realize the importance of having healthy employees on their team. There are many ways to promote healthy living in the workplace. Offer a selection of free fruits and vegetables as snack options in the break room or provide gym memberships to employees. Creating an environment of health is a proven method for improving morale.
It’s crucial to start making positive changes in your organization before it’s too late. Engaged employees are less likely to turn to a union to speak on their behalf. With a few simple adjustments, you can create a positive employee experience. Transform your working environment into a positive culture of collaboration, wellness, and pride.
So, you’re an HR manager and your company is growing fast. You expect five, perhaps 10 new recruits over the next six months. No, make that 50! Now what? As Donald Miller of StoryBrand states, “All (employee) engagement rises and falls on the employee value proposition.” Part of that value is in how new employees are treated from day one. Inspire new hires with a great orientation video!
An orientation video can also raise that value proposition by ensuring that every employee is provided with a consistent welcome message that emphasizes the importance of every role at the company. Think of your video as the foundation for the company’s “tribal knowledge.” It should include the top things you want every employee to be able to talk about confidently – both inside and outside the company. Here, step-by-step, is how to inspire new hires and create a killer employee orientation video.
Start by with a “napkin sketch” outline, just the nuts and bolts of your message. Detail the basic narrative and your brand message. Is your company history vital to the corporate culture? Has the company won awards that have directed its later success? What about points of pride in the local community?
Remember that new employees want to feel that they’re a part of something great. What do your clients come to you to achieve? Talk about their successes as much as you do your own and new hires will go home bragging about the company right from the start.
As you refine your outline and add detail, remember that any new employee can easily become overwhelmed. Make a point to focus on the most important takeaways that will inspire and motivate your new hires.
Once you have a solid outline, fill in the blanks. Write a robust script, and decide who will deliver each aspect of your message. You may want one narrator, or two.Use upper management if they have a good on-camera presence. You may even want parts of your message delivered by current employees.
The structure of your video is worth thinking through. Take tech brand Cisco. Their employee introduction video has an easy-to-follow format. It starts with a member of the company’s HR talent management team addressing the camera — “We’d like to give you a view into our new employee orientation experience,” which is then followed by testimonials from the sales, engineering and operations departments.
If your teams aren’t so keen about being on camera, professional talent is definitely the way to go. Keep in mind that if you hire those whose first language isn’t English, you may want to consider producing in alternate languages at the same time, a definite cost savings. Connecting with a Spanish-speaking employee in their preferred language from day one is a sign that you care about and respect their needs.
The first element of your production includes capturing your script. This might involve recording a company executive on camera, or recording a voice-over by professional talent. Whatever your script calls for, be sure you are prepared. If you’re using company executives, do your best to make them feel comfortable. Recording in a professional studio with a teleprompter can make them feel much more at-ease. If you’re using employees, a question-and-answer approach will help you get the best sound-bites with the most candid approach.
Lights, Camera, Action! Create a shot list from your script to make sure you get enough footage to cover all your narration. If you have multiple locations, plot out how you’ll accomplish everything. You may have interior and exterior shoot days. Be sure to get establishing shots of the company, as well as production, current employees, even your products being used by the customer.
When in doubt, over-shoot! It’s better to have 3 different angles of the same thing than have to re-shoot a close-up later on (particularly if you’re inconveniencing employees to get just the right shot!) You can always trim down your video during the editing process. Oh, and remember, stay true to your script.
Next, you’ll want to create your graphics, animation and any titles for your video. You may want to hire a professional animator or graphic artist to help with this part of the production. Plus, you’ll need to decide whether you want to use any music, and purchase the tracks you’ll need.
Editing is just as important (and just as much fun!) as recording your orientation video. During this process, you’ll select the shots you want to use and add transitions and music. This orientation video from hotel chain Ayres Hotels (and here it is in Spanish) is a good example of professional post-production.
“Visual elements such as transitions, slow motion, split screen and other effects will add flare to your video — and who doesn’t want more flare, right?” says the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. “Just don’t overdo it with flashy transitions or animations.”
Finally, you need to distribute your video so employees can watch it. You can do this online — direct new hires to your website, for example — or in a small group meeting during onboarding week. Alternatively, upload your orientation video to YouTube, just like Talmer Bank and Trust and Omni Hotels & Resorts.
Sixty-nine percent of staffers are more likely to stay with an organization for three years if they experience a great introduction to their new company. Inspire new hires and create a stellar orientation video! Ito definitely improves your on-boarding processes but can be time-consuming to make. That’s where a professional production company can be a definite asset. Choose one with decades of experience who can help you create an orientation video that really works. Projections, Inc. can help! Click here to find out more.
No matter what products you sell or what industry you’re in, harassment prevention must be a top priority in keeping both your company and your employees safe. What works and what you need to include in that training is changing rapidly. Here is what you need to know regarding harassment prevention training in 2019.
The movement known as #metoo began in October of 2017, and the repercussions are still being felt. During the last several years, both individuals and companies have become more aware of harassment and reporting has increased dramatically both in and out of the workplace. People are more aware of the many specific forms of harassment. Protected classes include including sex, gender, disability, race, religion and age.
According to SHRM, emphasis on workplace harassment training should focus on prevention. As a manager or human resources professional, it’s your responsibility to take the necessary steps to provide the most effective harassment prevention training program possible. It’s crucial to train employees effectively to prevent any type of harassment from happening. If harassment does occur, it’s necessary that employees at all levels understand what to do and take the correct course of action.
The New Jersey Business and Industry Association reports that a Gallup poll shows both men and women take sexual harassment much more seriously than they did 20 years ago. The majority of individuals now see it as a major problem. Your employees are more sensitive to what is and isn’t considered appropriate behavior.
Along with increased sensitivity and changed perspectives, however, there has also been more confusion. Many employees are often uncertain regarding what exactly constitutes harassment, what type of language or behavior is acceptable in the workplace and exactly how to handle harassment accusations. This makes an effective training program more important than ever.
It’s necessary to understand what the different requirements are in each state and how employers with employees in multiple locations can comply. Right now there are only five states that mandate or have requirements regarding sexual harassment training. California, Connecticut, New York, Delaware and Maine have passed a variety of legislation for training employees. If your company maintains facilties in California and Illinois, for example, all employees should be trained according to the most stringent standards.
This means you’ll stay compliant while keeping all employees on the same page. Employers also need to go beyond basic legal compliance. It’s necessary to cultivate a culture of respect in the workplace. Training shouldn’t just focus on a checklist of unacceptable behaviors. It should focus on building civility and an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking out.
It’s imperative that training addresses the recent shifts in culture. It’s not only important to understand culture in our society, but to understand and change the culture in the workplace. This means that management must take a proactive approach by educating current employees and immediately training all new hires. Workforce states that training must involve much more than simply watching a video and checking a to-do box. You must create a culture at the highest levels of management and effective training provided on a fairly regular basis.
Finally, whatever training method you use, make sure there is an evaluation process in place. You need to understand what’s working and what’s not so modifications can be made for future training. Harassment prevention training is critically important to not only prevent costly lawsuits and maintain a company’s reputation, but for building a respectful and positive work environment.
With strong belief that every company can become an employer of choice, the team at Projections has been helping companies build better leaders and improve employee relations for over 4 decades. The Respectful Workplace, is a powerful and effective eLearning program designed to not only prevent harassment but help companies create a respectful and inclusive workplace.