In today’s job market, many employees do not stay at one job for their whole lives as their grandparents may have done. Seventy-five percent of employees leave their jobs before they have worked at their place of employment for five years.
That’s bad news for companies, because hiring and training new employees is expensive. A Harvard Business School survey found that it takes 6.2 months for the average company to reach the break-even point in the costs of hiring a mid-level manager. Not only do recruiting and training cost companies money, but small companies often depend on essential staff to stay afloat.
A high performing employee can range from being valuable to being nearly irreplaceable depending on the size of your company. Because of this, it is paramount for companies to work toward retaining their best employees to make sure they stay in their positions as long as possible.
Here are the top ten ways you can motivate your best employees to stick around:
1. Find the right person.
There should be a solid match between the education and qualifications of the prospective candidate and the job requirements of the position. In addition to this, competency screening and behavior-based testing can further ensure that you’ve found the candidate who is the best fit. You want the right person in the right position right from the start.
2. Create a great onboarding experience.
The first few weeks or months at a new job are when employees are most impressionable. Give them a great impression of your company during this onboarding period by providing comprehensive coaching, training, and support that gives them the tools they need to be successful.
Many companies make the mistake of leaving new hires to sink or swim and wonder why they leave when they can’t manage to figure out their positions on their own.
3. Provide opportunities for advancement.
Put a program in place that implements cross-training to facilitate career progression. Employees like to know that there is room for them to grow in the company. Eighty-six percent of millennials say they are more likely to stay at a company that provides career development.
Ask your best employees about their long-range goals and find ways for them to achieve those goals within your company so they don’t feel compelled to pursue them somewhere else. While doing this is important, be sure you don’t promote your best employees to the wrong positions. A great salesperson doesn’t necessarily translate to a great sales manager.
4. Pay employees based on performance.
When it comes to salaries, this is one area where you don’t want to treat everyone equally. Employees want to feel that you recognize excellent performance and reward it accordingly. If you pay everyone equally, there is no incentive for extra effort and high levels of performance. Forty-eight percent of employees say that a raise or bonus would encourage them to stay in a position they were considering leaving.
5. Tap into your employees’ skills and talents.
Take the time to learn about your employees’ skills and talents and find ways to utilize them. Team members feel motivated when they can contribute to work areas that fall outside their normal job descriptions.
6. Conduct two-way performance reviews.
Many companies conduct regular performance reviews for employees, but when do these employees have the opportunity to do the same for their company? Smart employers give their top employees a chance to share their ideas about how the company could improve.
Create an environment in which employees are encouraged to express their honest opinions during meetings. Listen to what they say, ask questions, and try to understand the situation from their perspective. Show that you value their input by implementing changes when they make sense.
7. Show appreciation.
Taking time to express appreciation, say thank you, and tell employees they are doing a good job can go a long way toward making employees love working at your company. Formal recognition like awards and plaques also make them feel valued and appreciated.
8. Create a positive company culture.
Create company traditions like staff parties or annual dinners for awards ceremonies. Have a costume contest for Halloween. Donate to charities or run a food drive. Have a desk decorating content for Christmas.
People will enjoy working at a company a lot more if it’s a fun environment and they like their boss and fellow employees. Forty percent of employees cited negative company culture as their main reason for leaving their job.
In short, you can invest in your company and improve your profit margins by taking the time to create an environment where people don’t have any reason to leave because they love their jobs.