Employee retention is one of the most important topics you need to focus on early during the growth of your company. Although you might put most of your effort on recruiting and hiring new talent, never forget about all the energy and resources this process takes.
With a few simple steps it’s much easier and way more beneficial to focus on keeping your existing workforce happy. Here's why:
The costs of lost people
If you lose an employee you will not only spend time on finding someone appropriate to fill the position but you will also have to spend even more time onboarding and training new people to reach the same level of competence.
This takes much more time, effort and resources than focusing on keeping your people happy, especially those super heroes that drive your company forward every day.
Depending on the seniority level of your people, employee turnover can result in huge costs:
For entry-level employees, it costs between 30% and 50% of their annual salary to replace them.
For mid-level employees, it costs upwards of 150% of their annual salary to replace them.
For high-level or highly specialized employees, you're looking at 400% of their annual salary.
Don’t forget about the fact that in the meanwhile things still have to get done. Turnover can take a huge toll on your remaining workforce, who now have to work extra hours and take on heavier workloads to make up for the loss.
This loss of productivity doesn’t even include the emotional damage that's created within the team. From one day to another a work mate they have spent a good amount of time with is gone. This can cause others to start questioning their own job or plans for the future.
However, taking steps to focus more on improving employee engagement can significantly help to reduce turnover.
Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave
Imagine you get up in the morning with very little energy to go to work because you're lacking purpose, joy or recognition. No one cares about whether you're actually doing your job well or just doing the minimum to get by.
This is a horrible feeling that most of us have experienced at least once. It brings us closer to taking another path in our career and it’s a thought that can fully infect us quickly.
On top of this, the incentives to accept a new job offer are often highly attractive. Usually an employee’s salary increase is much higher in a new position than if he or she remains in their current job.
How do you increase employee retention?
You can consult Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to answer this question:
Getting paid fairly and gaining respect and social recognition from team mates can be regarded as the base line. Once you make sure that your people aren’t harmed by negative effects on their health or safety you'll have the basics right. But that’s just the very bottom of the pyramid.
Foster frequent feedback
Where you really have to make a difference is by promoting a sense of belonging and esteem within your workplace.
The best way to do this is by keeping the level of communication high. Frequent feedback allows employees to constantly know where they stand and how much their work is valued and making an impact.
People need to understand how they themselves and their work is perceived in order to take steps to improve and learn.
Meaningful 1 on 1 meetings are meant to identify roadblocks within the workflow, as well as, individual development areas that can be improved. Providing honest actionable feedback will not only help your people get their job done better but will also give them a sense of ownership over their tasks and individual development process.
Track your people's happiness
Regularly ask your people whether they're happy with their job. You can either do this during company wide employee satisfaction surveys or, even more impactful, during your 1 on 1 meetings.
Identify what your employees are excited about and allow them some freedom to include these activities into their daily workflow.
It’s essential that you follow up on feedback and use it to help each individual create long term goals for their career path. What are each of your employees greatest strengths? Initiate regular growth conversations with each person to make sure you are recognizing those strengths and guiding them towards the best way they can grow and develop them.
Always make sure that the purpose of such talks is the personal and professional development of your team member.
Try taking a piece of paper and drawing simple sketches of where you see this person in the next 2 years. Visualize the perspective which you both discussed during the talk. This drawing shouldn’t vanish in s drawer though. Come back to it every month during your 1-on-1s to make sure they're on track to reach their career goals.
Impraise is the simplest way to make sure your people receive actionable feedback on a frequent basis. It allows you to identify coaching needs in real-time and have meaningful conversations about their strengths and areas for improvement. It also helps you to keep track of your people’s satisfaction levels so you can identify and tackle engagement challenges ahead of time.
For more information about how to retain remote workers see this insightful blog post by TimeDoctor.